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Author Topic: History of Monotheism?  (Read 1255 times) Average Rating: 0
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Christianus
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« on: March 27, 2010, 01:52:34 AM »

Let me see if I can explain it. Let’s go back to Abraham. The account is in Genesis. Now before one says the Bible is full of fairy tales, the historical account fits in well with what we know of the fertile crescent, those lands between the Mediterranean and the two rivers of Mesopotamia the lands of the Sumerians. It appears Abraham’s father had left the old worship of his forefathers and had taken up the Sumerian religion with their multiple gods. So this worship of a single god goes back much further than Abraham. It was the religion of his people and of his peoples people. It may have gone back thousands of years before Abraham. This worship was already ancient by the time of Abraham.

As noticed, these Semites (Acadians) led a nomadic life. Their life was much like other nomadic people such as American Indians, the Mongols, and tribes in Africa. The one thing that all three have in common is that they are Shamanistic. The idea behind Shamanism is that the Shaman (spiritual leader) speaks directly to the spirits. In many cases these tend to be ancestral spirits. It isn’t a great jump to see a leader of these ancestral spirits in terms of what American Indians called the Great Spirit. Their own human societies were led by a chief or leader. It’s only reasonable that the ancestral spirit family be led by a great leader. When the shaman participates in worship he talks to the Great Spirit. Monotheism is simply a reflection of this tradition to seek guidance from the Great Spirit. Nomadic way of life was much older than urban life. This probably means the worship of a single Great Spirit is probably older than the worship of multiple gods. It seems that the worship of multiple gods was an invention of urban society which evolved after that of nomadism.

So the worship of a single god in the form of a great spirit may be older than the worship of multiple gods. With the American Indians, Mongols, and Africans the shaman was a separate person from the war leader. However, in Semitic society the shaman and war leader seems to have been represented in a single person. Abraham was not only the great warrior chief of his people but also the shaman, the speaker to the Great Spirit. This tradition was carried on by Moses. As son of Pharaoh, Moses would have been trained in the warrior tradition of Egyptian royal family. As the spokesman for God he acted in the capacity of shaman. When the Israelites invaded and settled Canaan the civil leadership of the people devolved onto Judges. Thus the job of civic leader and shaman split. This was formalized under the kings when the office of civil leader and shaman (speaker to the Great Spirit) forever split. The shaman was known then as a prophet and the Great Spirit was Jehovah.
http://www.historum.com/showthread.php?t=144

this guy (Voyager) wrote all this above. He claims that Nomadism was monotheistic then when man urbanized he became polytheistic.
In certain ways, my faith that Monotheism was the original faith of man is slightly restored, by this article.
I'm still losing faith that Monotheism might have come from polytheism, but this is the prevailing view today in the school books, which may not be true but just an opinion like everything else.
Maybe what this guy is wrote.
But for sure, I'm not giving up faith in the belief of Absolute truth.
if you say that there is not absolute truth, then is that an absolute truth about the non-existence of absolute truth?
Κύριε ελέησον.

p.s. I need someone to talk to about Orthodoxy, because I feel that I can't develop my faith alone: maybe on msn if you give me your msn by pm.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2010, 01:55:47 AM by Christianus » Logged
Christianus
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« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2010, 02:29:01 PM »

could anyone confirm this?
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« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2010, 04:58:39 PM »

Well, I'm not sure what you mean by "confirm."

Anyway, the idea that religion became pluralistic as a result of agrarian societies is interesting, because Genesis generally speaks more favourably of nomads (like Abraham) than it does of city-dwellers. Even with Cain and Abel, Abel herded animals, while Cain was agrarian.

I would not identify prophets with shamans, however, even if I were not Christian. The Prophets were not fortune-tellers or spirit-talkers.

Very interesting.
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« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2010, 05:13:48 PM »

Well, I'm not sure what you mean by "confirm."

Anyway, the idea that religion became pluralistic as a result of agrarian societies is interesting, because Genesis generally speaks more favourably of nomads (like Abraham) than it does of city-dwellers. Even with Cain and Abel, Abel herded animals, while Cain was agrarian.

I would not identify prophets with shamans, however, even if I were not Christian. The Prophets were not fortune-tellers or spirit-talkers.

