The Shinto Creation Story And Genesis

2155 words - 9 pages

“And God said let there be light, and there was light…” according to the Genesis story, an entity which bears no tangible face or bodily structure created the world with nothing more than a swift tongue. It bore the shape of the earth, the plentiful bounty of the soil, the beauty of animals, and the wonder known as humanity all within the timespan of seven days. It created the notion of societal law, moral principle, and a reverence for a deity by loyal subjects. And it instituted a harsh rule of law which instigated the idea that if any part of you, mind or body, were to disobey it, you would be punished in the now and in the after. Nonetheless, the Christian telling of how our world came to be, although following a path negligent of the idea of a multilateral approach to understanding God, seems to carry some similarities to that of Shintoism. Or differences? The Shinto creation story is a work of art in and of itself, not to mention it takes on the idea that multiple humanoid deities, not an unidentified mass of spiritual benevolence, created this world. In addition, we take on a different approach to creation, in which rather than things being born out of spoken word, our world was actually artistically created by two master creators of land and sea, Izanagi no Mikoto and Izanami no Mikoto .
First, let us analyze the particulars of the Christian Genesis story as to begin formulating the basis of comparison and contrast. We shall look at the two parts of Genesis, the first discussing the formulation of earth and its inner particulars, in concert with the first few verses associated with the second part of Genesis, which touches on the creation of the first man and woman:
“Light is commanded to appear… the light is divided from the darkness, and they are named “day” and “night.” The Second day God makes a firmament to divide the waters above from the waters below, the firmament is named “Skies…” God commands the waters below to be gathered together in one place, and dry land to appear… “Earth” and “sea” are named. God commands the earth to bring forth grass, plants and fruit bearing trees…”
These are the first three verses in Genesis, and formulate the basic framework of the earth as we have come to know it. God, as the benevolent and mighty being he is, draws the together out of nothing, defying the idea of physics and laws which bind us to the constraints of the natural world. He created the sea, land, animals, and plants without asking if such a thing was possible, or what would something like this even look like. As he declared the world to be illuminated, to be bountiful, to provide nutrients to plants, to divide things between sky and land, land and ocean, we notice that all of this based on spoken word. Again, the key thing to realize is that God, in no way shape or form is conducting this orchestra of creation through tangible means. All of which adds to the awe of God, that an entity so great and vast in power and knowledge, body...

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