Essays on a polytheistic philosophy of religion

And while there are many differences amongst these structures, there are often many similarities that can be found as well. By examining and critically evaluating these likenesses, we are able to accurately construct a succinct typology classifying each religion by their nature and principle concerns. For clarity purposes, this typology will be divided into three main aspects of religion; which include: In respect to the religious nature of each of these religions, there are four main categories that they can be divided into.

Essays on a polytheistic philosophy of religion

Philosophy Category Introduction Among the supporters and critics of Buddhism, there is no unity in opinion whether it can be considered a polytheistic or monotheistic religion.

When comparing this Essays on a polytheistic philosophy of religion to the traditional well-known monotheistic worldviews of Islam or Christianity, both common and distinctive features can be revealed.

Essays on a polytheistic philosophy of religion

The reason is that Buddhism is an old teaching of how to reach happiness and overcome problems, which people in different parts of the world can easily face but which are very difficult to solve. That is why, Buddhism suggests how to find solutions by means of going out of the real world to the depth of the human soul that is hidden from the common view, but is the part of reality, unlike material things that are destined to the dissolution.

This teaching had been shaped long before Buddha came to earth. One can find the first traces of similar spiritual experiences and worldviews in the early Vedas. Nowadays, it is considered the first written artifact to be created even earlier than the old texts of Sanskrit. The question whether the views of people in the times of the Rig Veda and thereafter were rather monotheistic or polytheistic remains open.

The Verses of the Rig Veda In the verses of the Rig Veda, one can learn about many gods that were worshiped by contemporary people. Indra was considered the king of gods, similar to Zeus or Jupiter in Greek and Roman mythology respectively.

All power was granted to this god as he was the cause of the universe, the one who could rule it. Varuna was worshipped as the god of the moral law, similar to Uranus in ancient Greece. Agni was the god of fire; therefore, when people made sacrifices, they worshipped him.

However, in case of a war, they glorified Indra as the most powerful of all gods. In any case, such a tradition has later developed to some other views. For example, in the Bengali tradition, Krishna or Radha was considered the only god. The multiplicity of gods was later interpreted as different embodiments of the only God.

Some of the later worshippers mentioned the monotheism intentionally, even incorporating such ideas into the context of monogamy. Such a statement was developing in the context of other religions that encouraged people to simplify Buddhism.

Some of the Buddhist traditionalists denied the new monotheistic religion.

Philosophy of Religion (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

On the other hands, however, many wealthy people were ready to accept the mix of Christianity and Buddhism, as they did not want to sacrifice their money, property, and influence. In their striving to preserve wealth, they forgot the teaching of their ancestors or modified it greatly.

If acquired great is the anxiety that the acquirer feels. Upanishads The Brahmans as the powerful social group felt like they were the only ones to keep the sacral knowledge of Brahma that was considered the true reality.

It was named Upanishads. This book presents a dialogue between a teacher and a pupil who asks about the number of gods in the Universe. Finally, the teacher states that there is the only God proving the monotheistic nature of the Buddhist religion.

Such a view became known as the Upanishadic monism: This doctrine opposes the polytheistic view of the spiritual nature of the world. Additionally, in some cases, monism evolves to pantheism, when other gods are regarded as embodiments of the greater God.

He is believed to create the universe and interpenetrate; nevertheless, he always but exists independently from it, so He cannot be cognized in any other way except with deep meditation. In meditation, people can come close to him and experience euphoria from the communication with the Divine.

Two substances form one being, and both coexist in a harmony. The divinity and spirituality are the real substances that the humans should open up on the way of truth.

On the contrary, anything that is visible is destined to dissolution; therefore, the humans should give up trying to preserve the material goods. When it comes to the spirituality, the way of truth goes to reality that is of the divine nature and may be opened by everyone only by means of different spiritual practices, such as Yoga.

The God calls every person to salvation; people, in turn, can comprehend such a calling in understanding the symphony of the Bhagavad Gita that goes along with the thoroughly organized Yoga practices.


In some other passages of the book, Yoga is also called the holy work, as it comprises both physical and voice exercises in its practices. Practically, Yoga can be combined with meditation, so as to reach the Deity while opening the new horizons for the spirit.

Jnana Yoga opens people the way to the heavenly-based experiences where sweet melodies are heard. In the realm of eternity, the humans can spiritually touch the incarnation of the Divine.

Essays on a polytheistic philosophy of religion

On the contrary, Karma Yoga predetermines the call to actions in the highest state of the human body and mind that the yogis reach after a deep prayer.I then illustrate how Yahweh is none other than El2, Chief God of a Canaanite religion3, proposing that even though Judaism is said to be monotheistic, it was derived from a polytheistic religion.

I then finally come to my main point that Asherah is the consort of Yahweh. Buy Essays on a Polytheistic Philosophy of Religion by Edward Butler (Paperback) online at Lulu. Visit the Lulu Marketplace for product details, ratings, and reviews. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for Essays on a Polytheistic Philosophy of Religion at Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users.

The essays in this book provide the principal theoretical foundation for the "henadological" approach to theology in the polytheistic philosophy of religion, while in a wider perspective constituting the first stage in recovering the sense and significance of henology, the discourse concerning unity, in .

Introduction. Among the supporters and critics of Buddhism, there is no unity in opinion whether it can be considered a polytheistic or monotheistic religion. These essays lay the groundwork for a practice of philosophical inquiry adequate to polytheistic or "Pagan" religious traditions, including in particular the non-reductive hermeneutics of myth and the theory of the polycentric divine manifold/5(2).

Polytheism - Bibliography - PhilPapers