2. Religion in the Ancient Orient
Religion for the people in the Ancient Orient was very important. Each people had its own religion: there were monotheistic and polytheistic religions.
The Egyptians had several gods they believed in. The most famous ones are: - Ra: it was the beginning of everything, and the hawk-headed god of sun who is holding a Sun disk - Shu and Tefnut: they are the children of Ra; Shu is the god of dryness, Tefnut is the god of humidity - Osiris and Isis: they are husband and wife
- Horus: their kid; he is the falcon god, the protector of kings But there was an experiment of monotheistic religion. Amenhotep IV tried to establish monotheistic religion because the Amon priests became too powerful; this is called Amarna reform. He wanted to replace the cult of Amon with the cult of Aton, so it became the main god. After the death of Amenhotep, this monotheism disappeared. In Mesopotamia there was a close relationship between the state and religion, similarly to other countries in the Ancient Orient. They had polytheistic religion with several gods. All lands belonged to the gods and it was the king who represented them. Persia had a very special religion, called religious dualism. People believed in two opposing gods: Ahrumazda, God of Light and Truth and Ahriman, God of Darkness and Evil. The sacred book of the Persians was the Avesta (book of knowledge), which was written by Zoroaster, the founder of religious dualism. Palestine was a unique country in the Ancient Orient, because it was the only country which had monotheistic religion. They worship one god, Yahweh, the creator of all things and the ruler of the universe. (it’s the same as God for Christians, and Allah for the Muslims) Their sacred book is the Torah (means: The Way). The basic ideas are: - there is a binding agreement between God and his people (Jewish is the chosen people); this is the concept of covenant - they have to keep the Ten Commandments, which are the basic...
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