Download e-book for kindle: A Million and One Gods: The Persistence of Polytheism by Page duBois

By Page duBois

ISBN-10: 0674728831

ISBN-13: 9780674728837

Many humans worship not only one yet many gods. but a continuing prejudice opposed to polytheism denies legitimacy to a few of the world's oldest and richest non secular traditions. In her exam of polytheistic cultures either old and contemporary--those of Greece and Rome, the Bible and the Quran, in addition to smooth India--Page duBois refutes the concept the worship of a number of gods evidently evolves over the years into the "higher" trust in one deity. In A Million and One Gods, she indicates that polytheism has persevered intact for millennia even within the West, regardless of the various hidden ways in which monotheistic suggestion maintains to form Western outlooks.

In English utilization, the notice "polytheism" comes from the seventeenth-century writings of Samuel Purchas. It was once pejorative from the beginning--a observe to tell apart the idea method of backward peoples from the extra theologically complicated faith of Protestant Christians. this day, whilst monotheistic fundamentalisms too usually force humans to dedicate violent acts, polytheism continues to be a scandalous presence in societies nonetheless orientated based on Jewish, Christian, and Muslim ideals. Even within the multicultural milieus of twenty-first-century the USA and nice Britain, polytheism unearths itself marginalized. but it persists, possibly simply because polytheism corresponds to subconscious wishes and deeply held values of tolerance, range, and equality which are primary to civilized societies.

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Extra info for A Million and One Gods: The Persistence of Polytheism

Example text

When I point out that many millions of people on earth at this moment are practicing polytheists, they acknowledge that they consider such persons to be underdeveloped and barbaric. And that is that. The few polytheists in the class are invariably offended by such attitudes, of course. But for the great majority, the telos, the final cause of the history of ancient civilizations, implies progress in the movement from the worship of many gods to the worship of one. Try as I might to convince them that the world of the ancient Israelites was polytheistic, they resist.

15 Mark C. 16 Taylor acknowledges the idea of world religions, developed in the 1920s, which included other living traditions, including Hinduism. Yet his views seem to reflect an immanent presupposition, taking monotheism for granted. For example: To function religiously, symbolic networks must address theological, anthropological, and cosmological issues. These three dimensions of experience are T H E P R E J U D I C E A G A I N S T P O LY T H E I S M 27 articulated in the interrelated figures of God, self, and world or their functional equivalents.

But the question of whether the god of the one and the god of the other are the same can certainly be asked, as the later Christians do not follow the laws set down for religious Israelites, however much the Protestants, another tendency that broke away from a dominant tradition, might urge a selective return to the commands of the Hebrew Bible. Christians, to cite one of many examples, do not restrict their diets according to the ancient rules and do not follow the Sabbath restrictions: do not request, for example, that the city authorities adjust the traffic lights in their neighborhood so that they need not labor, that is, push the button indicating a desire for the light to change so they can cross the street, on their Sabbath.

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A Million and One Gods: The Persistence of Polytheism by Page duBois


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