HOME
The Info List - Polytheism


--- Advertisement ---



Polytheism
Polytheism
(from Greek πολυθεϊσμός, polytheismos) is the worship of or belief in multiple deities, which are usually assembled into a pantheon of gods and goddesses, along with their own religions and rituals. In most religions which accept polytheism, the different gods and goddesses are representations of forces of nature or ancestral principles, and can be viewed either as autonomous or as aspects or emanations of a creator deity or transcendental absolute principle (monistic theologies), which manifests immanently in nature (panentheistic and pantheistic theologies).[1] Most of the polytheistic deities of ancient religions, with the notable exceptions of the Ancient Egyptian[2] and Hindu deities, were conceived as having physical bodies. Polytheism
Polytheism
is a type of theism. Within theism, it contrasts with monotheism, the belief in a singular God, in most cases transcendent. Polytheists do not always worship all the gods equally, but they can be henotheists, specializing in the worship of one particular deity. Other polytheists can be kathenotheists, worshiping different deities at different times. Polytheism
Polytheism
was the typical form of religion during the Bronze Age
Bronze Age
and Iron Age
Iron Age
up to the Axial Age
Axial Age
and the development of Abrahamic religions, the latter of which enforced strict monotheism. It is well documented in historical religions of Classical antiquity, especially ancient Greek religion and ancient Roman religion, and after the decline of Greco-Roman polytheism in tribal religions such as Germanic paganism or Slavic paganism. Important polytheistic religions practiced today include Chinese traditional religion, Hinduism, Japanese Shinto, and various neopagan faiths.

Contents

1 Terminology 2 Soft polytheism versus hard polytheism 3 Gods and divinity 4 Types of deities 5 Mythology
Mythology
and religion 6 Historical polytheism

6.1 Ancient Greece

7 Folk religion 8 Contemporary world religions

8.1 Buddhism
Buddhism
and Shinto 8.2 Christianity

8.2.1 Mormonism

8.3 Hinduism 8.4 Reconstructionism 8.5 Serer religion

9 Neopaganism

9.1 Wicca

10 Use as a term of abuse 11 See also 12 References 13 Further reading 14 External links

Terminology[edit] The term comes from the Greek πολύ poly ("many") and θεός theos ("god") and was first invented by the Jewish writer Philo of Alexandria to argue with the Greeks. When Christianity spread throughout Europe and the Mediterranean, non-Christians were just called Gentiles (a term originally used by Jews to refer to non-Jews) or pagans (locals) or by the clearly pejorative term idolaters (worshiping "false" gods). The modern usage of the term is first revived in French through Jean Bodin
Jean Bodin
in 1580, followed by Samuel Purchas's usage in English in 1614.[3] Soft polytheism versus hard polytheism[edit]

This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (August 2014) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

A central, main division in polytheism is between soft polytheism and hard polytheism. "Hard" polytheism is the belief that gods are distinct, separate, real divine beings, rather than psychological archetypes or personifications of natural forces. Hard polytheists reject the idea that "all gods are one god." "Hard" polytheists do not necessarily consider the gods of all cultures as being equally real, a theological position formally known as integrational polytheism or omnitheism. This is contrasted with "soft" polytheism, which holds that gods may be aspects of only one god, that the pantheons of other cultures are representative of one single pantheon, psychological archetypes or personifications of natural forces. Gods and divinity[edit] Main articles: Deity, God
God
(male deity), and Goddess

This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (September 2014) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

The deities of polytheism are often portrayed as complex personages of greater or lesser status, with individual skills, needs, desires and histories; in many ways similar to humans (anthropomorphic) in their personality traits, but with additional individual powers, abilities, knowledge or perceptions. Polytheism
Polytheism
cannot be cleanly separated from the animist beliefs prevalent in most folk religions. The gods of polytheism are in many cases the highest order of a continuum of supernatural beings or spirits, which may include ancestors, demons, wights and others. In some cases these spirits are divided into celestial or chthonic classes, and belief in the existence of all these beings does not imply that all are worshipped. Types of deities[edit] Further information: List of deities

This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (September 2014) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

Types of deities often found in polytheism may include

Creator deity Culture hero Death deity
Death deity
(chthonic) Life-death-rebirth deity Love goddess Mother goddess Political deity (such as a king or emperor) Sky deity
Sky deity
(celestial) Solar deity Trickster
Trickster
deity Water deity Gods of music, arts, science, farming or other endeavors.

Mythology
Mythology
and religion[edit] Main article: Mythology
Mythology
and religion

This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (September 2014) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

In the Classical era, Sallustius (4th century AD) categorised mythology into five types:

Theological Physical Psychological Material Mixed

The theological are those myths which use no bodily form but contemplate the very essence of the gods: e.g., Cronus
Cronus
swallowing his children. Since divinity is intellectual, and all intellect returns into itself, this myth expresses in allegory the essence of divinity. Myths may be regarded physically when they express the activities of gods in the world. The psychological way is to regard (myths as allegories of) the activities of the soul itself and or the soul's acts of thought. The material is to regard material objects to actually be gods, for example: to call the earth Gaia, ocean Okeanos, or heat Typhon. Historical polytheism[edit] Some well-known historical polytheistic pantheons include the Sumerian gods and the Egyptian gods, and the classical-attested pantheon which includes the ancient Greek religion and Roman religion. Post-classical polytheistic religions include Norse Æsir
Æsir
and Vanir, the Yoruba Orisha, the Aztec gods, and many others. Today, most historical polytheistic religions are referred to as "mythology",[4] though the stories cultures tell about their gods should be distinguished from their worship or religious practice. For instance deities portrayed in conflict in mythology would still be worshipped sometimes in the same temple side by side, illustrating the distinction in the devotees mind between the myth and the reality. Scholars such as Jaan Puhvel, J. P. Mallory, and Douglas Q. Adams have reconstructed aspects of the ancient Proto-Indo-European religion, from which the religions of the various Indo-European peoples derive, and that this religion was an essentially naturalist numenistic religion. An example of a religious notion from this shared past is the concept of *dyēus, which is attested in several distinct religious systems. In many civilizations, pantheons tended to grow over time. Deities first worshipped as the patrons of cities or places came to be collected together as empires extended over larger territories. Conquests could lead to the subordination of the elder culture's pantheon to a newer one, as in the Greek Titanomachia, and possibly also the case of the Æsir
Æsir
and Vanir
Vanir
in the Norse mythos. Cultural exchange could lead to "the same" deity being renowned in two places under different names, as seen with the Greeks, Etruscans, and Romans, and also to the cultural transmission of elements of an extraneous religion into a local cult, as with worship of the ancient Egyptian deity Osiris, which was later followed in ancient Greece. Most ancient belief systems held that gods influenced human lives. However, the Greek philosopher Epicurus
Epicurus
held that the gods were living, incorruptible, blissful beings who did not trouble themselves with the affairs of mortals, but who could be perceived by the mind, especially during sleep. Epicurus
Epicurus
believed that these gods were material, human-like, and that they inhabited the empty spaces between worlds. Hellenistic religion
Hellenistic religion
may still be regarded as polytheistic, but with strong monistic components, and monotheism finally emerges from Hellenistic traditions in Late Antiquity
Late Antiquity
in the form of Neoplatonism and Christian theology.

Neolithic
Neolithic
Era

Serer religion[5]

Bronze Age
Bronze Age
to Classical Antiquity

Religions of the Ancient Near East

Ancient Egyptian religion Ancient Semitic religion

Historical Vedic religion Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek
religion Ancient Roman religion Celtic polytheism

Late Antiquity
Late Antiquity
to High Middle Ages

Germanic paganism Slavic paganism Baltic paganism Finnish paganism

Ancient Greece[edit] Main article: Religion
Religion
in ancient Greece The classical scheme in Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece
of the Twelve Olympians
Twelve Olympians
(the Canonical Twelve of art and poetry) were:[6][7] Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Athena, Ares, Demeter, Apollo, Artemis, Hephaestus, Aphrodite, Hermes, and Hestia. Though it is suggested that Hestia
Hestia
stepped down when Dionysus
Dionysus
was invited to Mount Olympus, this is a matter of controversy. Robert Graves' The Greek Myths cites two sources[8][9] that obviously do not suggest Hestia
Hestia
surrendered her seat, though he suggests she did. Hades[10] was often excluded because he dwelt in the underworld. All of the gods had a power. There was, however, a great deal of fluidity as to whom was counted among their number in antiquity.[11] Different cities often worshipped the same deities, sometimes with epithets that distinguished them and specified their local nature. The Hellenic Polytheism
Polytheism
extended beyond mainland Greece, to the islands and coasts of Ionia
Ionia
in Asia Minor, to Magna Graecia
Magna Graecia
(Sicily and southern Italy), and to scattered Greek colonies in the Western Mediterranean, such as Massalia (Marseille). Greek religion tempered Etruscan cult and belief to form much of the later Roman religion. Folk religion[edit] Main article: Folk religion Further information: Saint, Angel, Folk Catholicism, and Shamanism

This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (August 2010) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

The animistic nature of folk beliefs is an anthropological cultural universal. The belief in ghosts and spirits animating the natural world and the practice of ancestor worship is universally present in the world's cultures and re-emerges in monotheistic or materialistic societies as "superstition", belief in demons, tutelary saints, fairies or extraterrestrials. The presence of a full polytheistic religion, complete with a ritual cult conducted by a priestly caste, requires a higher level of organization and is not present in every culture. In Eurasia, the Kalash are one of very few instances of surviving polytheism. Also, a large number of polytheistic folk traditions are subsumed in contemporary Hinduism, although Hinduism
Hinduism
is doctrinally dominated by monist or monotheist theology (Bhakti, Advaita). Historical Vedic polytheist ritualism survives as a minor current in Hinduism, known as Shrauta. More widespread is folk Hinduism, with rituals dedicated to various local or regional deities. Contemporary world religions[edit] Buddhism
Buddhism
and Shinto[edit] Further information: God
God
in Buddhism, Deva (Buddhism), and Nontheism in Buddhism

This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (February 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

In Buddhism, there are higher beings commonly designed (or designated) as gods, Devas; however, Buddhism, at its core (the original Pali canon), does not teach the notion of praying nor worship to the Devas or any god(s). However, in Buddhism, the core leader 'Buddha', who pioneered the path to enlightenment is not worshiped in meditation, but simply reflected upon. Statues or images of the Buddha (Buddharupas) are worshiped in front of to reflect and contemplate on qualities that the particular position of that rupa represents. In Buddhism, there is no creator and the Buddha rejected the idea that a permanent, personal, fixed, omniscient deity can exist, linking into the core concept of impermanence (anicca). Devas, in general, are beings who have had more positive karma in their past lives than humans. Their lifespan eventually ends. When their lives end, they will be reborn as devas or as other beings. When they accumulate negative karma, they are reborn as either human or any of the other lower beings. Humans and other beings could also be reborn as a deva in their next rebirth, if they accumulate enough positive karma; however, it is not recommended. Buddhism
Buddhism
flourished in different countries, and some of those countries have polytheistic folk religions. Buddhism
Buddhism
syncretizes easily with other religions. Thus, Buddhism
Buddhism
has mixed with the folk religions and emerged in polytheistic variants as well as non-theistic variants. For example, in Japan, Buddhism, mixed with Shinto, which worships deities called kami, created a tradition which prays to the deities of Shinto
Shinto
as a form of Buddha. Thus, there may be elements of worship of gods in some forms of later Buddhism. The concepts of Adi-Buddha
Adi-Buddha
and Dharmakaya
Dharmakaya
are the closest to monotheism any form of Buddhism
Buddhism
comes. All famous sages and Bodhisattvas being considered as reflections of it.[clarification needed] Adi-Buddha
Adi-Buddha
is not said to be the creator, but the originator of all things, being a deity in an Emanationist sense. Christianity[edit] See also: God
God
in Christianity and Trinity

