The term \mythology\ can refer either to the study of myths, or to a body or collection of myths (a mythos, e.g. , Inca mythology). In folkloristics, a myth is a sacred narrative usually explaining how the world or humankind came to be in its present form, although, in a very broad sense, the word can refer to any traditional story. Bruce Lincoln defines myth as \ideology in narrative form\. Myths typically involve supernatural characters and are endorsed by rulers or priests. They may arise as either truthful depictions or overelaborated accounts of historical events, as allegory for or personification of natural phenomena, or as an explanation of ritual. They are transmitted to convey religious or idealized experience, to establish behavioral models, and to teach. Early rival classifications of Greek mythos by Euhemerus, Plato's Phaedrus, and Sallustius were developed by the neoplatonists and revived by Renaissance mythographers as in the Theologia mythologica (1532). Nineteenth-century comparative mythology reinterpreted myth as evolution toward science, \disease of language\, or misinterpretation of magical ritual. Later interpretations rejected opposition between myth and science, such as Jungian archetypes, Joseph Campbell's \metaphor of spiritual potentiality\, or Lévi-Strauss's fixed mental architecture. Tension between Campbell's comparative search for monomyth or Ur-myth and anthropological mythologists' skepticism of universal origin has marked the 20th century. Further, modern mythopoeia such as fantasy novels, manga, and urban legend, with many competing artificial mythoi acknowledged as fiction, supports the idea of myth as ongoing social practice.
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