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Nordic Storyteller Stresses Value of Mythology

Chips - The Student Newspaper of Luther College (Decorah, IA) , March 9, 2006


On March 2 Douglas Rossman presented “Ancient Nordic Spirituality: The Northern Path to Wisdom and Balance.”

Rossman, a research associate in the biology department, is the author of “The Northern Path,” a book that retells Norse myths and legends and what they reveal. The presentation was sponsored by the department of religion and philosophy.

In his presentation, Rossman introduced the world of mythology and ancestors. He explained mythology is a much misunderstood subject.

“Myths are not stories to deceive as portrayed in our popular media; they are the sacred stories of people, culture and life,” said Rossman. “They provide meaning in the life of the individual, the society and family.”

He mentioned four functions of myths that were important to understanding why myths exist. Myths create a sense of awe in human relationships to the universe. Myths also have a cosmic function by which they provide a road map for imagination and guide people through their rites of passage from life to death. In addition, myths connect people to moral norms and offer role models that display human behavior and thought.

Subjects Covered: education

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