Talk:Henotheism

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
          This article is of interest to the following WikiProjects:
WikiProject Religion (Rated Start-class, Top-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Religion, a project to improve Wikipedia's articles on Religion-related subjects. Please participate by editing the article, and help us assess and improve articles to good and 1.0 standards, or visit the wikiproject page for more details.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Top  This article has been rated as Top-importance on the project's importance scale.
 
WikiProject Christianity / Theology / Latter Day Saints (Rated Start-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Christianity, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Christianity on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by theology work group (marked as Low-importance).
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by WikiProject Latter Day Saint movement (marked as Low-importance).
 
WikiProject Judaism (Rated Start-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Judaism, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Judaism-related articles on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.
 

Saints[edit]

Need some mention of the role of saints in Catholicism as a way of incorporating polytheistic religions into the explicit monotheism of Christianity. There's more ambiguity in this than some would admit--the Trinity itself is vaguely polytheistic.

Indeed, some Jews and Muslims critique Christianity's "monotheism" on precisely that basis. --FOo

Witnesses[edit]

Removed Jehovah's Witnesses. They monotheistc.

I'd highly suggest somebody restore the Jehovah's Witnesses link. They can claim to be monotheistic all they want, but we all know they think Jehovah is the Almighty God, while Michael the Archangel (pre-incarnate Jesus) is the Mighty God. If you're trying to remove them based on their claims of being monotheistic, then remove Christianity, we claim to be monotheistic too. I'd also suggest placing Mormonism on here, as they actually claim to be henotheistic. Glorthac (talk) 14:53, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

About Henotheism[edit]

The acceptance of other gods means that certain powers are assigned to other gods as well or they are just like spirits that can't do anything on their own? If second concept is true then why call them as gods. If first concept is true then what is the difference between polytheism and henotheism? PassionInfinity 08:13, 1 October 2005 (UTC)

My understanding is that in henotheism only one god is worshiped, though the existence of other gods is acknowledged (ancient Judaism may have been henotheistic; Zoroastrianism as well). In polytheism, several (or many) gods are acknowledged and also worshiped in some way. KHM03 11:47, 1 October 2005 (UTC)
By way of example: I Kings, chapter 18. Here is the account of the battle of the burnt offerings, with Elijah representing Yahweh and 450 unnamed priests representing Ba'al. The challenge is that both teams will lay out an altar set with sacrifices and call upon their respective gods to light the fire. Elijah succeeds, Ba'al's priests fail. The reason given is not that Ba'al is a "false god" or does not exist, but that Ba'al has no power within Yahweh's territory. The implication is that, had the same contest been done on Ba'al's turf and among Ba'al's people, Elijah would have failed. (TechBear 03:11, 20 October 2005 (UTC))

Isn't this essentially the same thing as monolatry? I see no real differences. - Wikigeek, 24 June 2007

Christianity section[edit]

Just want to interject that you cant say "mainline" forms of Christianity permit the asking of saints to intercede...forms of protestantism reject this outright... please see the section on protestantism in particular the tenets Solus Christus and Soli Deo Gloria. Christianity is often confused with Catholicism - just sayin... 71.187.66.95 (talk) 04:00, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Catholicism IS part of Christianity. --Willthacheerleader18 (talk) 21:16, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

On Ig0774's edit: It may be more traditional in Western Christianity, but "person" is a very inadequate translation of "hypostasis". Since the paragraph purports to tell us what the Council of Nicaea said, it's perhaps best to avoid a term which it didn't use. ("Persons" translates "personae" or "prosopa", which is a gloss of "hypostasis" but actually means something different.)

On Paul Barlow's edit: After reading Trimurti and looking around some, I have to say I couldn't find a mention of a "divine essence" at all. If anyone does say that, it must be used in a very different sense than in Nicene Christianity. There, "essence" doesn't refer to anything with a concrete existence. It's an abstraction, which if it is to have any real existence must be expressed in a hypostasis. All created beings express their essences (*what* they are) as a single hypostasis (*who* they are). The Trinitarian God in this conception is unique in expressing his essence in three hypostases. On the other hand, the single God of Hinduism is believed to exist as an absolute unity, but adopts different "roles" in his actions. As far as I can tell, the reality believed to exist behind those roles is thought to exist in a real way, so this is not like the Christian "divine essence" at all.

("Essence" and "substance" here are synonyms, but since "substance" can translate either "ousia" or "hypostasis" I prefer "essence" for the first and "subsistence" for the second, to avoid confusion.)

I'm therefore reverting. TCC (talk) (contribs) 20:14, 13 May 2006 (UTC)

It's pretty clear. The Hindu notion is that Brahman is an impersonal concept of consciousness or "thought", that is understood, according to the Vedanta, to be the precondition for divinity - as manifested in Shiva, Vishnu, Shakti etc, etc. The Trimurti is not the central issue here. The point is that Vedanta claims that the force/substance of divine being precedes divine personality. The argument is that the Nicine formulation of divinity also implies that - by asserting that something called "substance" precedes and determines the relationship between "persons". I've no idea what is meant by the seemingly tautological assertion that "the reality believed to exist behind those roles is thought to exist in a real way ."Paul B 20:26, 13 May 2006 (UTC)
Your error is in supposing that "essence" in Nicene thought is a "thing". It isn't; it's an abstraction that does not exist without a hypostasis. It cannot then "precede" the Three in any sense of the word, which the Nicene definition doesn't say anyway. You have demonstrated very clearly that, whatever is meant by "essence" or "substance" when discussing Trimurti in English, it is not the same idea. TCC (talk) (contribs) 08:30, 14 May 2006 (UTC)
P.S. At this point, I have no idea what I was thinking when I wrote that sentence either. Probably that what you call the "force/substance of divine being" is thought to be something that has real existence on its own. As I said, this is unlike how ousia is used in the Nicene definition. TCC (talk) (contribs) 09:34, 14 May 2006 (UTC)
Well, this is part of the problem isn't it? There can be no single "correct" interpretation of the creed, or of the concept of Brahman. The creed exists as a form of words filled with ambiguity (or "mystery"). As for Hinduism, it isn't credal so there is no definitive statement of "Hindu doctrine", or of the meaning of the word "Brahman" - which can be understood as a concept, as a god, as a substance, or in another formulation. No one, I think, is suggesting that the ideas are the same - that is, identical - but that there is a significant commonality or similarity. What is meant by "ousia" or "substantia" is not asserted, beyond the fact of the use of those words in Greek and Latin. I'd suggest that we cannot say with certainty whether or not "Brahman" gestures towards the same meaning (or the same "thing") but we can legitimately point to the connections between the formulations. When I said that substance "preceded" "divine personality" I did not mean that in a chronological sense, though admitedly my language is inadequate here (in fact the Rig Veda sometimes does seem to imply chronological precedence to what is there called "the one"). I was trying to suggest that it is conceived of as a necessary condition for the "persons". But of course that statement is as arguable as others. Paul B 10:31, 14 May 2006 (UTC)
It would be absurd in reading any statement of any kind, credal or not, to expect it to define for itself all the terms it uses. Communication would be impossible if that were true. I'm giving you the sense of ousia as it was intended when used in the Nicene definition (and further developed at I Constantinople). This is easily determined from the writings of, for example, the Cappadocian fathers, or for that matter, any modern Orthodox writer on dogmatic theology. It's not controversial at all; it's a standard. As I said, it's not a "force" or "thought" or anything of the kind.
Ousia is not a necessary condition of the Trinity; rather, it how the Unity can be understood when both it and Trinity are revealed truths that must be taken as axoimatic. (And indeed how the Unity must be understood in a small-"o" orthodox manner.)
I'm sorry, but can't see how there is any kind of similarity between this and the concept of divine unity in Hinduism. The Hindu idea appears similar to Sabellianism, a Christian heresy that was rejected decades before Nicaea, and which is believed today by only a small minority of groups calling themselves Christian, all of relatively recent origin. TCC (talk) (contribs) 01:56, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