Very interesting.
Yeah. because most scientists, historians etc. only study ancient urban cultures and never ancient nomadic cultures, then how do we know if monotheism didn't exist before they became urbanized?

if you read the original post by Voyager, write what you think about it here, because I want to hear what you think.
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Christianus
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« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2010, 05:15:05 PM »

Let me see if I can explain it. Let’s go back to Abraham. The account is in Genesis. Now before one says the Bible is full of fairy tales, the historical account fits in well with what we know of the fertile crescent, those lands between the Mediterranean and the two rivers of Mesopotamia the lands of the Sumerians. It appears Abraham’s father had left the old worship of his forefathers and had taken up the Sumerian religion with their multiple gods. So this worship of a single god goes back much further than Abraham. It was the religion of his people and of his peoples people. It may have gone back thousands of years before Abraham. This worship was already ancient by the time of Abraham.

As noticed, these Semites (Acadians) led a nomadic life. Their life was much like other nomadic people such as American Indians, the Mongols, and tribes in Africa. The one thing that all three have in common is that they are Shamanistic. The idea behind Shamanism is that the Shaman (spiritual leader) speaks directly to the spirits. In many cases these tend to be ancestral spirits. It isn’t a great jump to see a leader of these ancestral spirits in terms of what American Indians called the Great Spirit. Their own human societies were led by a chief or leader. It’s only reasonable that the ancestral spirit family be led by a great leader. When the shaman participates in worship he talks to the Great Spirit. Monotheism is simply a reflection of this tradition to seek guidance from the Great Spirit. Nomadic way of life was much older than urban life. This probably means the worship of a single Great Spirit is probably older than the worship of multiple gods. It seems that the worship of multiple gods was an invention of urban society which evolved after that of nomadism.

So the worship of a single god in the form of a great spirit may be older than the worship of multiple gods. With the American Indians, Mongols, and Africans the shaman was a separate person from the war leader. However, in Semitic society the shaman and war leader seems to have been represented in a single person. Abraham was not only the great warrior chief of his people but also the shaman, the speaker to the Great Spirit. This tradition was carried on by Moses. As son of Pharaoh, Moses would have been trained in the warrior tradition of Egyptian royal family. As the spokesman for God he acted in the capacity of shaman. When the Israelites invaded and settled Canaan the civil leadership of the people devolved onto Judges. Thus the job of civic leader and shaman split. This was formalized under the kings when the office of civil leader and shaman (speaker to the Great Spirit) forever split. The shaman was known then as a prophet and the Great Spirit was Jehovah.
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Christianus
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« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2010, 05:22:29 PM »

Well, I'm not sure what you mean by "confirm."

Anyway, the idea that religion became pluralistic as a result of agrarian societies is interesting, because Genesis generally speaks more favourably of nomads (like Abraham) than it does of city-dwellers. Even with Cain and Abel, Abel herded animals, while Cain was agrarian.

I would not identify prophets with shamans, however, even if I were not Christian. The Prophets were not fortune-tellers or spirit-talkers.

Very interesting.
I've just noticed that about Cain and Abel. interesting.
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« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2010, 05:55:34 PM »

I just read the Voyager posts. Actually, the relation between shamanism and monotheism is, IMO, very tenuous. The fact that the native Americans worshipped a unified spirit is not sufficient evidence, because I believe Asian and Africa shamanism were polytheistic/animist--everything in nature has its own spirit. Also, if the Great Spirit were Yahweh, and the prophets were shamans, that would raise the question of whether nomadic shamans can actually communicate with God. The key difference I see is that shamans were a hereditary social class, whereas the OT (and NT) prophets were not. The closest thing to shamans in the Bible is the Levites, who were a hereditary class, and whose high priest communicated with God once a year through the Ark.
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« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2010, 06:00:19 PM »

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yazidism
"The Yazidi (also Yezidi, Kurdish: ئێزیدی or Êzidî), is a Kurdish religion with ancient Indo-European roots. "
"The origins of Yazidism are ultimately shrouded in Near Eastern prehistory."

