Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Polytheism and the elite

“...for almost all of Egyptian history, the pantheon was multiple, and people understood the world as being a place of many gods. During the brief episode of Akhenaten, the number of deities celebrated, at least in his new capital of el-Amarna, was reduced to one, but it does not follow that the existence of other gods or of intermediate suprahuman beings was excluded...The elite was clear and explicit in its adherence to polytheism; it found monolatry—not to speak of monotheism—deeply repugnant.”—Reconsidering the Concept of Revolutionary Monotheism, page 86

<idle musing>
I would say that not much has changed. The elite still like polytheism—the names of the gods have changed, that's all. Now, they are called money, power, sex, and prestige...and the non-elite want to be like the elite—just like then.
</idle musing>

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