Religion


Religion
   For most of Egyptian history no attempt was made to develop a coherent religious theology for the entire country. Egypt consisted of many cities, each of which had a god or goddess to whom the inhabitants were particularly attached, along with the deity’s family represented in a local triadand often an animal or animals sacred to the local divinity. For example, Meretseger, the snake goddess of Thebes, represented a purely regional deity; however, some gods and goddesses, for example, Ptah of Memphis; Thoth of Hermopolis; or Osiris, the god of the dead, were worshipped on a national level throughout the country. The patronage of the king elevated others to the status of supreme deity, like the sky god Horus, the sun god Re of Heliopolis, the formerly obscure god Amun of Thebes, the Ptolemaic deity Sarapis, and the goddess Isis during the Roman Period. More influential deities might absorb a local god or combine to form a composite god, like Re-Harakhty or Amun-Re. Various local templesas at Heliopolis or Hermopolis conceived different myths of creation in which their god naturally played the crucial role. The only attempt to impose a more uniform worship—that of the Atendisk—by Akhenaten ended in failure.
   In most cities, the gods were worshipped in major temples built or enlarged through the favor of the king and staffed with priests appointed by him. It was their duty to carry out the rituals to maintain maat and appease the gods. The bulk of the priests inherited their rank and were trained in their calling by temple schools and their relations, but the king could and did assign the top posts to royal favorites who could have been from priestly families but also from the royal family, the bureaucracy, or the military. He could also shift priests from one temple to another. Worship was not confined to the temples.
   Unlike the state temples from which the local population would have been largely barred, common folk would have access to small local shrines and chapels, sometimes in their own homes, as reflected in the religious practice at Deir el-Medina. Stelae and statues of the deceased with prayers giving their name were erected in the shrines, tombs, and temples to keep the individual’s memory alive. The ancient religion was eventually replaced by Christianity and evolved into the distinctive Coptic Church.
Historical Dictionary Of Ancient Egypt by Morris L. Bierbrier

Ancient Egypt. A Reference Guide. . 2011.

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  • Religion — religion …   Dictionary of sociology

  • RELIGION — L’ÉTYMOLOGIE du terme religion reste incertaine; elle est controversée depuis l’Antiquité. À la suite de Lactance, de Tertullien, les auteurs chrétiens se plaisent à expliquer le latin religio par les verbes ligare, religare , lier, relier. La… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Religion — • The voluntary subjection of oneself to God Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Religion     Religion     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • religion — RELIGION. s. f. Culte qu on rend à la Divinité, suivant la creance que l on en a. La Religion Juifve. la Religion Chrestienne. la bonne, la fausse Religion. la Religion de Mahomet. professer une Religion. faire profession d une Religion. faire… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Religion — Re*li gion (r[ e]*l[i^]j [u^]n), n. [F., from L. religio; cf. religens pious, revering the gods, Gr. ale gein to heed, have a care. Cf. {Neglect}.] 1. The outward act or form by which men indicate their recognition of the existence of a god or of …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • religión — sustantivo femenino 1. Área: religión Conjunto de creencias y prácticas que ponen en relación al hombre con la divinidad. religión budista. religión católica. religión cristiana. religión judía. religión monoteísta. religión musulmana. religión… …   Diccionario Salamanca de la Lengua Española

  • Religion — Sf std. (16. Jh.) Entlehnung. Im Frühneuhochdeutschen entlehnt aus l. religio ( ōnis) (auch: gewissenhafte Berücksichtigung, Sorgfalt ), zu l. relegere bedenken, achtgeben . Gemeint ist ursprünglich die gewissenhafte Sorgfalt in der Beachtung von …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • religion — religion, denomination, sect, cult, communion, faith, creed, persuasion, church can all denote a system of religious belief and worship or the body of persons who accept such a system. Religion, the usual uncolored term, may apply to a system (as …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • religion — Religion, Profession de religion, Hierodulia, B. Faire profession de religion, In manum conuenire antistitis, In mancipio antistitis esse coepisse, B. Diverses religions, Aliae atque aliae religiones. Estimant que c estoit contre la religion et… …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • religión — (Del lat. religĭo, ōnis). 1. f. Conjunto de creencias o dogmas acerca de la divinidad, de sentimientos de veneración y temor hacia ella, de normas morales para la conducta individual y social y de prácticas rituales, principalmente la oración y… …   Diccionario de la lengua española

  • religion — [ri lij′ən] n. [ME religioun < OFr or L: OFr religion < L religio, reverence for the gods, holiness, in LL(Ec), a system of religious belief < ? religare, to bind back < re , back + ligare, to bind, bind together; or < ? re + IE… …   English World dictionary


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