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A Discussion on the Concept of “Sacred Narrative”

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Sacred narratives are one of the foundations upon which human societies depend for their existence, since in all societies those narratives help establish the legitimacy of the social order and values. While Western societies have opted to regard tales of the supernatural as their main form of sacred narrative, ancient Chinese societies chose, instead, to regard ancient history as theirs. Even though the narrative contents of myths and ancient history differ, they fulfill the same social function and both are believed to represent “facts” from immemorial antiquity. Therefore, the author uses the concept of the sacred narrative to embrace both myths and ancient history, transcending differences in content between mythological and historical narratives and setting forth an argument based on their common social function. This not only allows mythology studies to be in keeping with historical reality but also contributes to an accurate understanding of the narrative foundations of different social and cultural systems.

Affiliations: 1: Peking UniversityChina clshy@pku.edu.cn

10.1163/23521341-12340042
/content/journals/10.1163/23521341-12340042
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/content/journals/10.1163/23521341-12340042
2017-02-08
2018-09-19

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