This section has been nominated to be checked for its neutrality. Discussion of this nomination can be found on the talk page. (October 2014) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

It is sometimes claimed that Christianity is not truly monotheistic because of its teaching about the Trinity.[12] This is the position of some Jews and Muslims who contend that because of the adoption of a Triune conception of deity, Christianity is actually a form of Tritheism or Polytheism,[citation needed] for example see Shituf. However, the central doctrine of Christianity is that "one God
God
exists in Three Persons and One Substance".[13] Strictly speaking, the doctrine is a revealed mystery which while above reason is not contrary to it.[clarification needed][13] The word 'person' is an imperfect translation of the original term "hypostasis". In everyday speech "person" denotes a separate rational and moral individual, possessed of self-consciousness, and aware of individual identity despite changes. A human person is a distinct individual essence in whom human nature is individualized. But in God
God
there are no three individuals alongside of, and separate from, one another, but only personal self distinctions[clarification needed] within the divine essence, which is not only generically[clarification needed], but also numerically, one.[14] Although the doctrine of the Trinity
Trinity
was not definitely formulated before the First Council of Constantinople
First Council of Constantinople
in 381, the doctrine of one God, inherited from Judaism was always the indubitable premiss of the Church's faith.[15] Jordan Paper, a Western scholar and self-described polytheist, considers polytheism to be the normal state in human culture. He argues that "Even the Catholic Church shows polytheistic aspects with the 'worshipping' of the saints." On the other hand, he complains, monotheistic missionaries and scholars were eager to see a proto-monotheism or at least henotheism in polytheistic religions, for example, when taking from the Chinese pair of Sky and Earth only one part and calling it the King of Heaven, as Matteo Ricci
Matteo Ricci
did.[16] Mormonism[edit] Further information: God
God
in Mormonism Joseph Smith, the founder of the Latter Day Saint
Saint
movement, believed in "the plurality of Gods", saying "I have always declared God
God
to be a distinct personage, Jesus Christ a separate and distinct personage from God
God
the Father, and that the Holy Ghost
Ghost
was a distinct personage and a Spirit: and these three constitute three distinct personages and three Gods".[17] Mormonism also affirms the existence of a Heavenly Mother,[18] as well as exaltation, the idea that people can become like god in the afterlife,[19] and the prevailing view among Mormons is that God
God
the Father was once a man who lived on a planet with his own higher God, and who became perfect after following this higher God.[20][21] Some critics of Mormonism argue that statements in the Book of Mormon
Book of Mormon
describe a trinitarian conception of God
God
(e.g. 2 Nephi 31:21; Alma 11:44), but were superseded by later revelations.[22] Mormons teach that scriptural statements on the unity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost
Ghost
represent a oneness of purpose, not of substance.[23] They believe that the early Christian church did not characterize divinity in terms of an immaterial, formless shared substance until post-apostolic theologians began to incorporate Greek metaphysical philosophies (such as Neoplatonism) into Christian doctrine.[24][25] Mormons believe that the truth about God's nature was restored through modern day revelation, which reinstated the original Judeo-Christian concept of a natural, corporeal, immortal God,[26] who is the literal Father of the spirits of humans.[27] It is to this personage alone that Mormons pray, as He is and always will be their Heavenly Father, the supreme " God
God
of gods" (Deuteronomy 10:17). In the sense that Mormons worship only God
God
the Father, they consider themselves monotheists. Nevertheless, Mormons adhere to Christ's teaching that those who receive God's word can obtain the title of "gods" (John 10:33-36), because as literal children of God
God
they can take upon themselves His divine attributes.[28] Mormons teach that "The glory of God
God
is intelligence" (Doctrine and Covenants 93:36), and that it is by sharing the Father's perfect comprehension of all things that both Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit
Spirit
are also divine.[29] Hinduism[edit] Further information: Hindu views on monotheism Hinduism
Hinduism
is not a monolithic religion: many extremely varied religious traditions and practices are grouped together under this umbrella term and some modern scholars have questioned the legitimacy of unifying them artificially and suggest that one should speak of "Hinduisms" in the plural.[30] Theistic Hinduism
Hinduism
encompasses both monotheistic and polytheistic tendencies and variations on or mixes of both structures. Hindus venerate deities in the form of the murti, or idol. The Puja (worship) of the murti is like a way to communicate with the formless, abstract divinity ( Brahman
Brahman
in Hinduism) which creates, sustains and dissolves creation. However, there are sects who have advocated that there is no need of giving a shape to God
God
and it is omnipresent and beyond the things which human can see or feel tangibly. Specially the Arya Samaj
Arya Samaj
founded by Swami Dayananda Saraswati
Dayananda Saraswati
and Brahmo Samaj founder by Ram Mohan Roy
Ram Mohan Roy
(there are others also) do not worship deities. Arya Samaj
Arya Samaj
favours Vedic chants and Havan, Brahmo Samaj
Brahmo Samaj
go for simple prayers.[citation needed] Some Hindu philosophers and theologians argue for a transcendent metaphysical structure with a single divine essence.[citation needed] This divine essence is usually referred to as Brahman
Brahman
or Atman, but the understanding of the nature of this absolute divine essence is the line which defines many Hindu philosophical traditions such as Vedanta. Among lay Hindus, some believe in different deities emanating from Brahman, while others practice more traditional polytheism and henotheism, focusing their worship on one or more personal deities, while granting the existence of others. Academically speaking, the ancient Vedic scriptures, upon which Hinduism
Hinduism
is derived, describe four authorized disciplic lines of teaching coming down over thousands of years. (Padma Purana). Four of them propound that the Absolute Truth is Fully Personal, as in Judeo-Christian theology. That the Primal Original God
God
is Personal, both transcendent and immanent throughout creation. He can be, and is often approached through worship of Murtis, called "Archa-Vigraha", which are described in the Vedas
Vedas
as likenesses of His various dynamic, spiritual Forms. This is the Vaisnava theology. The fifth disciplic line of Vedic spirituality, founded by Adi Shankaracharya, promotes the concept that the Absolute is Brahman, without clear differentiations, without will, without thought, without intelligence. In the Smarta
Smarta
denomination of Hinduism, the philosophy of Advaita expounded by Shankara allows veneration of numerous deities[citation needed] with the understanding that all of them are but manifestations of one impersonal divine power, Brahman. Therefore, according to various schools of Vedanta
Vedanta
including Shankara, which is the most influential and important Hindu theological tradition, there are a great number of deities in Hinduism, such as Vishnu, Shiva, Ganesha, Hanuman, Lakshmi, and Kali, but they are essentially different forms of the same "Being".[citation needed] However, many Vedantic philosophers also argue that all individuals were united by the same impersonal, divine power in the form of the Atman. Many other Hindus, however, view polytheism as far preferable to monotheism. Ram Swarup, for example, points to the Vedas
Vedas
as being specifically polytheistic,[31] and states that, "only some form of polytheism alone can do justice to this variety and richness."[32] Sita Ram Goel, another 20th-century Hindu historian, wrote:

"I had an occasion to read the typescript of a book [Ram Swarup] had finished writing in 1973. It was a profound study of Monotheism, the central dogma of both Islam and Christianity, as well as a powerful presentation of what the monotheists denounce as Hindu Polytheism. I had never read anything like it. It was a revelation to me that Monotheism
Monotheism
was not a religious concept but an imperialist idea. I must confess that I myself had been inclined towards Monotheism
Monotheism
till this time. I had never thought that a multiplicity of Gods was the natural and spontaneous expression of an evolved consciousness."[33]

Some Hindus construe this notion of polytheism in the sense of polymorphism—one God
God
with many forms or names. The Rig Veda, the primary Hindu scripture, elucidates this as follows:

They call him Indra, Mitra, Varuna, Agni, and he is heavenly nobly-winged Garutman. To what is One, sages give many a title they call it Agni, Yama, Matarisvan. Book
Book
I, Hymn 164, Verse 46 Rigveda[34]

Reconstructionism[edit] Main article: Polytheistic reconstructionism Reconstructionist polytheists apply scholarly disciplines such as history, archaeology and language study to revive ancient, traditional religions that have been fragmented, damaged or even destroyed, such as Norse Paganism, Greek Paganism, Celtic polytheism
Celtic polytheism
and others. A reconstructionist endeavours to revive and reconstruct an authentic practice, based on the ways of the ancestors but workable in contemporary life. These polytheists sharply differ from neopagans in that they consider their religion not only inspired by the religions of antiquity but often as an actual continuation or revival of those religions.[35] Serer religion[edit] Main articles: Serer religion, Timeline of Serer history, and States headed by ancient Serer Lamanes In Africa, polytheism in Serer religion
Serer religion
dates as far back to the Neolithic
Neolithic
Era (possibly earlier) when the ancient ancestors of the Serer people
Serer people
represented their Pangool
Pangool
on the Tassili n'Ajjer.[5] The supreme creator deity in Serer religion
Serer religion
is Roog. However, there are many deities[36] and Pangool
Pangool
(singular : Fangool, the interceders with the divine) in Serer religion.[5] Each one has its own purpose and serves as Roog's agent on Earth.[36] Amongst the Cangin speakers, a sub-group of the Serers, Roog
Roog
is known as Koox.[37] Neopaganism[edit] Further information: Theology, Pantheon (gods), Euhemerism, Interpretatio graeca, Demigod, and Apotheosis Neopaganism, also known as modern paganism and contemporary paganism,[38] is a group of contemporary religious movements influenced by or claiming to be derived from the various historical pagan beliefs of pre-modern Europe.[39][40] Although they do share commonalities, contemporary Pagan religious movements are diverse and no single set of beliefs, practices, or texts are shared by them all.[41] English occultist Dion Fortune
Dion Fortune
was a major populiser of soft polytheism. In her novel, The Sea Priestess, she wrote, "All gods are one god, and all goddesses are one goddess, and there is one initiator."[42] Wicca[edit] Main article: Wicca Wicca
Wicca
is a duotheistic faith created by Gerald Gardner that allows for polytheism.[43][44][45] Wiccans specifically worship the Lord and Lady of the Isles (their names are oathbound).[44][45][46][47] It is an orthopraxic mystery religion that requires initiation to the priesthood in order to consider oneself Wiccan.[44][45][48] Wicca emphasizes duality and the cycle of nature.[44][45][49] Use as a term of abuse[edit] The term 'polytheist' is sometimes used by Sunni
Sunni
Muslim groups such as Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
(ISIL) as a derogatory reference to Shiite
Shiite
Muslims, whom they view as having "strayed from Islam’s monotheistic creed because of the reverence they show for historical figures, like Imam Ali".[50] See also[edit]