"In the Yazidi belief system, God created the world and it is now in the care of a Heptad of seven Holy Beings, often known as Angels or heft sirr (the Seven Mysteries). Preeminent among these is Tawûsê Melek (frequently known as "Melek Tawus" in English publications), the Peacock Angel. According to the Encyclopedia of the Orient"

According to this article Yazidism (monotheism) is prehistoric.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2010, 06:01:56 PM by Christianus » Logged
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« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2010, 11:34:38 PM »

Let me see if I can explain it. Let’s go back to Abraham. The account is in Genesis. Now before one says the Bible is full of fairy tales, the historical account fits in well with what we know of the fertile crescent, those lands between the Mediterranean and the two rivers of Mesopotamia the lands of the Sumerians. It appears Abraham’s father had left the old worship of his forefathers and had taken up the Sumerian religion with their multiple gods. So this worship of a single god goes back much further than Abraham. It was the religion of his people and of his peoples people. It may have gone back thousands of years before Abraham. This worship was already ancient by the time of Abraham.

As noticed, these Semites (Acadians) led a nomadic life. Their life was much like other nomadic people such as American Indians, the Mongols, and tribes in Africa. The one thing that all three have in common is that they are Shamanistic. The idea behind Shamanism is that the Shaman (spiritual leader) speaks directly to the spirits. In many cases these tend to be ancestral spirits. It isn’t a great jump to see a leader of these ancestral spirits in terms of what American Indians called the Great Spirit. Their own human societies were led by a chief or leader. It’s only reasonable that the ancestral spirit family be led by a great leader. When the shaman participates in worship he talks to the Great Spirit. Monotheism is simply a reflection of this tradition to seek guidance from the Great Spirit. Nomadic way of life was much older than urban life. This probably means the worship of a single Great Spirit is probably older than the worship of multiple gods. It seems that the worship of multiple gods was an invention of urban society which evolved after that of nomadism.

So the worship of a single god in the form of a great spirit may be older than the worship of multiple gods. With the American Indians, Mongols, and Africans the shaman was a separate person from the war leader. However, in Semitic society the shaman and war leader seems to have been represented in a single person. Abraham was not only the great warrior chief of his people but also the shaman, the speaker to the Great Spirit. This tradition was carried on by Moses. As son of Pharaoh, Moses would have been trained in the warrior tradition of Egyptian royal family. As the spokesman for God he acted in the capacity of shaman. When the Israelites invaded and settled Canaan the civil leadership of the people devolved onto Judges. Thus the job of civic leader and shaman split. This was formalized under the kings when the office of civil leader and shaman (speaker to the Great Spirit) forever split. The shaman was known then as a prophet and the Great Spirit was Jehovah.
Is there some reason you posted the same material twice on the same thread within only hours difference between posts?
« Last Edit: March 27, 2010, 11:37:02 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
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« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2010, 11:57:26 PM »

I've just noticed that about Cain and Abel. interesting.

Being always more on the carnivore's end of the spectrum of eating habits, I rather always took it as vindication and proof that the Lord favours meat-eaters.
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« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2010, 01:06:47 AM »

Let me see if I can explain it. Let’s go back to Abraham. The account is in Genesis. Now before one says the Bible is full of fairy tales, the historical account fits in well with what we know of the fertile crescent, those lands between the Mediterranean and the two rivers of Mesopotamia the lands of the Sumerians. It appears Abraham’s father had left the old worship of his forefathers and had taken up the Sumerian religion with their multiple gods. So this worship of a single god goes back much further than Abraham. It was the religion of his people and of his peoples people. It may have gone back thousands of years before Abraham. This worship was already ancient by the time of Abraham.

As noticed, these Semites (Acadians) led a nomadic life. Their life was much like other nomadic people such as American Indians, the Mongols, and tribes in Africa. The one thing that all three have in common is that they are Shamanistic. The idea behind Shamanism is that the Shaman (spiritual leader) speaks directly to the spirits. In many cases these tend to be ancestral spirits. It isn’t a great jump to see a leader of these ancestral spirits in terms of what American Indians called the Great Spirit. Their own human societies were led by a chief or leader. It’s only reasonable that the ancestral spirit family be led by a great leader. When the shaman participates in worship he talks to the Great Spirit. Monotheism is simply a reflection of this tradition to seek guidance from the Great Spirit. Nomadic way of life was much older than urban life. This probably means the worship of a single Great Spirit is probably older than the worship of multiple gods. It seems that the worship of multiple gods was an invention of urban society which evolved after that of nomadism.

