Ancient Egypt Polytheism and Shintoism

Document Type:Essay

Subject Area:Religion

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In addition, they have various objects which hold varying significances to each religion and its people. Polytheism is holding the religious belief that there exists more than one deity and they separately rule over the universe. The Ancient Egypt Polytheism is located in Egypt. This religion is believed to have had the most number of gods and goddesses who were more than eighty in number. However, the central deities were the earliest ones as they were associated with significant natural phenomena. Some of these objects included the Ankh, Scarabs and the Djed. The Ankh was symbolic of life. It was worn by the gods and pharaohs only, as an indication of their ability to give life and take it away. The object dated from the Early Dynastic Period in the land of Egypt 3150-2613 BCE.

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The prevailing eyes which were a holy symbol were representative of Horus eyes to symbolize the moon, sun and good health (Mark, Joshua). It was significant as it represented stability reminding people the ever-present state of the gods. The Polytheists viewed it as a representative of the god's backbone. In most cases, it appeared on the sarcophagi's bottom so that it could help the souls that had newly arrived from the afterlife to stand up again and walk. The image was also interpreted in form of four columns that symbolized different things. For instance, the number, four, was a symbol of completeness as seen in the various works of architecture, art, sides of the pyramid among others. The major festivals celebrated by Shinto are called Matsuri and they require a shrine, an offering, and purification.

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During the festivals, the particular kami centered on it are perceived as the guest of honor (Matthews, Alfred Warren). Some of the activities in the event include; sumo wrestling, performances of drama, feasting among others. Even though it is referred to as an Ancient Japanese religion which began in the 1000BCE, it is still practiced to date with a minimum of five million followers. Like many other worlds' religion, Shintoism too possesses several images that contain significant symbols of the people practicing this religion. The image was introduced in the 6th or 7th century AD from China through Korea. Shimenawa is a specially plaited rope placed at the entry of sacred places in order to scare away the evil spirits. The Shimenawa is also tied around sacred objects such as sacred trees as a symbol of the presence of Kami (Otani, Tetsuo).

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The ‘shime’ which are pieces of white papers that are hung from the tied ropes act as a symbol of purity among the Shinto faith. The shimenawa is also hanged on the front doors by individual, businesses, and merchants during particular times of the year. However, while powers from the chosen objects for the Ancient Egypt Polytheists are responsible for giving life and everything that pertains to it, the powers of the objects from the Shinto’s on the other hand, are responsible for the protection of its believers. Ancient Egypt Polytheism Images i. The Ankh ii. The Scarab iii. The Djed Shintoism Images I. ancient. eu/article/1011/ancient-egyptian-symbols. Matthews, Alfred Warren. World Religions. Australia, Cengage Learning Wadsworth, 2013. Redford, Donald B.

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