Mythology
Mythology
portal

Apotheosis Henotheism Hellenismos Judgement of Paris Monotheism                       

Mythology Paganism Pantheism               Polytheistic reconstructionism

Shirk (polytheism) Theism West African Vodun

References[edit]

^ * Ulrich Libbrecht. Within the Four Seas...: Introduction to Comparative Philosophy. Peeters Publishers, 2007. ISBN 9042918128. p. 42. ^ Allen, James P. (2000). Middle Egyptian: An Introduction to the Language and Culture of Hieroglyphs, p. 44. ^ Schmidt, Francis (1987). The Inconceivable Polytheism: Studies in Religious Historiography. New York: Gordon & Breach Science Publishers. p. 10. ISBN 978-3718603671.  ^ Eugenie C. Scott, Evolution Vs. Creationism: An Introduction (2009), p. 58. ^ a b c (in French) Gravrand, Henry, "La civilisation Sereer - Pangool", Les Nouvelles Editions Africaines du Senegal, (1990), ISBN 2-7236-1055-1. pp 9, 20, 77 ^ "Greek mythology". Encyclopedia Americana. 13. 1993. p. 431.  ^ "Dodekatheon" [Twelve Olympians]. Papyrus Larousse Britannica (in Greek). 2007.  ^ "Apollodorus, Library, book 3, chapter 5, section 3".  ^ "Pausanias, Description of Greece".  ^ George Edward Rines, ed. (1919). Encyclopedia Americana
Encyclopedia Americana
Vol. 13. 13. Americana Corp. pp. 408–411.  ^ Stoll, Heinrich Wilhelm (R.B. Paul trans.) (1852). Handbook of the religion and mythology of the Greeks. Francis and John Rivington. p. 8. The limitation [of the number of Olympians] to twelve seems to have been a comparatively modern idea  ^ Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (1974) art. "Monotheism" ^ a b Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (1974) art. "Trinity, Doctrine of the" ^ Berkhof, Louis. Systematic Theology
Theology
(1949) page 87 ^ Kelly, J.N.D. Early Christian Doctrines A&C Black (1965) pp. 87,88 ^ Jordan Paper: The Deities are Many. A Polytheistic Theology. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2005, pp. 112 and 133. ^ Dahl, Paul E. (1992), "Godhead", in Ludlow, Daniel H, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, New York: Macmillan Publishing, pp. 552–553, ISBN 0-02-879602-0, OCLC 24502140  ^ Cannon, Elaine Anderson, "Mother in Heaven", Encyclopedia of Mormonism, p. 961  ^ Pope, Margaret McConkie, "Exaltation", Encyclopedia of Mormonism, p. 479  ^ "Religions: An explanation of Mormon beliefs about God", BBC, October 2, 2009, retrieved 2014-10-28 . ^ Riess, Jana; Bigelow, Christopher Kimball (2005), "Chapter 3: Heavenly Parents, Savior, and Holy Ghost", Mormonism for Dummies, John Wiley & Sons, ISBN 978-0-7645-7195-4  ^ Hoekema, Anthony (1969) [1963], The Four Major Cults: Christian Science, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormonism, Seventh-Day Adventism, Exeter, England: Paternoster Press, p. 34, ISBN 0853640947, OCLC 12735425 [unreliable source?] ^ Holland, Jeffrey R. (November 2007), "The Only True God
God
and Jesus Christ Whom He Hath Sent", Ensign  ^ Bickmore, Barry R. (2001), Does God
God
Have a Body In Human Form? (PDF), Foundation for Apologetic Information & Research  ^ Draper, Richard R. (April 1994), "The Reality
Reality
of the Resurrection", Ensign  ^ Webb, Steven H. (2012), Jesus Christ, Eternal God: Heavenly Flesh and the Metaphysics
Metaphysics
of Matter, Oxford University Press  ^ " God
God
Is Truly Our Father", Liahona, January 2010  ^ Lindsay, Jeff, "Relationships Between Man, Christ, and God", LDS FAQ: Mormon Answers, archived from the original on 2014-11-12  contribution= ignored (help) ^ "'The Glory of God
God
is Intelligence' - Lesson 37: Section 93", Doctrine and Covenants Instructor's Guide: Religion
Religion
324-325 (PDF), Institutes of Religion, Church Educational System, 1981, archived (PDF) from the original on 2014-11-12  ^ Smith, Brian. "Hinduism." New Dictionary of the History
History
of Ideas. 2005. Retrieved May 22, 2013 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3424300342.html ^ Goel, Sita Ram (1987). Defence of Hindu Society. New Delhi, India: Voice of India. "In the Vedic approach, there is no single God. This is bad enough. But the Hindus do not have even a supreme God, a fuhrer- God
God
who presides over a multiplicity of Gods." -- Ram Swarup  ^ Goel, Sita Ram (1987). Defence of Hindu Society. New Delhi, India: Voice of India.  ^ Goel, Sita Ram (1982). How I became a Hindu. New Delhi, India: Voice of India. p. 92.  ^ "RigVeda". The Sacred Books. Retrieved 22 May 2013.  ^ Alexander, T.J. (2007). Hellenismos
Hellenismos
Today. Lulu.com. p. 14. ISBN 9781430314271. Retrieved 23 August 2015.  ^ a b (in English) Kellog, Day Otis, and Smith, William Robertson, "The Encyclopædia Britannica: latest edition. A dictionary of arts, sciences and general literature", Volume 25, p 64, Werner (1902) ^ (in French) Ndiaye, Ousmane Sémou, "Diversité et unicité sérères : l’exemple de la région de Thiès", Éthiopiques, no. 54, vol. 7, 2e semestre 1991 [1] ^ Adler 2006, p. xiii. ^ Lewis 2004, p. 13. ^ Hanegraaff 1996, p. 84. ^ Carpenter 1996, p. 40. ^ Fortune, Dion; Knight, Gareth (30 June 2003). The Sea Priestess. Weiser. p. 169. ISBN 978-1-57863-290-9. All gods are one god, and all goddesses are one goddess, and there is one initiator.  ^ Gardner, Gerald (1982). The Meaning of Witchcraft. Llewellyn Pubns. pp. 165–166. ISBN 0939708027.  ^ a b c d Hutton, Ronald (2003). The Triumph of the Moon: A History
History
of Modern Pagan Witchcraft. Oxford Paperbacks. ISBN 0192854496.  ^ a b c d Lamond, Frederic (2005). Fifty Years of Wicca. Green Magic. ISBN 0954723015.  ^ Bracelin, J (1999). Gerald Gardner: Witch. Pentacle Enterprises. p. 199. ISBN 1872189083.  ^ Gardner, Gerald (1982). The Meaning of Witchcraft. Llewellyn Pubns. pp. 260–261. ISBN 0939708027.  ^ Gardner, Gerald (1982). The Meaning of Witchcraft. Llewellyn Pubns. pp. 21–22, 28–29, 69, 116. ISBN 0939708027.  ^ Gardner, Gerald (1982). The Meaning of Witchcraft. Llewellyn Pubns. ISBN 0939708027.  ^ Callimachi, Rukmini; Coker, Margaret (2018). "ISIS Claims Responsibility for Baghdad Bombings". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-01-21. The second refers to the group’s view that Shiites have strayed from Islam’s monotheistic creed because of the reverence they show for historical figures, like Imam Ali. 

