monotheism vs polytheism

This article elaborates further on their differences. Both systems share a few subtle similarities in the way that they preach goodwill towards their fellow beings and abstinence from sin. Main Difference. Polytheism is the belief and worship of many gods. ADVERTISEMENT. It does not depend on or chalk out the definition of that god, nor is it affected by the attributes lent to this divine figure. Due to their diverse nature and no joint responsibilities, it is possible for this cosmic family of gods to be gradually expanded by the addition of newer gods, if required. Let’s start with the most basic definition of monotheism: The belief that there is but one God. Atheism denies the existence of god, and explains the occurrence of events through logical explanations and human effort. In Dictionary of Theological Terms (p. 288). However, despite similarities, there are also differences that are hard to explain and it is these differences that will be highlighted in this article. The Encyclopedia Britannica defines it as the “belief in the existence of one god or in the oneness of God”, while the Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church explains it as being “belief in one personal and transcendent God.”, It is defined as a belief system that is based on the existence of a variety of gods, each with a specific function or power. The hierarchical structure would place one god above the others, but it was done in such a way that the god, while being superior to the others, still did not have an authority to overrule. The same deity is entreated for success in any and all endeavors. Copyright © Spiritual Ray &, Inc. But those who talk of hundreds of gods in Hinduism conveniently forget that there is an underlying unity among these gods and the different gods are manifestations of different powers only. Philosophers and scholars debate the merits of monotheism and polytheism. Monotheism: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are monotheistic religions. We hope you enjoy this website. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. Thus, there is good and evil, heaven and hell, etc. While both belief systems are hinged on different premises, they are seen to be influenced by each other. Instead, the concepts of karma and rebirth come into play. I’ve been searching the web for articles that discuss the correlation between monotheism vs polytheism and political structure. Polytheism is the belief in more than one god. He also put forth the possibility that the ruling Pharaohs were human versions of Aten. The concepts of salvation and purgatory exist in this belief system. Though they have respect for other gods too, they do not treat these deities as their own. It takes many stories to tell the whole story, yet the whole is known always and only through the many.”. Concerning the gods I cannot know either that they exist or that they do not exist, or what form they might have, for there is much to prevent one’s knowing: the obscurity of the subject and the shortness of man’s life.― Protagoras. The events transpiring in nature are seen as extensions of that one god. The deity also reserves the right to forgive the individual’s sins and offer salvation. “Avatars” by the Victoria and Albert Museum – Painting from Jaipur, India; in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. There exist two main branches of this view - monotheism and polytheism. Would you like to write for us? Monotheism vs. Polytheism Monotheism and polytheism are two very different belief systems. Polytheism does tend to articulate the … The gods had attributes similar to objects, trees and herbs, animals, as well as animal-human hybrids. These cookies do not store any personal information. But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. On the other hand, there are many religions that are polytheistic in nature and allow belief and worship of many gods. Modern religions based on this philosophy are Jainism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Shinto, Taoism, Wicca, etc. But instead of preaching it, polytheists follow the customs of their ancestors, which are based on moral relativism. Though this is contradictory in thought and procedure, there are many similarities in the two types of religions. “One God!” (Heis Tbeos) or “No other gods!” (first commandment)—these are the central mottos of Terms of Use and Privacy Policy: Legal. There were beliefs in a collection of gods with different roles sometimes with conflicting roles whereby when one god is appeased another is annoyed. The deity is believed to judge the individual’s actions and either offer a place of salvation or a place in purgatory. A devout Hindu, whether he is a worshipper of Rama, Krishna, Durga, Hanuman, or any other deity is quick to acknowledge the existence of all other deities. How many gods do you believe in? Compare the Difference Between Similar Terms. For most people, the concept of monotheism is easier to understand, and there are also people who believe monotheism to be superior to the concept of polytheism. Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. Her research interests are mainly in the fields of Sociology, Applied linguistics, Sociolinguistics, and Linguistic anthropology. Their entire culture was based on this philosophy. Our site includes quite a bit of content, so if you're having an issue finding what you're looking for, go on ahead and use that search feature there! But none truly capture the scope of this debate the way Greek sophist Protagoras does. [Public Domain] via Commons, Filed Under: Religion Tagged With: Compare Polytheism and Monotheism, Monotheism, Monotheism and Polytheism, Monotheist, Monotheistic, Polytheism, Polytheism vs Monotheism, Polytheist, Polytheistic, What is Monotheism, What is Polytheism, Nedha is a Graduate in Sociology and holds an Advanced Diploma in Psychology. 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