Religions Of The Ancient World Essay Topics
Myths are a part of the human cultural fabric due to their place through the years in helping man understand his environment as well as his place in it. Therefore, we have myths in science, in philosophy, psychology and religion — which is the topic special emphasis will be placed on today.
Myths have been an important part of how human cultures have viewed religion, the creation story and the moral fabric of human society. Therefore before going further to providing exemplification essay topics of its role in religion, having a clear understanding of what both terms mean and how they interrelate is important to the development of this article.
The term ‘myths’ has been described or defined in numerous ways but for the purpose of its relation to religion, the definition of myths been ideologies or credos which can be illustrated by stories but do not have their roots in the defining stories, will serve as the perfect description of mythology. Religion on the other hand consists of a set of beliefs, actions and rituals employed in the worship of a divine being. And in most cases, the set of beliefs and rituals are a proponent of one myth or the other.
Finally, for those writing myths and religion, here are exemplification essay topics you can choose from that we believe will simplify the task of writing on this subject matter. Also note that an exemplification essay will be included at the end to provide you with important directions to take when drafting yours:
- Myth, Ritual and Religion
- The Role Myths Play in the Origin of the World
- Myths and Understanding the Concepts of Afterlife
- The Creation Story and Its Mythical Influences
- The Parallels Between Ancient Rituals and Modern Religion
- Pagan Myths and the Origins of Hell
- Belief in a Trinity and its Mythical Components
- The Impact of Ancient Mythology on Modern Religion
- Mythical Rituals and Symbols in Ancient Greek Beliefs
- The Function of Mythology and Religion in Ancient Societies
- Spiritual Stories, Myths and Legends in Religion
- The Importance of Myths in Ancient and Modern World
- Bible Myths and their Parallels in Other Religions
- Trees in Mythology, Legend, Symbolism and Religion
- Flood Myths in the Religions of the Ancient World
- The Importance of Understanding Mythology and its Religious Undertones
- Understanding the Difference Between Myth and Religion
- Sacred Myths: The Stories of the World’s Religions
- The Ancient Beginnings of the Virgin Birth Myth
- The Resurrection Myth and its Effect on Religion
These are 20 exemplification essay topics you can choose from when given the academic task of writing on myths and religion. With little research, these interesting topics which deal with the origin and history of most of the world’s religion can be worked on by you. To further simplify your task, here is a sample essay on one of the topics listed above.
Sample Exemplification Essay: The Impact of Ancient Mythology on Modern Religions
The first human society developed in ancient times, the Sumerians, has been credited with starting civilization by creating urban societies at that time for human habitation. To ensure a peaceful lifestyle, the Sumer people created a set of rules and beliefs which turned into the local religion of the times to govern the moral fabric of the society. And as with most ancient religions, the set of beliefs which the Sumerians turned to were from old tales that were handed down from generation to generation through oral communication. These old tales are collectively known as Myths and this essay will be discussing the integration of myths into today’s popular religious beliefs.
The three major religions of the modern world—Judaism, Christianity and Islam—all have similar beliefs concerning the creation story due to the fact that they all branched out from the Abrahamic faith. Proponents of these religion believe that the earth and its surrounding environment were called out of nothing by a supreme being but this belief system which was also orally passed down has been explored by even older religions and their myths.
An example of similar creation myths that predated the above religions include the Sumerian belief of the world being created by Nippur, Enki and Enlil from nothingness. Also, in ancient Egypt, the Egyptians believed in the creation of the world from nothingness by the Ogdoads—a set of ancient Egyptian gods. These myths which were passed around for millenniums were finally put to words by both cultures in their respective times thereby leading to future discovery in modern times.
A study of the creation belief of the Abrahamic religion shows some element quite similar to the mythological tales of the Sumerian and Egyptian religions. In the case of the Abrahamic belief system, a divine being had created the world out of nothing—either by himself or in company with other deities—from darkness and nothingness to light and form. Another instance is the belief in the trinity particular to some Christian sects. Here, it is believed that the divine creator consists of three co-equal gods in one central Supreme Being.
This belief also stems from ancient mythology that predates Christianity by thousands of years such as in Babylon, where its priests taught about the trinity of gods—Baal, Ashtoreth and Tammuz—as coequal gods in one divine being. Also in ancient Rome, this belief was also well known and has been attributed as the inspiration behind the Christian trinity.
In many instances, it can be shown that ancient story telling techniques which included embellishments by the story teller were used as a means of transferring religion from one era to the other. In some cases, these stories became over-embellished as they were retold thereby becoming so fantastical they were categorized as myths and in time, these myths found their way into religion as we know it today.
Here we come to the end of this sample exemplification essay topic on myth and religion and we do hope it provided you with some insight on how to kick start your project. Don’t forget to also visit our 10 facts on Sumerian culture. Lastly, anyone looking for a set of guidelines on essay writing should also endeavour to read the last piece in this series on writing an exemplification essay.
Turville-Petre, E. (1964). Myth and Religion of the North: The Religion of Ancient Scandinavia, 55.
Wikipedia.com. (2014). Triple Deity.
Charles, T. (2013). The Myth of the Holy Trinity.