Further reading[edit]

Assmann, Jan, ' Monotheism
Monotheism
and Polytheism' in: Sarah Iles Johnston (ed.), Religions of the Ancient World: A Guide, Harvard University Press (2004), ISBN 0-674-01517-7, pp. 17–31. Burkert, Walter, Greek Religion: Archaic and Classical, Blackwell (1985), ISBN 0-631-15624-0. Greer, John Michael; A World Full of Gods: An Inquiry Into Polytheism, ADF Publishing (2005), ISBN 0-9765681-0-1 Iles Johnston, Sarah; Ancient Religions, Belknap Press (September 15, 2007), ISBN 0-674-02548-2 Paper, Jordan; The Deities are Many: A Polytheistic Theology, State University of New York Press (March 3, 2005), ISBN 978-0-7914-6387-1 Penchansky, David, Twilight of the Gods: Polytheism
Polytheism
in the Hebrew Bible (2005), ISBN 0-664-22885-2. Swarup, Ram, & Frawley, David (2001). The word as revelation: Names of gods. New Delhi: Voice of India. ISBN 978-8185990682

External links[edit]

Wikiquote has quotations related to: Polytheism

Look up polytheism in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

The Association of Polytheist Traditions - APT, a UK-based community of Polytheists. International Year Of Polytheism
Polytheism
Philosophical project promoting polytheism by group monochrom Integrational Polytheism

v t e

Theism

Deity

Divinity Male Female List

God

Existence Gender

Agnostic theism Alatrism Animism Antitheism Apatheism Atheism

Agnostic Christian Evangelical Implicit/Explicit Jewish Negative/Positive Scientific or New atheism State atheism

Binitarianism Classical theism Deism

Ceremonial Christian Pandeism Polydeism

Dipolar theism Dystheism Egotheism Misotheism Henotheism Ietsism Kathenotheism Liberal theism Monolatry Monotheism

Ethical Post-monotheism

Mysticism Nontheism

Post-theism

Open theism Panentheism Pantheism

Classical Hylotheism Naturalistic

Philosophical theism Physitheism

Anthropotheism

Polytheism Skeptical theism Spiritualism Transtheism Trinitarianism Tritheism Unitarianism

Religion
Religion
portal

v t e

Paganism
Paganism
(historical and modern)

Animism Pantheism Polytheism

Historical polytheism

Altaic Tungusic Turkic-Mongolic Ancient Near Eastern: Mesopotamian Canaanite Egyptian Semitic Finno-Ugric (Uralic): Finnish-Estonian Caucasian: Georgian Vainakh Indo-European: Armenian Celtic Germanic

Anglo-Saxon Continental Norse

Greek

Sacred mysteries Hero cult

Persian Roman

Imperial cult

Scythian Slavic Vedic Mesoamerican: Aztec Maya Olmec

Myth and ritual

Animal worship Ethos Folklore Magic and religion Myth and ritual Mythology Orthopraxy Religion
Religion
and mythology Ritual Sacrifice

animal human

Sorcery Veneration of the dead Virtue Witchcraft

Christianization

Christianization
Christianization
of saints and feasts Christianity and Paganism Constantinian shift Hellenistic religion Iconoclasm Neoplatonism Religio licita Virtuous pagan

