Hellenischer Polytheismus Heute
Erstellt von Nikos, 14.04.2015, 15:43 Uhr · 373 Antworten · 15.345 Aufrufe
Wirklich? Aber damals war es nur Ägypten ohne Ägypter. Nix mit Ra.
Du bist ein Shipi.
Schön zu sehen, wie sich die Diskussion teilweise entwickelte:
- der evolutionäre (hellenische) Polytheismus regt an, aus diesem leitet sich später der Kerngedanke der Wissenschaft ab,
- der totalitäte Monotheismus regt zum kopieren und wiedergeben der Suren und Zitate an, ein Ausdruck der Unterwerfungsdoktrin.
Zitat von Amphion
Prof. Mary Lefkowitz: Bring Back the Greek Gods
Professor Emerita of Classical Studies
(Mary Lefkowitz | Wellesley College)
Mary R. Lefkowitz (* 30. April 1935 in New York City) ist eine US-amerikanische Altphilologin.
Mary Lefkowitz studierte am Wellesley College in Massachusetts und erlangte dort 1957 den B.A.-Grad. Am Radcliffe College promovierte sie 1961. Später wurde sie am Wellesley College Professorin, was sie bis zu ihrer Emeritierung blieb. Lefkowitz beschäftigt sich vor allem mit der griechischen Mythologie und der Geschichte der antiken Frauen. In ihren Hauptwerken verband sie beide Teilbereiche. Einem größeren Publikum wurde sie vor allem als Kritikerin des die griechische Mythologie vereinnahmenden Afrozentrismus bekannt. In ihrem 1996 in Verbindung mit Guy MacLean Rogers geschriebenen Buch Black Athena Revisited setzt sie sich mit den von Martin Bernal in seinem Buch Black Athena vertretenden Vorstellungen auseinander, dass die griechische Mythologie in semitischen und afrikanischen Vorbildern wurzelt.
Lefkowitz war von 1982 bis zu dessen Tod im Jahr 2009 mit dem Oxforder Professor Sir Hugh Lloyd-Jones verheiratet.
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Bring Back The Greek Gods by Prof. Mary Lefkowitz
Bring Back the Greek Gods!
by Mary Lefkowitz
an original op ed
Bring Back the Greek Gods!
by Mary Lefkowitz, October 1, 2007
"Religion poisons everything," writes Christopher Hitchens in God is Not Great. Religion is hypocritical, irrational, and (worse) responsible for unending violence and suffering, argues Richard Dawkins in The God Delusion.
On the whole, I agree with them. But the poison isn't religion; it's monotheism. The polytheist Greeks didn't advocate killing anyone just because they worshipped different gods. Nor did their religion pretend to provide the right answers. The religion of the Greeks made people aware of their ignorance and weaknesses, and let them recognize that there is more than one right point of view.
There is much we still can learn from these ancient notions of divinity. Of course I wouldn't want to convert anyone to ancient Greek religion or practice it myself. I can't stand the idea of animal sacrifice. The early Christians were right to get rid of it: messy, expensive, and elitist. Only the rich could afford it. Of course one can't accurately predict the future by watching the flight of birds, or by examining the entrails of sacrificed animals. These, however, are mere peculiarities of ancient religious practice, not its theology.
Most scholars read the Greek gods, incorrectly, as representations of forces in nature. Actually, they were gods just as theologians regard the divinities of the great monotheistic traditions—independent beings with transcendent powers who control our world and everything that is in it.
Some of the gods are strictly local, like the deities of rivers and forests. Others are universal, like Zeus himself, his siblings and his children. In order to become ruler of the gods, a position that for all we know he still may hold, Zeus had to depose his father Cronus, and Cronus in his turn had deposed his father, Heaven. Zeus always needs to be careful not to beget a son who will be stronger than himself. That is one (though not the only) reason he likes to pursue mortal women.
Zeus does not communicate directly with humankind. But his children Athena, Apollo, and Dionysus play active roles in human life. Athena is the closest to Zeus of all the gods; without her aid, none of the great heroes can accomplish anything extraordinary. Apollo, if he chooses, can tell mortals what the future has in store for them. Dionysus has the power to alter human perception and make people see what is not really there. He was worshiped in antiquity as the god of the theater and of wine. If he were worshiped today, he would be the god of psychology. It is because mortals are incapable of following the instructions of these gods that we can begin to understand the limitations and tragic nature of the human condition.
Although at the beginning of his long reign other gods tried to overthrow Zeus, he has remained in control ever since. He retains his power by using his intelligence along with superior force. Unlike his grandfather and father, he did not keep all the power and honor for himself but granted rights and privileges to other gods, first of all his brothers and sisters and children, but also to gods of earlier generations who were loyal to him. His actions are guided by the goddess Justice, who sits at his right hand. He is not an autocratic ruler, but listens to and is often persuaded by the opinions of the other gods.