So the worship of a single god in the form of a great spirit may be older than the worship of multiple gods. With the American Indians, Mongols, and Africans the shaman was a separate person from the war leader. However, in Semitic society the shaman and war leader seems to have been represented in a single person. Abraham was not only the great warrior chief of his people but also the shaman, the speaker to the Great Spirit. This tradition was carried on by Moses. As son of Pharaoh, Moses would have been trained in the warrior tradition of Egyptian royal family. As the spokesman for God he acted in the capacity of shaman. When the Israelites invaded and settled Canaan the civil leadership of the people devolved onto Judges. Thus the job of civic leader and shaman split. This was formalized under the kings when the office of civil leader and shaman (speaker to the Great Spirit) forever split. The shaman was known then as a prophet and the Great Spirit was Jehovah.
Is there some reason you posted the same material twice on the same thread within only hours difference between posts?
I''m expecting answers anxiously from this forum. I so eagerly want to say to you all: hurry up, or as the Mexicans say andale
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« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2010, 01:07:22 AM »

I've just noticed that about Cain and Abel. interesting.

Being always more on the carnivore's end of the spectrum of eating habits, I rather always took it as vindication and proof that the Lord favours meat-eaters.
haha. laugh
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« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2010, 10:52:27 AM »

Let me see if I can explain it. Let’s go back to Abraham. The account is in Genesis. Now before one says the Bible is full of fairy tales, the historical account fits in well with what we know of the fertile crescent, those lands between the Mediterranean and the two rivers of Mesopotamia the lands of the Sumerians. It appears Abraham’s father had left the old worship of his forefathers and had taken up the Sumerian religion with their multiple gods. So this worship of a single god goes back much further than Abraham. It was the religion of his people and of his peoples people. It may have gone back thousands of years before Abraham. This worship was already ancient by the time of Abraham.

As noticed, these Semites (Acadians) led a nomadic life. Their life was much like other nomadic people such as American Indians, the Mongols, and tribes in Africa. The one thing that all three have in common is that they are Shamanistic. The idea behind Shamanism is that the Shaman (spiritual leader) speaks directly to the spirits. In many cases these tend to be ancestral spirits. It isn’t a great jump to see a leader of these ancestral spirits in terms of what American Indians called the Great Spirit. Their own human societies were led by a chief or leader. It’s only reasonable that the ancestral spirit family be led by a great leader. When the shaman participates in worship he talks to the Great Spirit. Monotheism is simply a reflection of this tradition to seek guidance from the Great Spirit. Nomadic way of life was much older than urban life. This probably means the worship of a single Great Spirit is probably older than the worship of multiple gods. It seems that the worship of multiple gods was an invention of urban society which evolved after that of nomadism.

So the worship of a single god in the form of a great spirit may be older than the worship of multiple gods. With the American Indians, Mongols, and Africans the shaman was a separate person from the war leader. However, in Semitic society the shaman and war leader seems to have been represented in a single person. Abraham was not only the great warrior chief of his people but also the shaman, the speaker to the Great Spirit. This tradition was carried on by Moses. As son of Pharaoh, Moses would have been trained in the warrior tradition of Egyptian royal family. As the spokesman for God he acted in the capacity of shaman. When the Israelites invaded and settled Canaan the civil leadership of the people devolved onto Judges. Thus the job of civic leader and shaman split. This was formalized under the kings when the office of civil leader and shaman (speaker to the Great Spirit) forever split. The shaman was known then as a prophet and the Great Spirit was Jehovah.
Is there some reason you posted the same material twice on the same thread within only hours difference between posts?
I''m expecting answers anxiously from this forum. I so eagerly want to say to you all: hurry up, or as the Mexicans say andale
If you so anxiously await answers, reposting the same 3-paragraph essay is an unnecessarily redundant way to communicate this.  In this text-only medium, you really only need to say something once. Wink
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« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2010, 02:59:37 AM »

I'm losing faith in any of the belief systems of man: Atheism, Christianity, Polytheism, Agnosticism, Islam, Judaism, and science: they're all so imperfect. sometimes I feel like most of orthodoxy is made up.
Every human belief to me seems to be made up: atheists can't prove that God doesn't exist: though Christians do have proof that suggests a creator.

