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Anna Maria Destro

In: 21st Century Anthropology: A Reference Handbook

Chapter 23: Cosmology and Mythology

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Cosmology and Mythology
Cosmology and mythology

The term cosmology comes from the Greek word kosmos, meaning “the world or universe as an ordered and harmonious system.” A cosmology is any composition or cultural construct relating to the structure and process of systems of creation: the origins of physical elements of earthly or astronomical spheres, the genesis of the material world, the order and function of the observable universe. In philosophy, it is taken to mean that part of metaphysics dealing with the idea of the world as a totality of all phenomena in space and time.

According to Greek thought, cosmos came out of chaos-the formless void, or a state of utter confusion and disorder-by separating the different elements. The concept is often associated with cosmogony, referring ...

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