This openness is a distinguishing characteristic of Greek theology. It encourages discussion and inquiry. It suggests that collective decisions often lead to a better outcome. In this diversity of viewpoints, we can find the roots of the cooperative system of government that the Athenians called democracy.
Unlike the great monotheistic traditions, Greco-Roman polytheism was truly multicultural. The ancient Greeks and Romans did not share the narrow view held by the ancient Hebrews that a divinity could only be masculine. Like many other ancient peoples in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Greeks recognized that divinities might be female, and they attributed to goddesses almost all of the powers held by the male gods. Zeus is the most powerful god, but he is prepared to lend his lightning bolt to his daughter Athena. Aphrodite, the goddess of love, has power over all other gods, including Zeus himself.
The world, as the Greek philosopher Thales wrote, is full of gods, and all deserve respect and honor. Such a generous understanding of the nature of divinity allowed the ancient Greeks and Romans to be accept and respect other people's gods, and to admire (rather than despise) other nations for their own notions of piety. They did not fight against other people because they despised their religion or regard them as infidels or atheists just because their customs were different. If the Greeks were in close contact with a particular nation, they gave the foreign gods names of their own gods: the Egyptian goddess Isis was Demeter, Horus was Apollo, Neith was Athena, and so on. In that way they could incorporate other people's gods into their pantheon.
This willingness to accept new gods allowed the ancient Greeks and Romans to recognize as divine any human being who was thought to have accomplished something significant in his or her lifetime, such as a great hero like Heracles, or an emperor of Rome. What they did not approve of was atheism, by which they meant refusal to believe in the existence of any gods at all. People needed to demonstrate in public that they believed in the gods. One reason many Athenians resented Socrates was that he claimed that there was a divinity that spoke with him privately, but whom he could not name and no one else knew anything about. Similarly, when Christians denied the existence of any gods other than their own, the Romans suspected that they had political or seditious motives, and so they persecuted them as enemies of the Roman state.
Believing in the existence of many different gods also offers a more plausible account than monotheism of the presence of evil and confusion in the world. A mortal may have the support of one god, but incur the enmity of another who can attack when the patron god is away (or vice versa). If a young man chooses to worship the goddess Artemis, but fails to honor Aphrodite, Aphrodite will see to it that he is destroyed; Artemis cannot save him. All she can do is promise to retaliate by killing a mortal whom Aphrodite favors. The goddess Hera hates Heracles and sends the goddess Madness, to make him kill his wife and children. Heracles' father Zeus does nothing to stop her, although he does in the end make Heracles immortal.
But in the monotheistic traditions, where God is omnipresent, and always good, mortals must take the whole blame for whatever goes wrong, even though God permits evil to exist in the world he created. In the Old Testament, God takes away Job's family and his wealth, but restores him to prosperity after Job acknowledges God's power.
The God of the Hebrews created the earth for the benefit of humankind, but as the Greeks saw it, the gods have made life hard for humans and don't seek to improve the human condition. That is because Zeus and his family did not create humans, but simply inherited them from an earlier generation of gods. Zeus does not destroy humankind, but he allows them to suffer and die. As a palliative, the gods can offer only to see that great achievement is memorialized. There is no hope of redemption, no promise of a happy life or rewards after death. If things do go wrong, as they inevitably do, humans must seek comfort not from the gods, but from other human beings.
The separation between humankind and the gods makes it possible for humans to complain to the gods without guilt or fear of reprisal. Mortals were free to speculate about the character of the gods, and their intentions. The deity of the Old Testament does not encourage that sort of inquiry. Yet it can be argued that by allowing mortals to ask hard questions, Greek theology encouraged them to learn, and to inquire into all the possible causes of events. Philosophy, that characteristically Greek invention, had its roots in such theological inquiry. As did science.
Paradoxically, the main advantage of ancient Greek religion lies in this ability to recognize and accept human fallibility. Mortals cannot suppose that they had, or would ever have, all the answers. The people most likely to know what to do are prophets directly inspired by a god. Yet in myth prophets inevitably meet resistance, because people want to hear what they wish to hear, whether or not it is true. Mortals are particularly prone to error at the moments when they suppose that they know what they are doing. The gods are fully aware of this human weakness. If they choose to communicate with mortals, they tend to so only indirectly, by signs and portents, which mortals often misinterpret.
Ancient Greek religion gives an account of the world that in many respects is more plausible than that offered by the great monotheistic traditions. Greek theology openly discourages blind confidence based on unrealistic hopes that somehow everything will work out right in the end. Such healthy skepticism about human intelligence and achievements has never been needed more than it is today.
Mary Lefkowitz is Professor Emerita at Wellesley College, the author of Greek Gods, Human Lives, and the forthcoming, History Lesson (Yale University Press).
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Das bedeutet also man kann sagen, die antiken Griechen haben durch den Polytheismus stets im Frieden miteinander gelebt?
Zitat von BlackJack
kannst mal sehen
Zitat von artemi
Monotheisten bei der Kuß-Anbetung ihres Götzen-Gottes: der Mauer
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