William, H. (2005). Classical Mythology: A Guide to the Mythical World of the Greeks and Romans, 306.
West, L. (2007) Indo-European Poetry and Myth. Oxford University Press, 140-1, 379-385.
Hawting, R. (1999) The Idea of Idolatry and the Emergence of Islam: From Polemic to History, 130-132.
Leiren, I. (1999). From Pagan to Christian: The Story in the 12th-Century Tapestry of the Skog Church.
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Let’s see, for your Ancient History 101 course, your topics so far look like this:
- The history of the landline phone
- Life before the Internet
- A world without Snapchat
Even though these topics might seem like ancient history, they’re probably not what your course is about or what your professor had in mind when she assigned the paper.
But what is there to write about in any history course? That stuff is so old and boring, right? Not necessarily. Here are 13 history essay topics to bring your essay to life.
But wait…I don’t know how to write a history paper
Maybe you’re not even at the point where you should be picking a topic just yet. Maybe you still need to understand more about how to write a history paper.
If that’s the case, check out How to Write a History Paper That Will Go Down in History. Then finish reading this post to learn more about finding a topic and see those 13 history essay topics you came here for.
13 History Essay Topics That Will Bring Your Essay to Life
Here are 13 history essay topics to help you find the perfect subject for your paper. I’ve also included a few links to example essays for even more historical inspiration!
1. How did Homer influence history (and literature), and did he really exist? No, I don’t mean Homer Simpson. I mean the ancient poet, Homer. But if you’re really creative and your professor allows some flexibility in assignments, maybe you can write a compare and contrast paper about how both Homers have influenced history.
2. Examine Hitler’s rise to power. You might consider several elements of Adolf Hitler’s childhood and early adulthood that influenced his desire for power. You might also write about larger, societal influences and what allowed Hitler to become so powerful.
3. Compare and contrast religions. Examine two (or more) religions and compare and contrast various elements, such as how they treat death, the afterlife, or marriage. I’d suggest picking two to three topics and examining them in-depth. Don’t try to compare the religions as a whole without any specific criteria.
You might also examine one religion more closely (such as Buddhism, Confucianism, or Christianity) and examine how the religion is different in various parts of the world. Again, pick two to three criteria to compare and/or contrast.
Read Compare and Contrast Essay Tips from a Kibin Editor to learn more about writing a compare and contrast essay.
4. Were the Dark Ages really that dark? The Dark Ages were long before the days without cell phones and Internet. During this time, millions died from war and sickness, but this was also a time of great ideas and discoveries. Thus, is the name “Dark Ages” an appropriate title for the time period?
5. Examine historical myths and legends. Did people like Count Dracula or Robin Hood exist, or were they simply subjects of great legends (and movies)?
Remember, if you’re writing an argument about whether they really existed, you’ll need to present evidence to support your argument but will also need to address the counterargument.
Read How to Write a Winning Argument Essay to learn more about argument writing.
6. Examine the causes and effects of the Cold War. What were the underlying causes of conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union? What were the effects of the Cold War on the United States, the Soviet Union, or other parts of the world?
If you want to write about the Cold War, you could also write about the events that precipitated the ending of the Cold War.
Read this tip sheet on cause and effect papers for more help with this type of essay.
7. Examine the causes and effects of China’s one-child policy. Why did China implement a one-child policy, and what effect did this have on the country and its citizens? (Note: In 2015, the government began to phase out the one-child policy. Why was this necessary?)
8. Argue that there are positive effects of war. Most argue that there are only negative results of war. However, some argue that war produces positive changes in culture and encourages patriotism. (You might examine war in general or focus your argument on a specific war.)
9. Compare the Salem Witch Trials to another historical event. The era of the Salem Witch Trials was a time of fear and paranoia. Compare this time period to other times of hysteria, such as The Red Scare or the months following the September 11 terror attacks.
10. Examine the war on drugs throughout history. The war on drugs isn’t a recent phenomenon. Examine the use, influence, and prosecution of drugs throughout history.
You could chronicle the more recent developments of the war on drugs (the past 20–30 years), or you might try another angle and consider opium use and trade in China or the use and cultivation of spiritual and medicinal plants in Native American culture.
11. Argue how a specific invention changed history. This type of paper might examine inventions, such as electricity, television, the phone, or the personal computer. Or the paper might focus on medical discoveries, such as the polio vaccine or penicillin.
12. How has feminism either positively or negatively changed society? This type of paper might present both positive and negative aspects or examine only positive or only negative influences. You might focus your discussion on one society or compare and contrast different regions or countries.
13. Examine the historical significance of the number 13. Why is 13 considered an unlucky number in the United States? Some trace the unlucky origins back to the Bible. Others point to mythology. You might examine the number’s origin and why the number is still considered unlucky today (think Friday the 13th).
But wait…I don’t know anything about any of these history essay topics
You probably know something about some of these history essay topics, but maybe not enough to write a successful paper. This simply means that you’ll need to do some research.
Locating a variety of resources, including primary and secondary sources, will help you turn the boring textbook stuff into a more lively and interesting read.
If you need even more help with research, check out these posts:
Ready to share your draft and have the Kibin editors provide feedback? Send it our way!
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