Classical Greco-Roman Paganism[edit]

I excised "Paganism" from the above title on the main page. It wasn't necessary to the section, and it doesn't seem logical (to me) that the Ancient Greeks would be described as Pagan....

--Arkayik 04:34, 21 May 2006 (UTC)

Maybe I'M confused, but what would be illogical about refering to Ancient Greek religion as Paganism? Themill 07:53, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
As Wikipedia's own article on Paganism says, "'Paganism' frequently refers to the religions of classical antiquity, most notably Greek mythology or Roman religion, and can be used neutrally or admiringly by those who refer to those complexes of belief." This is indeed still one of the more common uses of the word. 66.241.73.241 (talk) 04:24, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

There appears to be a logical difficulty with this section. Ancient Greek "religion" is being defined by a quote from a 2nd CE century Roman. Am I confused (always a strong possibilty), or could this section be better worded by someone in the know about the subject...?

--Arkayik 04:34, 21 May 2006 (UTC)

He's a second century Greek. It's just that his name is Latinised. Paul B 10:00, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

Second century Greeks were Romans. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.94.140.31 (talk) 02:28, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

Use of CE and BCE preferred over AD and BC[edit]

Among historians, proper notation is to use C.E. (Common Era) and B.C.E. (Before Common Era) rather than A.D. (Anno Domini, Year of the Lord) and B.C. (Before Christ,) as C.E. and B.C.E. do not make assumptions about religious belief or the veracity of presumed events. Please stick with this protocol. TechBear 01:34, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

There is no such protocol. Wikipedia policy allows either notation. For articles with a multi-faith content, however, the CE notation usually preferred. But that's convention, not polcy. Paul B 07:46, 3 October 2006 (UTC)
Among historians, BCE and CE is the protocol in all cases except one: material dealing exclusively with Christian history, religion or dogma; even there, the use of BCE and CE is becoming widespread. Regardless of Wiki's policy allowing notations that are no longer in use by scholars of a particular field, I believe it is a valid request to stick to the accepted practice of those scholars. TechBear 16:58, 3 October 2006 (UTC)
I agree with TechBear. —Nightstallion (?) 16:03, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

This subject gets a lot of play on WIKI; further, it is a constant, repeated near whine from a small subset of individuals that have this passion about CE. Agreed, in most academic circles it has become the style of dating; however, the rest of the English speaking world (the common individual) understands AD/BC. It has meaning to them. In this instance, I favor using that which is most easily understood by the most people. Incidentially, do really think the majority also understand the that AD is Anno Domini. Latin went out generations ago; let's not get to excited about original meanings. It is like saying you can't practice Christmas because it is celebrated a the same time a pagan festival was held thousands of years ago. Much ado about nothing. Storm Rider (talk) 16:37, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

My own field is Architecture History in which B.C. is the almost universal norm, generally nothing is used for the A.D. period unles there is doubt (first couple of centuries usually) and in that case one uses A.D. C.E. and B.C.E. is in my experience used only among scholars of religion. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.16.146.33 (talk) 21:25, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Masonic Belief[edit]

While going through the various '-isms' listed in connection with this article, I found nothing to express the beliefs of Freemasons. Freemasons, while claiming not to be a religion or to have any dogma or belief system, do subscribe to one or more particular ideas about the Deity. Freemasons admit men of any belief system, except atheists. So, that makes them at least theists. But they also refer to the Supreme Being as "The Great Architect of the Universe" and they obligate men on the holy writings of their choice. So, if men who are Buddhist, Muslim, Jewish, Christian or Hindu can stand together in a lodge and direct a prayer to the Great Architect, and can show equal respect for any particular revelation of the Deity, then they must have some agreement.

That agreement could be extrapolated as a belief. What is that belief? It would seem to be that the Deity for one man who is a mason is the same Deity for another mason who believes differently, but that Deity is merely known by another name. This is not really henotheism, which is the worship of one God, while accepting the existence of others. Masonic belief seems to proclaim that God gave different revelations to different people at different times and while known by many names, is still the same God. I find no particular '-ism' that encompasses this belief. Monotheism, by its traditional definition, does not seem to fit because it tends to confine its Deity to a particular revelation. It says that my God is the only God, but gave only one revelation and is in communion only with those who accept that revelation.

