Comparison and Theory

E. J. Michael Witzel

in The Origins of the World's Mythologies

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780195367461
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199932047 | DOI:
Comparison and Theory

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This chapter explores the general and theoretical background of comparisons, drawing on recent work by scholars such as C. Ragin and others. It spells out the various theories and methods used in the comparison of myths. It discusses the characteristics of the proposed scheme of Laurasian mythology, and of various mythologies in general. It shows how the Laurasian scheme can be built up, step by step, by observing a large number of similarities between mythologies worldwide while focusing on their regular correspondences across time and space. The discussions then cover the structure and content in some macro-areas of Laurasian mythology, and some objections to the approach of historical comparative mythology.

Keywords: comparisons; myths; Laurasian mythology; historical comparative mythology

Chapter.  30012 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Religion

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