November 1, 2012
One of the most interesting aspects of ancient Egypt is its religion. The depth of Egyptian thinking and rich imagination displayed in the creation of ideas and images of the gods and goddesses is beyond compare. On elaborating their beliefs, the Egyptians were working on the cosmic plane searching for an understanding of the most basic laws of the universe (Religion). The ancient Egyptians instilled their religion into every aspect of life including their art and architecture. The Egyptians were humanistic, naturalistic and polytheistic in their ardent faith. They were humanistic in that they worshiped man, particularly the pharaoh; naturalistic in that they deified the forces of nature; and polytheistic in that they believed in thousands of gods and goddesses. These gods were responsible for all aspects of their existence (Cunningham). The Egyptians saw no distinction between the creator and his creation. They believed the gods to be powers, which could be manipulated by man for his own benefit. Because they believed in so many gods, the Egyptians invented rituals to praise them all. The rituals in turn affected the daily life of every Egyptian. These deities included Hathor, the goddess of beauty and love; Bes, the god of war; Anibus, the god of death; and Hapi, the god of the Nile. The Egyptians also praised animals such as, the jackal and the cat. The Egyptians treasured life in this world and did everything in their power to ensure immortality in the next life. The ancient Egyptians attitude towards death was influenced by their belief in immortality. They regarded death as the beginning of life, instead of the end. All Egyptians were offered the hope of survival in the next world as a reward for a good life in a form that was thought of in literal, physical terms (Cunningham). The funerary customs and beliefs of the Egyptians called for the preservation of the body and ample provisions for the afterlife. Of the...
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