Gods in the Flesh ? Part One

“As the main deity of the funerary cult, Osiris is shown as a mummy wearing the crown and holding the crook and flail as his royal insignia. But why is the god portrayed as a human being?

As is well known, anthropomorphy is a trait shared with all prominent members of the ancient Egyptian pantheon, often in combination with animal features. Likewise, ancient civilisations such as the Babylonians, the Hittites, the Greeks, the Persians, the Indians, the Chinese and the Aztec all widely painted, sculpted and described gods and goddesses in terms of human beings. This raises the question to what extent members of these cultures actually envisioned their gods as humans?

Euhemerus of Messene (4th century BCE) was a Greek mythographer credited with the view that the supernatural tales and characters featured in mythology were really exaggerations of mundane historical events. While his work has not withstood the ravages of time, various classical writers of the Imperial period reflected the opinion that the gods were really just extraordinary human beings.”

(via Thunderbolts. H/T: The Anomalist)

1 Comment

  1. “God of the Gaps” – God(s) retreat to what is yet to be explained otherwise. In antiquity, the Big Chief was God. Then the Big Chief died, so God moved over the hill. Then people moved over the hill, so God moved into the sky. Then people flew in the sky, so God moved to ‘heaven.’ Or: God causes everything, just in a once-more-removed way as we learn the real cause of disease, lightning, consciousness, etc. God gets chased all the way out of time and space in deism. Add to that the inherent contradictions of God and you get atheism.

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