The reader is presented with two different modes of purification the merits of which are implicitly evaluated by the organisation of the spiritual world charted out in the eschatological myth which Socrates presents just before his death.
The eschatological myth validates the Socratic re-enactment of the Theseus myth because it justifies the philosophical form of catharsis.
Baumgartner's opening chapter, prefaced by a useful glossary of terms, argues that eschatological myths
are well-nigh universal, with the large exception of Confucian thought, but especially pervasive and urgent in the monotheistic religions of the West.
However, whether at national, sub-national or supra-national level, social groups do often define the meaning of their present situation in the light of foundation myths of their origins as communities (various versions of the American myth of the Founding Fathers, for instance) or cathartic events of destruction and regeneration which indelibly reaffirmed the significance of those origins, on the one hand, and eschatological myths
of their future destination (the Nazi myth of the Thousand-Year Reich, for instance), on the other.