So, therefore the idea of one God with multiple revelations seems to fit Freemasonry alone, although perhaps Unitarianism comes close. As such, I propose that a new definition of "Masonism" be added to your list.Guy of Auvergne 16:12, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

Freemasonary arises from 18th century deism. I don't think that Henotheism is an appropriate term for its characteristic claims. Paul B 16:18, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

Deism does not recognize revelation. A lodge of Deists would have no holy writings on its altar. Also, when a Bible is opened on a Masonic altar, it no longer represents the religious views of Jews and Christians alone. It symbolizes the holy writings of all religions. Therefore, I believe that Henotheism is a good starting point for discussion of Masonic belief (or philosophy, for those who to object to the idea of Masonic religion), though ultimately, I think it deserves its own classification. This is no small matter, because the concepts of religious freedom enshrined in the US Constitution have at least some basis in Masonic philosophy, owing to the number of our Founding Fathers who were Freemasons.Guy of Auvergne 19:16, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

Gnosticism[edit]

The article says:

Christian Gnosticism is generally henotheistic.

How so? In what way? This is all that it says. This is way too little information. Bytebear 05:25, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Israelite beliefs and Judaism[edit]

I object to the following as mealy-mouthed:

"2 Kings 3:27 has been interpreted as describing a human sacrifice in Moab that led the invading Israelite army to fear the power of Chemosh."

Actually, 2 Kings 3:27 describes the king of Moab sacrificing his own son to Chemosh, and the Israelites breaking off their God-directed war against Moab when confronted with a mysterious "wrath" or "indignation" that seems to be a direct consequence of the sacrifice. In other words, it does not so much suggest that the Israelite army was fearful of Chemosh-the-false-god as it suggests that Chemosh-a-real-if-lesser-god drove them away.

Yes, lots of Bible commentators prefer a monotheistic "interpretation" that obviates Chemosh's routing of God's army. But in the actual passage there is not a word about the Israelites being afraid, and given our topic on this page, I feel we should at least mention the real possibility that the chronicler of 2 Kings is himself henotheistic enough to believe that Chemosh exerted god-like power in response to a sacrifice. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 66.241.73.241 (talk) 06:35, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

What is not accepable in the article is to quote a primary text and assume that as sufficient. If there is an interpretation by a notable expert/reference, then quote he(r). If not, then the section is OR. As longs as there is a reference for a postion, it should typically be included in the article. --Storm Rider (talk) 06:47, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

-I protest the inclusion of Judaism and the Hebrew religion as henotheistic on the grounds that this page's own definitions of henotheism and monolatry display that the ancient Israelite peoples are better described as monolatrous in their earlier periods. Additionally, a distinction should be made: the mentioning of historical accounts which contain the actions of individual peoples or people groups should be differentiated from accounts which intend to establish doctrine or law. In other words, it may not be appropriate to identify any Hebrew religion as henotheistic or monolatrous, though it may be appropriate to note that, at times, the people claiming to follow these religions were henotheistic or monolatrous even if their religion's teachings did not reflect such beliefs. Troa (talk) 17:20, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

The entire section is an unsourced opinion piece and I removed it. If a real secondary source can be found that states such claims the section can be recreated, starting with the words "according to [whatever scholar]". Until there is someone to pin these ideas to the section is original research and inappropriately presenting one point of view as a general consensus. Jon513 (talk) 08:41, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

the claim that "Elohim" is plural overly simplifies Hebrew. The word exists as a simple word meaning (and used textually) as both "judge" and "judges." When applied to the deity, as evidenced by the use of the singular verb, the word is in the singular (explained by Nachmanides as "the power over all other forces). — Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.111.72.100 (talk) 21:44, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

How does 'fixed...substance issues' and 'corrected tons of mistakes' become 'grammatical corrections'[edit]

I see we have an editor who first says he is fixing substance issues and correcting mistakes, after having his edits reverted, now claiming here and on my talk page that hs is only correcting "grammatical errors and sentence phrasing". Doug Weller (talk) 06:24, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Correcting mistakes=fixing substance. Don't make POV complaints out of thin air! Did you even care to look at the original article under Hinduism and the grammar in there? It had tons of errors in it. Fixing errors should be lauded. I thought you were smart. BTW, most people don't expect arbitrary reverts from a normal admin. VedicScience (talk) 06:35, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
if I can intrude momentarily... having read through the give and take, here, I think the argument has gotten out of scope. none of us is going to be able to determinately say that Hinduism is or is not henothistic, because Hindus themselves can't do it. Dvaita and advaita sects squabble about this all the time. I think you should trim the hinduism section back a good bit, and restrict it to Müller's view of the topic, making it explicit that this is a Western philosophical/sociological take on the matter and not even touch on the issue of whether or not it is a realistic representation of Hinduism as its actually practiced. any attempt to do the latter is bound to fail.
and VedicScience - while much of what you did was just grammatical, you are certainly adjusting the tone of the section to give it a particular spin. let's call a spade a spade. while I salute your beliefs and your knowledge of the faith, we do have to approach things a bit gingerly on wikipedia. it would be better all around if you found sources to present these opinions for you, rather than just throwing them out there. --Ludwigs2 06:57, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
Thanks Ludwigs2. I agree, he did make some grammatical corrections, but to call them all grammatical is not on. VS is now busy reporting me - he's up to 4 places now! You can gain more insight into the situation at Talk:Aditya . Doug Weller (talk) 07:01, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

VedicScience's edits certainly didn't go towards improving the section, but the section was already incredibly bad as it stood. I have tried to fix it. --dab (𒁳) 07:28, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

I think this revision looks much better, and is certainly more on point. --Ludwigs2 19:33, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
VedicScience (if you don't know) was blocked this morning for 72 hours. Nothing to do with me although his complaints on 5 different forums (strange ones too, including talk:Arbitration Committee, drew attention to some of his edits, especially the last one he did here that he called grammatical. But he will be back, and I doubt that he will be happy. But some uninvolved editors are trying to help him, perhaps he will listen to them. For his sake, I hope he does. Doug Weller (talk) 19:52, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Brahman[edit]

aDvaitaFan... sorry, I think you're using a particular POV on the hinduism section, but I'm willing to be educated otherwise. why do you think you're version is better? --Ludwigs2 01:34, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

