An anthropomorphism which is specifically a " magomorphism " renders the sacred powers increasingly one with the governing element in society, and religion assumes an ethicopolitical character, whilst correspondingly authority and law are invested with a deeper meaning.
Such anthropomorphism is with difficulty reduced to the Tylorian animism.
The word anthropomorphism is a modern coinage (possibly from 18th century French).
The older traits show themselves partly in the manifestation of various Els, and partly in the cruder anthropomorphism of the earlier sources.
For, though the quarrel with popular anthropomorphism was patched up, and the gods of the Pantheon were described by Stoics and Epicureans as manlike in form, philosophy nevertheless tended to highly abstract conceptions of supreme, or real, deity.
Mahommed in fact represented a revolt against the anthropomorphism of commonplace Mahommedan orthodoxy, but he was a rigid predestinarian and a strict observer of the law.
Between pantheism and Unitarianism he seems to have balanced till his thirty-fifth year, always tending towards the former in virtue of the recoil from "anthropomorphism" which originally took him to Unitarianism.
They are also the direct antitheses to the scepticism of Montaigne and Pascal, to the materialism of Gassendi and Hobbes, and to the superstitious anthropomorphism which defaced the reawakening sciences of nature.
The reaction against anthropomorphism begins in Greek philosophy with the satirical spirit of Xenophanes (540 B.C.), who puts the case as broadly as any.
But when theists charge one another with "anthropomorphism," in order to rebuke what they deem unduly manlike conceptions of God, they stand on slippery ground.
Wolff's list is of some historical importance - atheism, deism (a God without care for men) and naturalism (denial of supernatural revelation); anthropomorphism (assigning a human body to God); materialism, and idealism (non-existence of matter); paganism (polytheism); Manichaeism, Spinozism, Epicureanism.
But the development of their religion was arrested at an earlier stage than that of the Greeks: with them - at any rate in the genuine Roman period - Animism never passed into Anthropomorphism; they stopped at the conception of the "spirit" without reaching that of the "god."