Polity and Cosmogony: A Study of Three Myths

Doctoral Dissertation


This dissertation addresses the formative power of myth from the standpoint of political philosophy. Although a work in political theory, its approach is empirically oriented. Taking up three distinct kinds of myth arising in three different socio-historical contexts, the dissertation examines the role played by each in shaping both speculative thought and practical and ritual activities in its corresponding context. The myths and societies examined are Enuma Elish in the context of ancient Mesopotamia, Genesis 1 – 2:4a in that of ancient Israel, and two modern myths – Thomas Mann’s Roman der Seele and the National Socialist myth of Volk, Reich, and FÌ_hrer – in the context of modern Germany. Such examination yields a comparative basis upon which to explore critical questions surrounding the relationship of myth to human thought and life.


Attribute NameValues
  • etd-07192005-092205

Author Jodi Lynn Bruhn
Advisor Edward Goerner
Contributor Frederick Crosson, Committee Member
Contributor Edward Goerner, Committee Chair
Contributor Vittorio Hösle, Committee Member
Contributor Catherine Zuckert, Committee Member
Degree Level Doctoral Dissertation
Degree Discipline Political Science
Degree Name PhD
Defense Date
  • 2005-06-24

Submission Date 2005-07-19
  • United States of America

  • myth

  • political community

  • kingship

  • University of Notre Dame

  • English

Record Visibility Public
Content License
  • All rights reserved

Departments and Units


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