Ludwigs2, In one of your edits: "Historically the introduction of Brahman establishes a concept of a transcendent or divine reality". This is incorrect. The concept of Brahman implies a transcendent and immanent reality. It's no introduced concept. It is present in Vedas and Upanishads. Also check Brahman and Immanence in addition to many other places on Wikipedia and numerous books and sites on Hinduism. Smartism is not monotheistic, it is openly soft polytheistic.
Furthermore, this statement is inaccurate - The former polytheistic deities of historical Vedic religion, the Devas survive, but their status is similar to "demigods" or angels, supernatural powers within the material nature, and authorities over mankind, but who aren't supreme.
This is all misleading. I'm helping fix it in good faith. Please read this book if you dont know: http://books.google.com/books?id=IhLN2I9yTTkC
BTW, it also denigrates devas as "surviving" - this is really bad!!! Wikipedia is not a place for POV. Please stick to NPOV and don't engage in RVs for the fun of it or inject your own ideas and opinions. I don't like edit wars. Let's work together. ADvaitaFan (talk) 01:53, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
Advaita - I'm not criticizing your intentions here; I know you're trying to improve the article. my main concern is that you are imposing a particular advaita viewpoint which may not be accurate in the history of ideas. for example, Brahman is in fact an introduced topic - the term did not exist prior to the creation of the vedas, and has evolved with different meanings over the course of Hindu history. the sense that you are relying on came into being with Shankara in the 8th century, and though it may have been implicit or dormant in the vedas before that time, we can not say that it was used that way.
this isn't to say that it's a wrong view, because it's probably not. however, we can not impose that understanding on people who probably didn't believe it.
I'm not happy with the 'angels and demigods' part either - that can probably go - but we need to reflect the idea that what were originally independent deities shifted to become manifestations of a single deity or monist principle. and we also need to reflect the fact that this entire topic is a western rationalization of hindu philosophy, right? --Ludwigs2 02:08, 5 October 2008 (UTC)


Hi Ludwigs2, "for example, Brahman is in fact an introduced topic - the term did not exist prior to the creation of the vedas, and has evolved with different meanings over the course of Hindu history." Vedas are the oldest among religious texts. Vedas are said to be "compiled" by Vyasa. The Vedas themselves declare that they have always existed "in the remotest skies"! So even Vysa only compiled them. Then "the term did not exist prior..." means we should go about every page on religion and say Allah was an introduced concept and so on. That would be POV and denigration of followers of a particular faith - not recommended at all~! Listen, Hindu schools of thought have differences over perspectives, but Brahman has always consistently meant "transcendent and immanent reality" to all schools throughout history. There was a POV statement in here which said Brahman is transcendent, and had to be fixed. It's done. Just as Tanakh is a canon, Vedanta is a canon. The Upanishads only summarize of the concent of the verbose Vedas. Vedas, Upanishads, as well as later texts describe the nature of the multi-dimensional Brahman, which still remains a difficult concept even for scholars and theologians to understand.
"the sense that you are relying on came into being with Shankara in the 8th century, and though it may have been implicit or dormant in the vedas before that time, we can not say that it was used that way." The Upanishads precede Adi Shankara by more than 3000 years. Shankara's philosophy was real simple - worship one or more forms of God, doesn't matter - All is Brahman! He didn't write the Upanishads, he wrote "commentaries" on Upanishads. So did dozens of other "acaryas" of many schools of thought but is not widely known. Neither did Shankara make bones about "soft polytheism". It was all okay to him and in fact he even recommended it along with absolute monism. See the ref links in the main article and study all philosophies right here on Wikipedia.
"this isn't to say that it's a wrong view, because it's probably not. however, we can not impose that understanding on people who probably didn't believe it." All we are doing here is stating "what it is" at face value. No POV or trying to be semitic monotheism. Just state facts, regardless of whether someone likes it or not, or believes / rejects abstruse concepts. :)
"I'm not happy with the 'angels and demigods' part either - that can probably go - but we need to reflect the idea that what were originally independent deities" - Nope. Rta is the cosmic order which binds all devas together. Who told you they were originally independent deities? There are many books on Vedas and Upanishads on Amazon if you want to really dig in.
"shifted to become manifestations of a single deity or monist principle. and we also need to reflect the fact that this entire topic is a western rationalization of hindu philosophy, right?" Nothing was shifted. Many parts make the whole. It was and still is as simple as that. Monism was there from day one - for example, Nasadiya Sukta and many other places in the Vedas. I agree though that we should not try the approach of Western rationalization of Hindu philosophy or portray it for what it is not. Western dualism is based on mind-matter separation. Vedanta is very different - consciousness is all-pervading and the ground of matter. HTH~! ADvaitaFan (talk) 03:19, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
ADvaita
  1. stop Edit_warring. I've left a message on your talk page, and if you keep it up I will be forced to report you and leave it up to administrators. I'd rather not, if you don't mind.
  2. you are speaking completely from within the Advaita perspective, and that is not proper for an encyclopedia. yes, in fact it would be proper to say that allah and yahweh were introduced concepts in those articles - the existence or non-existence of a god-like being is well beyond the scope of wikipedia to decide. you need to take a properly encyclopedic perspective, and that often means putting aside your beliefs for the purposes of editing.
I know more about Advaita than you seem to realize, so I don't need children's lectures on the subject. what I would like is for you to sit down and discuss changes so that we get a version of the article that is (a) correct, and (b) properly encyclopedic. but please know that your knowledge about (a) in no way supersedes (b). now, I'd like it if you would revert your last edit so that we can discuss the matter civilly; if you don't, someone else will (since you've been reverted by three different editors already), and that kind of thing will only lead to administrative action. --Ludwigs2 03:45, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
Dear Lugwigs2, It seems to me that you and I are in agreement with most of the things. I don't even see a reason for us to progress towards animosity. Please care to check the reference links added to the article for verification instead of walking into rv traps. The threshold for inclusion on Wikipedia is "verifiability" - Wikipedia:Verifiability. Anyone who does not respect good faith edits without first checking out reference links and materials, they'd be walking into a 3RR for no reason and perhaps even a block. The admins can see what's going on here. Don't imagine that it is not so! Not recommended. ADvaitaFan (talk) 03:54, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
Advaita - I see no reason to progress towards animosity either. all I'm asking is that you discuss the changes you wish to make here on the talk page, first, rather than continually trying to put them in the article proper. and I'm only asking that because a number of editors are objecting to the change, otherwise I'd have no problem with you editing boldly. now if you wouldn't mind, could you take the time to explain to us why the changes you want make for a better article? the problem I'm seeing (as I've said before) is that your edits strike me as being heavily vedanta - not a bad thing in itself (I have a certain devotion to nondual philosphy and a great respect for advaita) but it carries assumptions that most readers will not readily understand. wikipedia has to speak to people of all beliefs, so we can't make truth assertions that will alienate large classes of readers. so how do we include what you want to include, in a way that casual, unknowledgeable readers can understand? --Ludwigs2 18:42, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

(undent) VedicScience: please do not use talk pages to criticize other editors, and please do not export arguments from different pages to this article. and from a very brief examination of your and AdvaitaFan's editing styles and points of view, let me remind you (without accusation, but merely as a hypothetical) that there are very few acceptable reasons to use multiple accounts on Wikipeida. please don't give me a reason to investigate that possibility further.