All human beliefs are made up to me.

I feel vain: like I'm nothing.

Someone talk to me. please.
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« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2010, 10:30:37 AM »

Well, according to St. John of Damascus, God does not exist. God is hyperousios, above existence. One of the keys to understanding the God whom the Orthodox serve is that in the theology of the Fathers (which was based on their experiences, not on philosophy like scholastic thought), there is no *absolutely* no similarity between the created and the Uncreated. Words cannot be used in their conventional sense to explain the Divine. In fact, John of Damascus said that the name "God" only refers to the energies of God, what we experience, and not to his essence, which can never be described. This is the essence of apophatic theology, and the essence of the name revealed to Moses, "I am the one who is."

What I'm getting at is that all religions except Orthodox Christianity, especially Western Christianity, seem to be based on the existence of a being called God, implicitly or explicitly. But we don't believe in the existence of a being called God, we believe in no gods; we only use the word "God" to refer to the uncreated energies of something we can never know.

This is why I'm extremely uncomfortable talking about "this god versus that god." We use the word "god" to mean very different things, especially among Christians. Iam also uncomfortable talking about "belief systems," because Orthodoxy leaves far too many questions unanswered ON PURPOSE (concept of mystery) to be called a "system," whereas other religions (western, at least) are bent on giving explanations for everything, including when the honestly don't have a clue. It's when the search for knowledge becomes a sickness, and we end up believing things we made up--the opposite of knowledge.

Anyway, the truth will set you free, and God knows that, so don't be afraid to seriously question your beliefs. Just don't panic if you can't understand everything at once--thirst for knowledge is natural and good, but it can also become an addiction, a cause for more hurt than help.

Don't fret. Smiley
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« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2010, 02:55:49 PM »

Well, according to St. John of Damascus, God does not exist. God is hyperousios, above existence. One of the keys to understanding the God whom the Orthodox serve is that in the theology of the Fathers (which was based on their experiences, not on philosophy like scholastic thought), there is no *absolutely* no similarity between the created and the Uncreated. Words cannot be used in their conventional sense to explain the Divine. In fact, John of Damascus said that the name "God" only refers to the energies of God, what we experience, and not to his essence, which can never be described. This is the essence of apophatic theology, and the essence of the name revealed to Moses, "I am the one who is."

What I'm getting at is that all religions except Orthodox Christianity, especially Western Christianity, seem to be based on the existence of a being called God, implicitly or explicitly. But we don't believe in the existence of a being called God, we believe in no gods; we only use the word "God" to refer to the uncreated energies of something we can never know.

This is why I'm extremely uncomfortable talking about "this god versus that god." We use the word "god" to mean very different things, especially among Christians. Iam also uncomfortable talking about "belief systems," because Orthodoxy leaves far too many questions unanswered ON PURPOSE (concept of mystery) to be called a "system," whereas other religions (western, at least) are bent on giving explanations for everything, including when the honestly don't have a clue. It's when the search for knowledge becomes a sickness, and we end up believing things we made up--the opposite of knowledge.

Anyway, the truth will set you free, and God knows that, so don't be afraid to seriously question your beliefs. Just don't panic if you can't understand everything at once--thirst for knowledge is natural and good, but it can also become an addiction, a cause for more hurt than help.

Don't fret. Smiley
I would counsel that we be careful how far we go with our apophatic theology, though, in that one could use a theological exercise such as you used to prove the ridiculous claim that there is no God.  We know God exists because He revealed Himself to us.
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« Reply #16 on: March 29, 2010, 06:48:33 PM »

I would counsel that we be careful how far we go with our apophatic theology, though, in that one could use a theological exercise such as you used to prove the ridiculous claim that there is no God.  We know God exists because He revealed Himself to us.

Actually, thank you for posting that comment, Peter, because looking back on my post it does seem a bit strange. I guess that what I'm positing is that God is not any particular god, he simply exists. This sort of invalidates the whole question of "which god is the right one?" There is only one God, the question is simply, how does one know God? The answer is, through God the Word, Jesus Christ. Outside of the Son, itis impossible to know or understand God, since "no one has known the Father." Thank you for making me clarify my longwinded, babbling post.
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« Reply #17 on: April 05, 2010, 06:29:33 PM »

I'm losing faith in any of the belief systems of man: Atheism, Christianity, Polytheism, Agnosticism, Islam, Judaism, and science: they're all so imperfect. sometimes I feel like most of orthodoxy is made up.
Every human belief to me seems to be made up: atheists can't prove that God doesn't exist: though Christians do have proof that suggests a creator.

