I read this in "Kafka on the shore":

Greek gods are more mythological than religious figures. By that I mean they have the same character flaws humans do. They fly off the handle, get horny, jealous, forgetful. You name it."

In the part that I have highlighted, the character says that by mythological, he means "having character flaws" but that doesn't correspond to the definition of the word(of or relating to mythology or myths) I find in Merriam webster dictionary. So what am I missing? And one other thing are not "Greek gods" "religious figures"? as the narrator seem to imply the opposite.

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    That's certainly not a way I would use the word. If I said 'Greek gods are more mythological than religious figures', what I would mean is that nowadays very few people worship them or practise their religion. – Angelos Dec 24 '19 at 15:23

You are parsing that sentence incorrectly.

The authors explanation refers to the phrase "more mythological than religious" not just to the single word "mythological".

The author is basically stating that while modern English really only has words to cover "Gods" and "Humans", the Greek gods fall into a middle ground. Indeed, scholarly treatments often refers to 'classes' of gods within the whole corpus of "Greek Myths", with some being referred to as "demi gods" and with many figures being "children of the gods" or in some cases children via a mortal woman.

He is probably also pointing out the difference between figures that are treated as infallible, and figures who are 'merely' immortal, but not really worshipped.

  • The monotheistic faiths see God as entirely good, but the Greek and Roman gods were more like personifications of particular attributes, with their own 'human' failings, than ideal beings to be revered. – Kate Bunting Dec 24 '19 at 16:07
  • @KateBunting I'm not sure that the 'Old Testament' God could entirely be referred to as 'good' - quite commonly he is referred to as 'vengeful' or similar! – Mike Brockington Dec 24 '19 at 16:11

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