The term properly implies a clear polytheistic conception of gods in contrast with men, while it recognizes that some men cross the dividing line.
It presents itself historically as an intellectual revolt against the difficulties involved in the presupposition of theistic and polytheistic systems, and in philosophy as an attempt to solve the dualism of the one and the many, unity and difference, thought and extension.
Whilst at times a truly monotheistic fervour manifests itself in the adoration of these two gods, the polytheistic instincts of the people did not fail to extend the pantheon by groups of new deities in connexion with them.
He assumes that the narrative was meant ethically, not physically, in order to eliminate false and polytheistic notions; and he draws attention to that double narrative in Genesis which was elsewhere to be so fruitfully handled.
In a letter home he described Rome as "the most wonderful place on earth," but the Roman Catholic religion as "polytheistic, degrading and idolatrous."
It is now more usually given to polytheistic races, thus excluding Mahommedans.
Whilst it can hardly be allowed that Xenophanes, so far from denying, actually affirms a plurality of gods, it must be conceded to Freudenthal that Xenophanes's polemic was directed against the anthropomorphic tendencies and the mythological details of the contemporary polytheism rather than against the polytheistic principle, and that, apart from the treatise De Melisso Xenophane et Gorgia, now generally discredited, there is no direct evidence to prove him a consistent monotheist.
Impressed with the perversions and corruptions of popular Hinduism, Ram Mohan Roy investigated the Hindu Shastras, the Koran and the Bible, repudiated the polytheistic worship of the Shastras as false, and inculcated the reformed principles of monotheism as found in the ancient Upanishads of the Vedas.
The myth, as it appears in Genesis, is quite polytheistic and anthropomorphic. According to Cornelius Alexander (frag.
These divinities, however, seem to have had little or no place in the popular faith, which was occupied by polytheistic gods of the ordinary barbaric type.
Tylor, makes the foundation of all religion animistic, but recognizes the non-human character of polytheistic gods.
The more general view that polytheistic and other gods are the elemental and other spirits of the later stages of animistic creeds, is equally inapplicable to Australia, where the belief seems to be neither animistic nor even animatistic in character.
This Barlaam held to be polytheistic, inasmuch as it postulated two eternal substances, a visible and an invisible God.
The task as it presented itself may be analysed as follows: (r) to replace the caste system and especially the oppressive supremacy of the Brahmins by a spirit of universal brotherhood and the establishment of social and religious liberty; (2) to correct and raise the standard of conduct; (3) to attack polytheistic idolatry with its attendant immoralities; (4) to replace the pantheistic by a theistic standpoint; (5) to elevate woman and the pariah.
There are signs also that the polytheistic word gods was obliterated on many of the monuments, but other divine names, though almost entirely excluded from Akhenatons work, were left untouched where they already existed.
This in fact is a frequent fate of a " High God " in polytheistic systems; he is vaguely praised and reverenced, but lower divine powers are nearer to the people's love or fear.
The Greek consciousness of the sin of murder, only dimly awakened in the Homeric period, and only sensitive at first when a kinsman or a suppliant was slain, gradually expands till the sanctity of all human life becomes recognized by the higher morality of the people: and the names of ZEUs M€tXL tos, the dread deity of the ghost-world whom the sinner must make " placable," of ZEUs `I ho-tos and IIpoorpora70s, to whom the conscience-striken outcast may turn for mercy and pardon, play a guiding-part in this momentous evolution.9 Even this summary reveals the deep indebtedness of early Greek civilization to this cult, which engendered ideas of importance for the higher religious thought of the race, and which might have developed into a monotheistic religion, had a prophet-philosopher arisen powerful enough to combat the polytheistic proclivities of Hellas.
- The gods of the Vedas and Brahmanas (the ancient hymns and canonized ritual-books of Aryan India) are, on the whole, of the usual polytheistic type.
The Aryan folkreligion was polytheistic. Worship was paid to popular divinities, such as the war-god and dragon-slayer Indra, to natural forces and elements such as fire, but the Aryans also believed in the ruling of moral powers and of an eternal law in nature (v.
Their idolatry (polytheistic) was unaccompanied by human sacrifice.