Ancient Egyptian Religion Essay

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Ancient Egyptian Religion The Force Behind Everything As the ancient Egyptian religion was an important part of everyday life for all Egyptians (rich and poor), they built a great many temples and had shrines in their homes. The term used to describe ancient Egyptian theology is Polytheism. This just means that they believed in many Gods. Gods were not only formless entities with certain roles - but the Gods were also the forces of nature, the elements, and the characteristics of certain powers. Some Egyptian Gods merged with foreign Gods too. And despite the hundreds of different deities and rituals, somehow everyone got along! Egyptologists have organized the ancient Egyptian religion into two categories: State and Local/Household. The local or household deities were worshipped in the home. Depending on locale, family, needs and preferences; the average Egyptian would choose the most suitable deities and build a household shrine for them. There were no formal cults or temples dedicated to these Gods. The state religion is what was practiced by the Pharaoh and the temple priests. The temples built to worship the state Gods were not open to the public. The Pharaoh was thought to have direct access to the Gods - and one of his primary duties was to act as the intermediary between them and the people of Egypt. Priests had to worship and make offerings to the Gods to keep the forces of chaos at bay. Much of these offerings came from the taxation of the working class. In the 3rd dynasty, Egypt had experienced 7 years of famine because the annual floods did not come on time and were very low. The people held king Djoser responsible since it was part of his job to appease the Gods in order to bless the land. Worshipping Like An Egyptian As I mentioned earlier, the ancient Egyptian religion was divided into State and Household religion. The actual daily

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