Modern pagan movements

Contemporary witchcraft: Cochranianism Feri Stregheria Wicca Ethnic / Reconstructionist: Armenian Baltic

Dievturība Druwi Romuva

Canarian Caucasian

Abkhaz Circassian

Celtic Turkic

Chuvash Altai

Germanic Hellenism Hungarian Italo-Roman Kemetic Ossetian Romanian Semitic Slavic Uralic

Estonian Finnish Mari Mordvin Udmurt

European Congress of Ethnic Religions Goddess
Goddess
movement Neo-Druidism

v t e

Philosophy

Branches

Traditional

Metaphysics

Ontology

Epistemology Logic Ethics Aesthetics

Philosophy
Philosophy
of

Action Art

Culture Design Music Film

Business Color Cosmos Dialogue Education Environment Futility Happiness Healthcare History Human nature Humor Feminism Language Life Literature Mathematics Mind

Pain Psychology

Philosophy
Philosophy
of psychiatry Philosophy
Philosophy
of perception Philosophy Religion Science

Physics Chemistry Biology Geography

Sexuality Social science

Culture Economics Justice Law Politics Society

Space and time Sport Technology

Artificial intelligence Computer science Engineering Information

War

Schools of thought

By era

Ancient Western

Medieval Renaissance Early modern Modern Contemporary

Ancient

Chinese

Agriculturalism Confucianism Legalism Logicians Mohism Chinese naturalism Neotaoism Taoism Yangism Zen

Greco-Roman

Aristotelianism Atomism Cynicism Cyrenaics Eleatics Eretrian school Epicureanism Hermeneutics Ionian

Ephesian Milesian

Megarian school Neoplatonism Peripatetic Platonism Pluralism Presocratic Pyrrhonism Pythagoreanism Neopythagoreanism Sophistic Stoicism

Indian

Samkhya Nyaya Vaisheshika Yoga Mīmāṃsā Ājīvika Ajñana Cārvāka Jain

Anekantavada Syādvāda

Buddhist

Śūnyatā Madhyamaka Yogacara Sautrāntika Svatantrika

Persian

Mazdakism Zoroastrianism Zurvanism

Medieval

European

Christian philosophy Scholasticism Thomism Renaissance humanism

East Asian

Korean Confucianism Edo Neo-Confucianism Neo-Confucianism

Indian

Vedanta

Acintya bheda abheda Advaita Bhedabheda Dvaita Dvaitadvaita Shuddhadvaita Vishishtadvaita

Navya-Nyāya

Islamic

Averroism Avicennism Illuminationism ʿIlm al-Kalām Sufi

Jewish

Judeo-Islamic

Modern

People

Cartesianism Kantianism Neo-Kantianism Hegelianism Marxism Spinozism

0

Anarchism Classical Realism Liberalism Collectivism Conservatism Determinism Dualism Empiricism Existentialism Foundationalism Historicism Holism Humanism Idealism

Absolute British German Objective Subjective Transcendental

Individualism Kokugaku Materialism Modernism Monism Naturalism Natural law Nihilism New Confucianism Neo-Scholasticism Pragmatism Phenomenology Positivism Reductionism Rationalism Social contract Socialism Transcendentalism Utilitarianism

Contemporary

Analytic

Applied ethics Analytic feminism Analytical Marxism Communitarianism Consequentialism Critical rationalism Experimental philosophy Falsificationism Foundationalism / Coherentism Generative linguistics Internalism and Externalism Logical positivism Legal positivism Normative ethics Meta-ethics Moral realism Neo-Aristotelian Quinean naturalism Ordinary language philosophy Postanalytic philosophy Quietism Rawlsian Reformed epistemology Systemics Scientism Scientific realism Scientific skepticism Contemporary utilitarianism Vienna Circle Wittgensteinian

Continental

Critical theory Deconstruction Existentialism Feminist Frankfurt School New Historicism Hermeneutics Neo-Marxism Phenomenology Postmodernism Post-structuralism Social constructionism Structuralism Western Marxism

Other

Kyoto School Objectivism Russian cosmism more...

Positions

Aesthetics

Formalism Institutionalism Aesthetic response

Ethics

Consequentialism Deontology Virtue

Free will

Compatibilism Determinism Libertarianism

Metaphysics

Atomism Dualism Monism Naturalism

Epistemology

Constructivism Empiricism Idealism Particularism Fideism Rationalism / Reasonism Skepticism Solipsism

Mind

Behaviorism Emergentism Eliminativism Epiphenomenalism Functionalism Objectivism Subjectivism

Normativity

Absolutism Particularism Relativism Nihilism Skepticism Universalism

Ontology

Action Event Process

Reality

Anti-realism Conceptualism Idealism Materialism Naturalism Nominalism Physicalism Realism

Philosophy
Philosophy
by region Philosophy-related lists Miscellaneous

By region

African Ethiopian Aztec Native America Eastern Chinese Egyptian Czech Indian Indonesian Iranian Japanese Korean Vietnam Pakistani Western American Australian British Danish French German Greek Italian Polish Romanian Russian Slovene Spanish Turkish

Lists

Outline Index Years Problems Schools Glossary Philosophers Movements Publications

Miscellaneous

Women in philosophy Sage (philosophy)

Portal Category Book

v t e

Philosophy
Philosophy
of religion

Concepts in religion

Afterlife Euthyphro dilemma Faith Intelligent design Miracle Problem of evil Religious belief Soul Spirit Theodicy Theological veto

Conceptions of God

Aristotelian view Brahman Demiurge Divine simplicity Egoism Holy Spirit Misotheism Pandeism Personal god Process theology Supreme Being Unmoved mover

