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Mythic Origins of the Easter Story

By Valerie Tarico

In this post about the mythic origins of Easter, Valerie Tarico , author of The Dark Side, interviews Dr. Tony Nugent, scholar of world religions and mythology. Dr. Nugent is a symbologist, an expert in ancient symbols. He has taught at Seattle University for the past fifteen years in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies and is a Presbyterian minister.

Tarico: Easter is coming. Some people are saying that the crucifixion and resurrection narratives simply retell the cycle of seasons, the death and return of the Sun. Others say that these stories are literal histories. But you say the reality is more complicated than either of these. You argue that the Easter stories – the death and resurrection of Jesus have very specific mythic origins.

Nugent: I view the story of Christ in the Gospels of the New Testament as a powerful and spiritually wise sacred story. While the story is told as if it happened, it is a theologically and mythically constructed history...

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