Test of De-Mythologization – Religious Studies Questions

Answer each question in paragraph form.

1. The Test of De-Mythologization

Ross Douthat and Rudolph Bultmann seem obviously to agree that the project of “Demythologization” wouldn’t land you in with Buddhism or the “God Within” crowd. What’s supposed to be the problem with thinking that it could?

2. The Failure of Previous Attempts at De-Mythologization

Frequently you will hear it said that Christianity might be construed primarily in terms of its distinctive moral teachings, and that it’s those teachings that would be extracted from the New Testament by a sensitive and careful de-mythologizer. Clearly, Bultmann thinks there’s something wrong with that. What?

3. Syncretism Re-Visited

What, if anything, is problematical about a syncretism which cherry-picks doctrines and practices from the various religious traditions? After all, it works for Elizabeth Gilbert, true?

4. The Supernatural

Smith is clearly at great pains to play down the supernatural and mythic elements of Christianity. Why?

5. Incarnation

In his discussion of the centuries-long uproar about the doctrine of Incarnation, Smith explains the problem as being the conundrum of having to preserve both the full Divinity and the full Humanity of Christ. Why was each side of that god/man conjunction too important to discard?