God
God
in

Abrahamic religions Buddhism Christianity Hinduism Islam Jainism Judaism Mormonism Sikhism Bahá'í Faith Wicca

Existence of God

For

Beauty Christological Consciousness Cosmological

Kalam Contingency

Degree Desire Experience Fine-tuning of the Universe Love Miracles Morality Necessary existent Ontological Pascal's Wager Proper basis Reason Teleological

Natural law Watchmaker analogy

Transcendental

Against

747 gambit Atheist's Wager Evil Free will Hell Inconsistent revelations Nonbelief Noncognitivism Occam's razor Omnipotence Poor design Russell's teapot

Theology

Acosmism Agnosticism Animism Antireligion Atheism Creationism Dharmism Deism Demonology Divine command theory Dualism Esotericism Exclusivism Existentialism

Christian Agnostic Atheistic

Feminist theology

Thealogy Womanist theology

Fideism Fundamentalism Gnosticism Henotheism Humanism

Religious Secular Christian

Inclusivism Theories about religions Monism Monotheism Mysticism Naturalism

Metaphysical Religious Humanistic

New Age Nondualism Nontheism Pandeism Panentheism Pantheism Perennialism Polytheism Possibilianism Process theology Religious skepticism Spiritualism Shamanism Taoic Theism Transcendentalism more...

Religious language

Eschatological verification Language-game Logical positivism Apophatic theology Verificationism

Problem of evil

Augustinian theodicy Best of all possible worlds Euthyphro dilemma Inconsistent triad Irenaean theodicy Natural evil Theodicy

Philosophers of religion

(by date active)

Ancient and Medieval

Anselm of Canterbury Augustine of Hippo Avicenna Averroes Boethius Erasmus Gaunilo of Marmoutiers Pico della Mirandola Heraclitus King James VI and I Marcion of Sinope Thomas Aquinas Maimonides

Enlightenment

Augustin Calmet René Descartes Blaise Pascal Baruch Spinoza Nicolas Malebranche Gottfried W Leibniz William Wollaston Thomas Chubb David Hume Baron d'Holbach Immanuel Kant Johann G Herder

1800 1850

Friedrich Schleiermacher Karl C F Krause Georg W F Hegel

William Whewell Ludwig Feuerbach Søren Kierkegaard Karl Marx Albrecht Ritschl Afrikan Spir

1880 1900

Ernst Haeckel W. K. Clifford Friedrich Nietzsche Harald Høffding William James

Vladimir Solovyov Ernst Troeltsch Rudolf Otto Lev Shestov Sergei Bulgakov Pavel Florensky Ernst Cassirer Joseph Maréchal

1920 postwar

George Santayana Bertrand Russell Martin Buber René Guénon Paul Tillich Karl Barth Emil Brunner Rudolf Bultmann Gabriel Marcel Reinhold Niebuhr

Charles Hartshorne Mircea Eliade Frithjof Schuon J L Mackie Walter Kaufmann Martin Lings Peter Geach George I Mavrodes William Alston Antony Flew

1970 1990 2010

William L Rowe Dewi Z Phillips Alvin Plantinga Anthony Kenny Nicholas Wolterstorff Richard Swinburne Robert Merrihew Adams

Peter van Inwagen Daniel Dennett Loyal Rue Jean-Luc Marion William Lane Craig Ali Akbar Rashad

Alexander Pruss

Related topics

Criticism of religion Ethics
Ethics
in religion Exegesis History
History
of religions Religion Religious language Religious philosophy Relationship between religion and science Political science of religion Faith
Faith
and rationality more...

Portal Category

v t e

Theology: Outline

Conceptions of God

Theism

Forms

Deism Dystheism Henotheism Hermeticism Kathenotheism Nontheism Monolatry Monotheism Mysticism Panentheism Pandeism Pantheism Polydeism Polytheism Spiritualism Theopanism

Concepts

Deity Divinity Gender of God
God
and gods

Male deity Goddess

Numen

Singular god theologies

By faith

Abrahamic religions

Judaism Christianity Islam

the Bahá'í Faith Buddhism Hinduism Jainism Sikhism Zoroastrianism

Concepts

Absolute Brahman Emanationism Logos Supreme Being

God
God
as

the Devil Sustainer Time

Trinitarianism

Athanasian Creed Comma Johanneum Consubstantiality Homoousian Homoiousian Hypostasis Perichoresis Shield of the Trinity Trinitarian formula Trinity Trinity
Trinity
of the Church Fathers Trinitarian Universalism

Eschatology

Afterlife Apocalypticism Buddhist Christian Heaven Hindu Islamic Jewish Taoist Zoroastrian

Feminist

Buddhism Christianity Hinduism Islam Judaism Mormonism Goddesses

Other concepts

The All Aristotelian view Attributes of God
God
in Christianity / in Islam Binitarianism Demiurge Divine simplicity Divine presence Egotheism Exotheology Holocaust Godhead in Christianity

Latter Day Saints

Great Architect of the Universe Great Spirit Apophatic theology Olelbis Open theism Personal god Phenomenological definition Philo's view Process Tian Unmoved mover

Names of God
God
in

Christianity Hinduism Islam Jainism Judaism

By Faith

Christian

History Outline Biblical canon Glossary Christology Cosmology Ecclesiology Ethics Hamartiology Messianism Nestorianism Philosophy Practical Sophiology Soteriology

Hindu

Ayyavazhi theology Krishnology

Islamic

Oneness of God Prophets Holy Scriptures Angels Predestination Last Judgment

Jewish

Abrahamic prophecy Aggadah Denominations K

.