Now, if you would like to participate in this debate without bringing in history from other pages, I welcome you, but let's keep it on point. --Ludwigs2 22:11, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

VedicScience, AdvaitaFan... since you are concerned with verifiability (and justly so) can you please support the changes you want to make using verifiable sources. again, I have no problem with your edits per se, but they do strike me as the particular point of view of adviata vedanta, and I don't see any verifiable sources that suggest otherwise. let's talk about them, and see what we can do to implement them. and please, can we talk about the article rather than other editors? --Ludwigs2 00:12, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

AdvaitaFan's Content Corrections[edit]

Ludwig/Dbachmann, I do know for a fact that AdvaitaFan's mods are accurate, unbiased, and in good faith. They do reflect views of the monotheistic schools along with the soft polytheistic Advaita i.e. it is not Advaita-biased, as is the case with some other pages and even those pages can be improved upon

Ludwig, here's mods that were submitted by AdvaitaFan which can be compared with the current (incorrect and forced POV) version before rv:

Contemporary Hinduism is mostly monistic, or in some instances monotheistic, see Hindu views on monotheism. The concept of Brahman implies a transcendent and immanent reality [1], which different schools of thought variously interpret as personal, impersonal or transpersonal. With the rise of Shaivism and Vaishnavism in the early centuries CE, Hinduism can largely be considered monotheistic, although the monism of Advaita school following Adi Shankara (see Smartism), is soft polytheistic.[2]

The Devas of the historical Vedic religion are usually confused with demigods or angels, but they are best described as "celestial gods" or deities representing personification of supernatural forces within material nature.[3] The Rigveda was the basis for Max Müller's description of henotheism in the sense of a polytheistic tradition striving towards a formulation of The One (ekam) Divinity aimed at by the worship of different cosmic principles. From this mix of monism, monotheism and naturalist polytheism Max Müller decided to name the early Vedic religion henotheistic. A prime example of the monistic aspects of the late Rigveda is the Nasadiya sukta, a hymn describing creation: "That One breathed by itself without breath, other than it there has been nothing." VedicScience (talk) 01:05, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

ok, questions.
  1. 'soft polytheistic' is too jargony - it's not a term even I'm familiar with, and I'm familiar with a lot of this stuff. how could we phrase that in a way that other wikipedians would understand?
  2. the Devas (to my knowledge) are not really considered 'celestial gods', but rather personal gods (i.e. representations of aspects of Brahman for the purposes of one's own spiritual practice). they were once considered deities, though, weren't they? way back in ancient history. or am I misreading that?, and assuming that's true, how can we refer to their transformation from deities to less-than-deities? or do we not need to?
  3. the last line (beginning 'A prime example...') strikes me as out of context with the rest of the paragraph. is it needed, or would it fit better elsewhere?
otherwise, this looks reasonably good to me. --Ludwigs2 01:19, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
  1. 'soft polytheistic' is too jargony. --- That's exact term generally used by Advaita Smarta followers. Adi Shankara was fine with multiple personal forms of God for his followers. His philosophy was simple: All is Brahman, so multiplicity dudn't matter! If you want to tweak it a little bit so that it is a bit simpler to understand, you could rephrase it as "Advaita school following Adi Shankara (see Smartism), can be considered as monotheistic". This is how DBachmann had rephrased it and that should be fine too. Your choice - "is soft polytheistic" or "can be considered as monotheistic".
  2. the Devas (to my knowledge) are not really considered 'celestial gods', but rather personal gods (i.e. representations of aspects of Brahman for the purposes of one's own spiritual practice). --- Nope, there are 2 types. The "celestial gods" (aka devas) to whom sacrifial offerings are made through (Yajna). The personal forms of God (not to be confused with devas) are aspects of Brahman worshiped by the Hindus i.e. no sacrifial offerings.
  3. they were once considered deities, though, weren't they? way back in ancient history. or am I misreading that?, and assuming that's true, how can we refer to their transformation from deities to less-than-deities? or do we not need to? --- Not exactly. They were deities back then, they are still deities. The root for the word "deity" can be traced back to "deva". This is why preventing denigration of "devas" as "surviving angels" is not acceptable. The difference between "celestial gods" and "divine forms of God" as I've said above is sacrifial offerings vs. worship. Also, note that neither class of deities is comparable to angels, and this needs to be corrected in other places which denigrates the devas as such. AdvaitaFan is right in that regard that the devas of Rig Veda are bound together through the cosmic order of Rta.
  4. the last line (beginning 'A prime example...') strikes me as out of context with the rest of the paragraph. is it needed, or would it fit better elsewhere? otherwise, this looks reasonably good to me. -- OK. The phrase "A prime example" can stay or go, as long as the sentence reads what's on the label of Rig Veda. As I've pointed out, AdvaitaFan's tweaks were minor and good faith mods just to improve the accuracy of the article.
Presumably no one should have issues with your 3-liner corrections here, but still I'd like to issue a final call to potential dissenters so we don't run into the same edit reversal game of warlords all over again with the silly notion of consensus over verifiability!!! If anyone has issues, please post them here right away so we can discuss in good faith and finalize it for good. For those who don't know, please keep in mind that Wikipedia has nuts and bolts in place to monitor arbitrary reversals of good faith edits, just in case if you have clever plans of engaging yourselves in such activities later on. VedicScience (talk) 04:35, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

please don't be hasty; I'd like to wait for other editors' feedback. lets give people a day or two to respond, and then we can make the edits. --Ludwigs2 08:27, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

