The Egyptian Religion Essay Research Paper The

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The Egyptian Religion Essay, Research Paper The Egyptian Religion The Egyptians had a very influential religion that can be analyzed using the five elements of religion. The characteristics of the Ancient Egyptian’s religion can be divided into the five elements of religion: authority, faith, rituals, moral code, and concept of the deity. First, the authority of the Egyptian religion. The main authority of the Egyptian religion was the Pharaoh, he had divine right over the people and was considered a god. Also, he could change the religion any way he wanted, for example in the 14th century BC Akhenaton, the Pharaoh outlawed all gods but Aton, who was the sun god, and this became the first monotheistic religion in history, but it was short lived, for when he died the new

Pharaoh overruled the law and restored the other gods. The Egyptians Sacred literature was the ?Book of the Dead? which consisted of 42 ?negative confessions? , spells and prayers. Here is a excerpts from the ?Book of the Dead? 1. I have not acted sinfully toward me 2. I have not oppressed the members of my family 3. I have not done wrong instead of what is right 4. I have known no worthless folk (Encarta ?96) Their were also what we would call “Priests” who sold the people “magical” items that they said would ensure the dead people a way into heaven. Therefore, the authority of the Egyptian religion was controlled heavily by the government. Second, the Egyptians Faith was an important characteristic of their religion. First, they believed that the Pharaoh was a god, and

what he spoke became law. The Egyptians worshipped almost every form of life, the worshipped trees, water, animals, and even vegetables. The Egyptians also believed that a person had 2 souls, the ba and the ka, which left the body at death and then returned later to the body. The Egyptians believed that mummification make sure the ba and the ka would find the body when they returned to the body to transport it to the underworld. The Egyptians also believed that they were the ? cattle of the gods’, and were controlled by them. They also believed that the gods owned all the land, so they sold all their crops at the temples. Furthermore, their idea of heaven was that it was in the milky way, that stood for a fertile Nile and where good crops grew every year. Their belief in a hell

was that the soul was devoured by a savage animal called the ?Devourer of Souls’ and then thrown into a pit of fire. The Egyptians believed that what was placed in a person’s tomb was what they would have in the afterlife, so they stocked their tombs full of items, such as war chariots, tables, chairs, and for the king, his throne. Their were even gods and goddesses for Ancient Egyptian cites. Also, the Egyptians believed that no mater what the Pharaoh did, he was entitled to a afterlife. The Egyptians spent most of their lives preparing for the afterlife and a one Egyptologist put it: The dead man is at one and the same time in heaven, in the god’s boat, under the earth, tilling the Elysian fields, and in his tomb enjoying his victuals (Casson 81). They also believed that

the dead had to be buried on the west side of the Nile, since the sun ?died’ in the west. When a person reached judgment day, they had to do a ?negative confession’ to 42 sins, each with their own judge, and after that Anibus then proceeded to weigh the person’s heart against a feather, the heart had to be lighter than the feather for the person to be admitted to heaven. Also, Thoth was their watching over the weighing. The Egyptians believed that setting of the sun was Nut, goddess of the sky, devouring it and in the morning would give birth to it again. Furthermore, the Egyptian creation myth said that in the beginning their was only the ocean, then Ptah, the Lord of Truth who made an egg, that hatched and made the moon and sun, from the sun came Amon-Ra, the sun god from