By Ms. Sarah Iles Johnston
Spiritual ideals and practices, which permeated all facets of existence in antiquity, traveled well-worn routes through the Mediterranean: itinerant charismatic practitioners visiting from position to put peddled their abilities as healers, purifiers, cursers, and initiators; and vessels embellished with illustrations of myths traveled with them. New gods encountered in international lands via retailers and conquerors have been occasionally taken domestic to be tailored and followed. This choice of essays via a distinctive overseas team of students, drawn from the groundbreaking reference paintings faith within the historic international, bargains an expansive, comparative standpoint in this advanced religious international.
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Additional info for Ancient Religions
Amun is just a name screening the true and hidden name of this god, of whom another hymn states: People fall down immediately for fear if his name is uttered knowingly or unknowingly. There is no god able to call him by it. In Egypt, this concept of a Supreme Being comprising in his essence the whole pantheon goes back to the Ramesside period (13th century bce) and seems to monotheism and polytheism 27 be a reaction to Akhenaten’s monotheistic revolution. It stresses the oneness of god while retaining the multiplicity of the divine.
Thus, Amun is the lord of Thebes, in whom the sungod, Re, becomes manifest. Ptah is the lord of Memphis, Sokar the god of its necropolis, Osiris the god of the underworld and the dead whose Memphite representation is to be seen in Ptah-Sokar. This relationship between deities does not mean equation or fusion; the gods retain their individuality. Re does not merge into Amun or vice versa. The gods enter into a relationship of mutual determination and complementation: Re becomes the cosmic aspect of Amun, Amun the cultic and local aspect of Re; Atum refers to the nocturnal, and Khepri to the diurnal aspect of the sun-god.
Monotheism is self-description, polytheism is construction of the other. However, although polytheistic religions include a concept of divine unity, these religions undoubtedly do worship a plethora of gods, which justiﬁes applying a word built on the element poly (many) to them. Unity in this case does not mean the exclusive worship of one god, but the structure and coherence of the divine world, which is not just an accumulation of deities, but a structured whole, a pantheon. Theologia tripertita The most cogent theory of polytheism comes from an ancient author.
Ancient Religions by Ms. Sarah Iles Johnston