I found this [1] on 'soft polytheistic' (which I agree is too jargony) "Smarta Hinduism, a contemporary “soft polytheistic” (technically,“inclusive monotheistic”) religion, recognizes thousands of gods and goddesses, each representing one characteristic of a supreme Absolute called “Brahman.”" I think that could be used as a reference in fact. A couple of the references in the earlier edit are to other Wikipedia articles so can't be used, and we are discussing the other one below. Doug Weller (talk) 09:44, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

The True History and the Religion of India: A Concise Encyclopedia of Authentic Hinduism[edit]

Verifiability and reliability are cornerstone policies of Wikipedia. Thus, as was explained to VS, a self-published work by a little known (in this case I couldn't find any evidence for him anyway) Canadian can't be used as a source. This book is not self-published, but is it a reliable source? Reliability is not a default, so we need some evidence. Thanks. Doug Weller (talk) 06:28, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

well, I'm guessing from the name that this is a monastic who's being published by his order. monastics are often quite knowledgeable, but my general feeling is that what they produce is primary research. I'd really have to look at the book more closely to tell for sure, though. --Ludwigs2 06:53, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
These seem to be the two sites involved in publishing the book [2] and [3] - based in Austin, Texas. This page [4] in the book tells you more about it. It also seems to be published by Motilal Banarsidass who also publish David Frawley's books. Doug Weller (talk) 07:35, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
Good research, Doug. Just a quick heads up. The person who wrote this book is of a monastic order (a Hindu monk) for a long time. He was invited to become the Pope of one of the four branches of Hinduism. But I think he just wanted to continue writing as it is there are still many things people don't understand about Hindu scriptures. BTW, he's published many other books. HTH~! VedicScience (talk) 07:48, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. I saw he has a number of other books. I'd like to hear from Ludwigs2 and Dab, especially about the primary research bit. What I don't think the book can be used as is as a 'this is the truth' source. Can we use a quote and attribute it to him? I don't know. There is another problem. The article about him was deleted on the grounds of lack of notability. [5]. The article mentioned his books, that he was a follower of Jagadguru Kripalu Ji Maharaj (whose article was deleted also [6]- ouch, looking at the web, some people really don't like him!), and the child molestation case. It was basically a stub. I had no idea about the controversy about him and his guru until just now, by the way. Doug Weller (talk) 08:47, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
The article about him was deleted on the grounds of lack of notability.

VedicScience (talk) 19:22, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

VedicScience - consider this fair warning: the next time you post anything on this page that is primarily intended to criticize other editors rather than improve the page, I will report you for disruptive editing. I'm tired of having to police your posts, so please keep on topic. --Ludwigs2 19:52, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
Ludwig, All I've said is "Wikipedia is not and should not be edited based on hearsay, rumors, or opinions (example, personal opinions)". Why is it that you have to keep hiding whatever I say? Your fair warning is taken but, "Don't open your mouth or you will be shot dead" is called Nazism in plain English. Take care. VedicScience (talk) 20:23, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
Please read Wikipedia:Talk_page_guidelines, and in particular this section - Wikipedia:Talk_page_guidelines#Behavior_that_is_unacceptable. talk pages are not forums for attacking other editors. while I would be willing to accept some commentary to that effect (can't help it sometimes, I know), the five sections that I've hidden in the last day or so have been extensive, off topic criticisms of other editors' behavior, and much of it about their behavior on different articles. this is not the correct place to discuss that. what you've said there does not help this article develop; it does not help improve the encyclopedia as a whole; it does not even serve to resolve the problem you're having with other editors, but rather aggravates the situation. frankly, I'm not interested in listening to strings of abuse like that - it makes me think that whatever problems you are having with other editors are problems that you've brought on yourself by virtue of your own attitude. if you cannot control yourself sufficiently to exclude this mass snide insinuations and focus instead on article content, then that is only a reflection on you. is that sufficiently clear? --Ludwigs2 20:49, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
Ludwig, You are fine with the "mass snide insinuations" of folks here (including admins) who are calling the popes and pastors of various religions as "child molesters" based on hearsay or what they read on some bulletin board. If I point that out in clear terms, I get a Nazi like warning here for disruptive editing. What is this? But again, "verifiability" and "reliability" are cornerstone policies of Wikipedia. I should be the one to warn that if anyone has any issues that relate to "verifiability" and "reliability", then post them right away. Otherwise, you are just babbling for nothing. Take care. VedicScience (talk) 21:08, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
VS, I hope you realise lying never helps the situation. The line you are misquoting is One more screeching wall of complaining and you will be blocked. Trolls are blocked on Wikipedia and other websites because of their disruptive activity. Nazis used to kill and tortute people based on their race, religion and other beliefs. Also see Godwin's Law. GizzaDiscuss © 21:30, 6 October 2008 (UTC)


I am getting a bit tired of these false accusations. I did not call anyone a child molester, the article that was deleted reported on the charges against him of child molestation. This was in the newspapers, and I find it hard to believe you aren't aware of the legal charges. Not rumours, hearsay or bulletin boards. I had no intention of pursuing the issue, but now that VS is t attacking my integrity, I guess I have to. [8] (which relates to the originalcharges) and [9] from May, when he managed to get out of the US. And there are more charges [10] and some other issues [11]. I hope VS will agree that this is not me reporting rumours or hearsay. Doug Weller (talk) 21:48, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
I give up. I don't see any other choice but to file an ANI report, because VS just won't let it go. I'll do that now. --Ludwigs2 22:19, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
I don't see why that article was deleted just 'cos there were some media reports or charges filed against him? The accusation should have been added as a section under the same article. Listen, charges mean accusation (if you are in the US or some other democratic republic), not that it has been proved that the 79-year old man was convicted, neither does it mean he was acquitted. His Wikipedia article may have been deleted on reports of child molestation but I'd like to point out that the links you've here pasted talk about two adult women who accused the guru and also that he pleaded not guilty. Let's say someone files a lawsuit against you and me with some arbitrary accusations, and let's say we were released on a bond yesterday, does that mean anything? There have been so many people who have faced even more severe legal troubles. Here's another example - Satya Sai Baba - for murders in his ashram. Why does his page exist on Wikipedia? All said and done, the original issue has been blind-sided i.e. what is in Hindu scriptures? That's what this thread is about, not hundreds of stories of legal troubles or accusations made against certain individuals. VedicScience (talk) 22:29, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
Of course the article wasn't deleted for that reason, it was deleted for lack of notability. Doug Weller (talk) 05:39, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Continued discussion focusing on minor corrections to the content of Hinduism section[edit]

