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Polytheism

Polytheism is the worship of many gods and goddesses.  A familiar example of polytheism are the religions of civilizations such as Greece and Rome. Mercury was thought to be a young man with winged feet and was worshipped as the god of speed. Venus, a beautiful woman, was worshipped as the goddness of love, Mars the god of war, Jupiter the king of the gods, etc

In fact, almost all examples of polytheism really fall under the category of Henotheism.  Zeus or Jupiter, as the chief father god, has an almost monotheistic status, and were the other gods to be downgraded he would be very similiar to the god of a monotheist

Different sects in a polytheistic society will favour one god over others, hence there will be temples to that deity, and a cult (religion) of worship of that deity.  Such a society will exhibit a rich and tolerant religious pluralism, so lacking in the modern world before the 60s consciousness revolution allowed a pluraity of options of belief

Examples of ancient societies with such a pluralistic religions approach are ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome, China up until the coming of Communism, and India and Japan right up until the present day

This is not to say that such societies are devoid of intolerance and bigotry - only that the degree of intolerance is far less than in the monotheistic Christian and Islamic worlds.

Henotheism and Kathenotheism

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links Links - Polytheism
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web page R.P. 2040-V.2 Theories of God(2) - Theistic Theories of God - only a brief mention

more links to be added....

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Representative Polytheistic religions

Paganism

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page by M.Alan Kazlev
page uploaded 7 October 1999