Religious Studies

Images and Stories of the Origins of the World and of Humankind

Edited by Julia A. B. Hegewald and Marion Gymnich

[Ursprungsmythen und Darstellungen von der Entstehung der Welt und der Menschheit.]

2024. Approx. 610 pages.
forthcoming in January

Reality and Hermeneutics

approx. 130,00 €
including VAT
ISBN 978-3-16-162736-1
Published in English.
The origins of the world and of humankind have been described in texts and depicted in art and architecture worldwide. This publication combines traditional myths and images from a variety of cultural backgrounds with modern and contemporary approaches in literature and outlines fascinating parallels.
Creation stories about the origins of the world and humankind are among the oldest narratives known in many parts of the world. Not only texts but also many works of art and architecture depict the various stages of creation. While not scientifically accurate, these myths and images of the beginnings of Earth and of life on it have played an important role in shaping cultural knowledge and traditions.
In this volume, eighteen experts on the history of art and architecture, anthropology, religious, textual and literary studies focus on traditional creation mythologies associated with regions in South Asia, China, Japan, Greece, the Near and Middle East, the Islamic world, and South America as well as on North American indigenous traditions. By juxtaposing these with modern and contemporary literary approaches to the subject, novel connections and parallels are revealed for the first time.
Survey of contents
Julia A.B. Hegewald/Marion Gymnich: Introduction: Images and Stories of the Origins of the World and of Humankind in Traditional and Modern Contexts – Julia A.B. Hegewald: Prevalent Themes and Motifs in Traditional Creation Mythology – Robert J. Del Bontà: Cyclic Indic Creations – Satyanad Kichenassamy: An Indian Critique of the Notion of Absolute Beginning – Sandra Jasmin Schlage: The Impact of Naṭarāja's Drum: Visualisation of Naṭarāja's role as creator through the architecture and iconographic programme of the Naṭarāja Temple in Chidambaram – Julia A.B. Hegewald: Reflections of the Origins of the World in the Water Architecture of South Asia – Gerrit Lange: Creating a Landscape through Myths: The Journey of Naiṇī or Nāginā Devī, a Nine-fold Western Himalayan Hindu Goddess – Claudia Wenzel: Visual Modes of Chinese Cosmogonies – Hannah Weber: Creation in the Kojiki and Nihongi and Hesiod's Theogony: Yin and Yang and Divine Parentage – Ralf Krumeich: Succession of Divine Generations and Multiple Creations of Human Beings: Conceptions and Images of the Origins of the World and Humankind in Ancient Greece – Fritz Graf: From Ovid to Gregory of Nazianzus: A Hermetic Creation Story and Its Tradition – Samantha Reilly: Creatio-Ex-Mud: The Shape of Clay Creation in the Ancient Near East – Julio César Cárdenas Arenas: Narratives of Monotheistic Creation between Islamic Philosophy (falsafah) and Ibn Taymīyah – Christine Schirrmacher: The Creation of the World and the Creation of Man: Apologetic Argument for the Equality of Women in Feminist Qur'ānic Exegesis – Daniel Grana-Behrens: The Cultural Foundations of the Sixteenth-Century Popol Vuh 'Preamble' Addressing the Origin of the World and Humankind, and their Relation to the Classic Period of the Maya (300–1000 CE) – Athira Mohan: Creation Myth as a Decolonising Strategy Reading Selected Retellings of Indian and Canadian Indigenous Myth of Creation – Marion Gymnich/Klaus Scheunemann: Humanity and its Others: (Post-Darwinist) Stories of the Origins of Humankind – Stefan Lampadius: Evolving Origins and the Artificial Human in Science Fiction – Constanze Wessel: Creation Myths as Part of Fantasy World-Building: The Case of Tolkien's Powers of Arda in The Silmarillion

Julia A. B. Hegewald is Professor of Oriental Art History and Head of the Department of Asian and Islamic Art History (AIK) in the Institute of Oriental and Asian Studies (IOA) at the University of Bonn.

Marion Gymnich is Professor of English Literature and Culture at the University of Bonn.


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