  1. Brahman is the transcendent and immanent reality. That is correct. Just google "Brahman" - there are numerous online sources.
  2. Like AdvaitaFan has stated it in the troll above - "Smartism is soft polytheistic". See Panchayatana.
  3. Totally agree with AdvaitaFan on this one too - Devas are "celestial gods" and not "surviving angels". As one of the reference links provided by AdvaitaFan was deemed inadequate citing questionable reliability issues, these links should stand up to scrutiny: [12], [13], [14], [15]

This should be adequate to look up reliable sources for verification of minor corrections suggested by AdvaitaFan. If anyone still has issues, care to voice them right away. VedicScience (talk) 01:06, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Some good sources, although you'd need page numbers at the very least. Problem is, other source say angels. Here's a quantum physicist, (ironic), but it's a theosophical publishing house - should their views be represented and if not why not? [16], something from the same publishers that published Swamji's book, [17]. Loads more references can be found. Doug Weller (talk) 05:51, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
The recent edits look good, they deal with the confusion over angels (which shouldn't be ignored), etc. Thanks Ludwigs2. Doug Weller (talk) 07:30, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Orphaned references in Henotheism[edit]

I check pages listed in Category:Pages with incorrect ref formatting to try to fix reference errors. One of the things I do is look for content for orphaned references in wikilinked articles. I have found content for some of Henotheism's orphans, the problem is that I found more than one version. I can't determine which (if any) is correct for this article, so I am asking for a sentient editor to look it over and copy the correct ref content into this article.

Reference named "britannica":

I apologize if any of the above are effectively identical; I am just a simple computer program, so I can't determine whether minor differences are significant or not. AnomieBOT 17:14, 28 March 2010 (UTC)

Basis section[edit]

I think this section needs more than just a citation. "That a god may take any form at any time and still have the same essential nature" is, to my knowledge, a different though not necessarily exclusive belief from henotheism. There are religions, probably more than I know of, that believe this yet are not henotheistic, as they worship more than one deity at a time. Also, this sentence: "Henotheism is sometimes considered a sophisticated version of monotheism in that it allows the worshiper to believe in essentially one Supreme Being and still appreciate and not limit the names, expressions, or manifestations used to describe it." is contrary to the very definition of henotheism; considering other gods to be merely an expression of yours is very different from acknowledging other valid gods that you don't worship. Everything I have read anywhere else about henotheism or the belief actually being described here is contrary to what this section is trying to say. To top it all, if this is the basis for henotheism, why was it too hard to find a citation after 2 1/2 years of marked as needing one? In context of it all I find the truth of this section questionable at best and so am marking it dubious for now. PrincessPimpernel (talk) 10:44, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

I would be happy just removing the section, for the reasons you give. TechBear | Talk | Contributions 13:07, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
And while under consideration, I think the second paragraph under the Variations heading can be removed: it has been flagged as "citation needed" for more than a year, and essentially echoes what is in the Basis section. TechBear | Talk | Contributions 13:11, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
That makes sense to me too. ~Adjwilley (talk) 15:42, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
I was bold. TechBear | Talk | Contributions 15:46, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

Removing Mormonism again[edit]

I have removed the Mormonism section again. Mormons are not Henotheistic.

Henotheism "is the belief and worship of a single god while accepting the existence or possible existence of other deities that may also be worshiped." Mormons believe that there is only one God that can be worshiped. Mormons believe that there may be others that are like god but that they are not God and not worship-able. Mormons also interpret the scriptural passage that mankind can be joint inheritors with Christ to mean that they can become like God after the work of the earth is complete. Their belief however does not replace God with someone else. They believe that God will always maintain his authority and position as God. Their view on God is that he is literally in a position as a father would be, similar to how parenthood works: If you become a parent yourself, it does not remove your parents from being your parents. Mormons believe that God will always be God and always be the object of mankind's worship. For reference see Chapter 2: God the Eternal Father near footnote 8 from The teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith (2007). There are also several places in Mormon scripture that state this as well if you would like additional references. Dromidaon (talk) 17:48, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

Youtr personal interpretation of what Mormonism "really" says is irrelevant, and frankly what you say does not address the concept of henotheism at all. We are supposed to summarie as variety of views. If notable commentators consider Mormoniasm to be henotheistic we should say so, but also include the views of those who disagree with that concept. Having said that, the section did not provide any evidence that the concept of 'henotheism' was applicable to Mormon ideas about the trinity, or that scholars have interpreted those ideas as a form of henotheism. So, for ther moment the section should certainly stay out. However, if sources are provided in which that view is given, you can't remove it because you happen to disagree with it. Paul B (talk) 20:31, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
The Mormon church claims that it is hethnotheistic. The Church says that the Father, son and holy ghost are seperate gods and that there's a goddess as well. Part of the spiel is that you too can become a god eventually. Ericl (talk) 13:36, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
If what you say is true, it should not be difficult to find reliable, third-party sources to back it up, rather than rely on your unsupported original research. The assertion you tried to add that the Mormon Church is "currently the largest Henotheist church in Europe and the United States" requires additional support: even if the LDS said they were henotheist, what evidence is there that they are the largest such group? TechBear | Talk | Contributions 13:41, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
Just for the record, here are some primary and secondary sources of what the Mormon church believes (access date of this comment date):
  • "God the Father is the Supreme Being in whom we believe and whom we worship." ([19])
  • Jesus Christ is the Savior and Redeemer of all mankind. He is the Firstborn of the Father and the Only Begotten Son. "Each of these titles points to the truth that Jesus Christ is the only way by which we can return to live with our Heavenly Father." ([20])
  • "Latter-day Saint worship is defined as coming unto the Father in the name of Jesus Christ, in spirit and truth." ([21])
  • "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy might, mind, and strength; and in the name of Jesus Christ thou shalt serve him." (This is a quotation of LDS scripture, but also found here [22])
  • In LDS scripture: "And saw the holy angels, and them who are sanctified before his throne, worshiping God, and the Lamb, who worship him forever and ever." ([23])
So, to reiterate, Mormons believe that the only deity is God the Father worshiped through Jesus Christ and that this is how it will be eternally. While Mormons believe both Jesus Christ (even sometimes referred to as the Lord God) and the Holy Ghost are members of the godhead, they do not believe they are God the Father, "the Supreme Being in whom [Mormons] believe and whom [Mormons] worship." Mormons believe that there may be others that are like god but that they are not God and not worship-able. Mormons also interpret the scriptural passage that mankind can be joint inheritors with Christ to mean that they can become like God after the work of the earth is complete. Their belief however does not replace God with someone else, and they will continue to worship God forever. Dromidaon (talk) 16:16, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
In other words: You agree that Mormonism IS Henotheistic. There is only one god to be worshipped but that there are others who should not be.Ericl (talk)
Whether or not anyone "agrees" with anything, the fact is that the LDS church does not identify itself as henotheist, nor are there any reliable sources to support such a claim. That is why the consensus on this article has been not to include Mormons as an example of henotheism. TechBear | Talk | Contributions 13:14, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

