Why Myths Matter to Americans


Myth Matter flyerThe “Why Myths Matter” forum is the second in a two-year series of forums dedicated to the theme of American myths. It is held on February 24, 2016 at the Arch Street UMC in Philadelphia PA. Click here to view information on the entire series. Speakers are listed below along with a guide to navigate the podcast:

1:00 – Welcome and short reflection by Rev. Robin Hynicka – Jeremiah 10

6:18 – Speaker introductions and overview of the book Myths of the Rune Stone – author David M. Krueger

24:50 – Dr. Jon Paul – Lutheran Theological Seminary – What about the role of fantasy and playfulness in the rune stone story? References to novelists Ole Rolvaag and Louise Erdrich.

33:00 – Dr. Nathan Wright – Bryn Mawr College – Despite the dangers of myth to exclude and dominate, they are necessary for societies to function. References to Durkheim, Bellah, and other sociologists.

45:50 – Dr. Katie Oxx – St. Joseph’s University – The ways that Catholics negotiate American identity. A comparison of the “Pope stone” and the “rune stone.” References to “new materialism.” How do material artifacts act on us?

54:00 – Rev. Jim McIntire – Havertown UMC – Myth fills a gap in public discourse. Conspiracy theorists like Scott Wolter profit handsomely from propagating myths.  Reflections Joseph Campbell’s book on myths.

1:10:50 – Audience Response


Myth of a Christian Nation

This message was delivered at Arch Street United Methodist Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on August 16, 2015. My argument is that the claim that the United States was founded as a Christian nation is both bad history and bad theology. For further reading on the topic, I suggest the following books:

  • Steven K. Green – Inventing a Christian America: The Myth of the Religious Founding
  • Richard T. Hughes – Christian America and the Kingdom of God
  • Kevin Kruse – On Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America
  • Gregory A. Boyd – Myth of a Christian Nation: How the Quest for Political Power is Destroying the Church

Note: A manuscript will be posted in the future. An article based on this message, has been submitted for publication.