American Sacred Stories

American Sacred Stories

Explain the “one favorite plot” and give your own example

American Sacred Stories
• “Traditional sacred stories tell people who they are, where they have come from, what their tasks out to be, and what their world means. In other words, sacred

stories are creeds in narrative form; they tell people the basic beliefs they hold about their human condition” (Albanese 293).

• In popular culture, these narratives unite us by providing a common pool of meaning for all to share.

• There are thousands of plots enacted on the stage or are developed in novels and short stories, but they can be reduced to a few often-repeated plots.

• One is boy and girl meet, boy and girl win each other, a triangle complicated the romance, a trusted friend betrays the family, and other family tales.

• We almost always know how they are going to end. Why bother to watch? Because we are being told what the world means and how it means.

• These fictional tales in popular culture work much like the sacred stories so important to religious traditions.

• There is one favorite plot that dominates these dramas troubles in paradise with eventual redemption for a hard-pressed community.

• Typically, the story turns on a wholesome and innocent society invaded from outside by overwhelming evil.

• Members of the society are caught off guard and unable to defend themselves because of circumstances.

• Just in the nick of time, a powerful stranger, also from outside, comes to save them. His past and his background are impressive but unclear.

• He seems to want nothing, not even sexual favors, from members of the community.

• Once he has conquered evil forces through acts of sudden and righteous violence, he leaves members of the redeemed society to continue their peaceful lives as

before. (Star Wars, Superman)

Terms which apply to this topic
• Pantheism: worldview of Star Wars: comes from Greek word “pan” meaning all and “theism” meaning God; belief that the impersonal God is one essence with the

universe; God inhabits all things; God is not separated from the universe but is contained within it, foundation of most Hindu, Buddhist, and New Age religions.

• Atheism: the belief there is no god.

• Agnosticism: two Geek words: a, meaning “no” and gnosis, meaning “to know.” One who doesn’t know whether there is a god. Some believe that no one can ever know

whether there is a god or ultimate being.

• Deism: A religion whose followers believe in a God who created the universe, established its rules of behavior, set it going, left, and hasn’t been seen since.

• Mythology: a sacred story which explains how the world and humanity evolved into their present form.

Star Wars: An Epic Myth

Reworks multitude of old stories

• Reluctant hero
• Warrior-wizard
• Brave, beautiful princess
• Monstrous villain

Modern Fairy Tale—a myth Space fantasy—space opera is it a monomyth?

Mythic Patterns: Different eras. Different heroes. Same mythic qualities.

1. Departure/Separation
The first section of the story is about the separation of the hero from the normal world. Separation has symbolic echo of infant transitioning away from the mother and

so has a scary feel to it.

• The call to adventure
• Refusal of the Call
• Supernatural Aid
• Crossing of the First Threshold
• Entering the Belly of the Whale

2. Initiation
In the main part of the story the hero is initiated into true heroic stature by various trials and rites. Through daring and battle, his true character emerges.

• Road of Trials
• The meeting with the Goddess
• Atonement with the Father
• Apotheosis
• The Ultimate Boon

3. Return
After initiation, the hero can be cleansed and return in triumph to deserved recognition, although this in itself may not be without its trials and tribulations.

• Refusal of the Return
• Magic Fight
• Rescue from without
• Crossing of the Return Threshold
• Master of the Two worlds
• Freedom to live

Secular Humanism
• Accept a world view or philosophy called naturalism, in which the physical laws of the universe are not superseded by nonmaterial or supernatural entities such

as demons, gods, or other ‘spiritual’ beings outside the realm of the natural universe.
• Typically describe themselves as atheist or agnostic
• May have become comfortable with SH after a period of deism.
• Do not rely upon gods or other supernatural forces to solve their problems or provide guidance for their conduct.
• Rely instead on reason, history, science, and personal experience to form an ethical/moral foundation and to create meaning in their life.

4 : Reason, history, science, and personal experience to create meaning for their life.

Define sports a comptetion, activety, that requires qualy involving a game mental mostestion aims at fun or play informal or informal

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