A bit more from K L Noll[edit]

See K.L. Noll,"<ref>{{cite book|last=Noll|first=K.L.|title=Canaan and Israel in Antiquity: An Introduction|publisher=Sheffield Academic Press|location=2001|page=249|url=http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=2rnyjxLHy-QC&pg=PA248&dq=Anat-Yahu++Yahweh&hl=en&sa=X&ei=QFt2UbePKY6R0QXK84DYCQ&sqi=2&ved=0CDYQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=Anat-Yahu%20%20Yahweh&f=false}}</ref>: "From many of the examples provided above, it should be clear that the best preserved example of Iron Age Canaanite henotheism is the anthology we call the Jewish Bible (Christian Old Testament). Although the Bible contains a few late additions designed to transform its religion into monotheism, the overwhelming majority of its texts are heno- theistic. To be more precise, the Bible usually expresses monolatry, which is a more extreme form of henotheism. Whereas henotheism believes in many gods, but with one supremely powerful god, monolatry believes in many gods, but with only one god that is worthy of worship. Thus, the monolatrist is a henotheist who acknowledges lesser gods but refuses to worship them."

"Monotheistic passages are rare in the Bible. For example, the famous Shema, a fundamental Jewish confession of faith found in Deut. 6.4, is grammatically ambiguous in the original Hebrew, but no matter how this grammar is interpreted or translated, the passage does not affirm monotheism. Either the text says that Yahweh is 'one god' (perhaps a polemic against the high god's absorption of lesser gods?) or it affirms that Yahweh 'alone' is Israel's god (which is monolatry, not monotheism).7 The only portion of the Bible with a relatively high cluster of monotheistic affirmations is the second half of Isaiah (chs. 40-66), which many scholars call Deutero-lsaiah, and date to the late-sixth century BCE. The remainder of the Bible contains random monotheistic statements among monolatrous and henotheistic passages."

He gives a number of examples, including the first 2 commandments. Dougweller (talk) 11:06, 23 April 2013 (UTC)

Polytheism/Henotheism conflict? Unclarity, anyways[edit]

So, Polytheism's second paragraph says " Polytheists do not always worship all the gods equally, but can be henotheists, specializing in the worship of one particular deity. " (third sentence). This doesn't necessarily conflict with the starting paragraphs of this article, but it does in my reading cast a different light. Should one or the other of these be re-phrased slightly? I'd do something myself, but I'm still not entirely sure which way is "Correct". Wombats&Co. (talk) 21:52, 12 March 2014 (UTC)

Also, the impression that I got from the Ancient Egyptian pages, is that that turned Henotheistic later on. Might bear mention; might just be listy though. Wombats&Co. (talk) 00:40, 13 March 2014 (UTC)

Your doubt is legitimate, Wombats, as is of many others. Wikipedia is usefull to introduce people to some basic concepts, but it stops right there. This article is perfect example. Wikipedia exists to provide a impartial, and the most objective information possible, which is fair and reasonable. Unfortunately, this also creates misunderstandings about an issue, such as this.
We all know that the so called "polytheistic" religions were called so because of the many gods acknowledged and worshipped. Acknowledged, because although caananites acknowledged a god of death, Mot, I don´t believe that they worshiped him. I mean, come on, would you? No. So this comes to the exact point of the misunderstandings about labeling an ancient religion either poly or henotheistic. There is no such thing as polytheism, basically. All (extinct) religions were henotheistic. Hinduism is a proof of that, since it is the oldest -wrongly called polyhteistic- religion alive. We can see it in the Advaita school of thought, how much it shares in common with the Greek Henotheism expounded by Plotinus. "Oh, but hindus worship gods of death and destruction", you say. Yes, in the strict definition of worship, they do. But in reality what they do is to simply acknowledge the deity. Reciting a "prayer", which can be a verse from sacred scriptures (and not a "request"), or offering libations, is not the same as, e.g., asking a wish to a benevolent "god", or source of goodness.
The saaame happened with aaall ancient religions. All gods, which personify abstract concepts, are ultimately part of the same thing, God. Hindu scholars know this very well. Greeks also knew this, for what comes from One if not everything else? Yes, this conception wasn´t apparent in greek religion and mythology. In fact, neither would it be in hinduism if it wasn´t for a fleeing reference to Brahman as The Supreme Being. And, most importantly, as is also the case with hinduism, greek Henotheism deals with the fact that talking about The One is or should be avoided, dealing only ,more or less, with the intelligibility of the successive emanations, because that´s from "where", or "when", so to speak, that the Deity begins to be intellectually aprehensible. Be it a pantheistic POV, panentheistic, deistic, or otherwise, it all results and is a cause of the Philosophy behind every religion concerning the beginning, if there was one, and creation. I could also quote the Kabbalistic POV of creation here, but if people already reject a-priori neoplatonic philosophy being as old as the religion itelf, then it´s useless. It´s like people prefer the fantastic stories of the myths over logic and reason, which there is one, behind every myth, every religion, Everything. Or, like Xenophanes said, and also Rashbi in the Zohar, people would just worship whatever idea they liked the most. And not only it is not so, it never was so. It wasn´t atheists or illiterate people who organized religions. It was philosophers.
Nemoswlewa (talk)Nemoswlew 21:02, 21 December 2014 (UTC)Nemoswlew 21:00, 21 December 2014 (UTC)Nemoswlew 21:14, 21 December 2014 (UTC)