All human beliefs are made up to me.

I feel vain: like I'm nothing.

Someone talk to me. please.

I will pray for you, and don't be afraid to speak to God, even the Psalmists regularly expressed confusion, withering faith and cried out "where are you God?" So don't be too hard on yourself, don't feel guilty for being in doubt we are encouraged to ask questions and desire knowledge. But remember that God has revealed Himself as Yeshua Meshiakh, if you believe this is true then all your questions will be answered in their own time. "Seek and ye shall find".

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« Reply #18 on: April 05, 2010, 06:32:44 PM »

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yazidism
"The Yazidi (also Yezidi, Kurdish: ئێزیدی or Êzidî), is a Kurdish religion with ancient Indo-European roots. "
"The origins of Yazidism are ultimately shrouded in Near Eastern prehistory."

"In the Yazidi belief system, God created the world and it is now in the care of a Heptad of seven Holy Beings, often known as Angels or heft sirr (the Seven Mysteries). Preeminent among these is Tawûsê Melek (frequently known as "Melek Tawus" in English publications), the Peacock Angel. According to the Encyclopedia of the Orient"

According to this article Yazidism (monotheism) is prehistoric.

I would say that Zoroastrianism is a closer parallel:

Basic beliefs

* There is one universal and transcendental God, Ahura Mazda, the one uncreated Creator to whom all worship is ultimately directed.[4]

* Ahura Mazda's creation—evident as asha, truth and order—is the antithesis (chaos), evident as druj, falsehood and disorder. The resulting conflict involves the entire universe, including humanity, which has an active role to play in the conflict.[5]

* Active participation in life through good thoughts, good words and good deeds is necessary to ensure happiness and to keep the chaos at bay. This active participation is a central element in Zoroaster's concept of free will, and Zoroastrianism rejects all forms of monasticism.

* Ahura Mazda will ultimately prevail over evil Angra Mainyu / Ahriman (see below), at which point the universe will undergo a cosmic renovation and time will end (cf: Zoroastrian eschatology). In the final renovation, all of creation—even the souls of the dead that were initially banished to "darkness"—will be reunited in Ahura Mazda returning to life in the undead form. At the end of time a savior-figure [a Saoshyant] will bring about a final renovation of the world (frasho.kereti), and in which the dead will be revived.[6]

* In Zoroastrian tradition the malevolent is represented by Angra Mainyu (also referred to as "Ahriman"), the "Destructive Principle", while the benevolent is represented through Ahura Mazda's Spenta Mainyu, the instrument or "Bounteous Principle" of the act of creation. It is through Spenta Mainyu that transcendental Ahura Mazda is immanent in humankind, and through which the Creator interacts with the world. According to Zoroastrian cosmology, in articulating the Ahuna Vairya formula Ahura Mazda made His ultimate triumph evident to Angra Mainyu.

* As expressions and aspects of Creation, Ahura Mazda emanated the Amesha Spentas ("Bounteous Immortals"), that are each the hypostasis and representative of one aspect of that Creation. These Amesha Spenta are in turn assisted by a league of lesser principles, the Yazatas, each "Worthy of Worship" and each again a hypostasis of a moral or physical aspect of creation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zoroastrianism
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Jurisdiction: Church of Finland and Romanian Orthodox Church
Posts: 1,159


St Stephen of Perm, missionary to speakers of Komi


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« Reply #19 on: April 15, 2010, 01:51:31 PM »

The Indo-Europeans were nomadic, and yet the Indo-European pantheon was quite large, with at least the three gods *Deiwos, *H1ausosa and *H1egni attested across nearly all of the first attested Indo-European languages.

The Finno-Ugrian peoples also led a non-sedentary existence until relatively recently, and the traditional religions of the Nenets, Mari and Udmurt that still survive today have a number of gods.

The claim "ancient nomads were monotheist, ancient city-dwellers were polytheist" just isn't widely true.
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