The Egyptian Religion

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The Egyptian Religion

The Egyptians had a very influential religion that can be analyzed using the five elements of religion. The characteristics of the Ancient Egyptian's religion can be divided into the five elements of religion: authority, faith, rituals, moral code, and concept of the deity.
First, the authority of the Egyptian religion. The main authority of the Egyptian religion was the Pharaoh, he had divine right over the people and was considered a god. Also, he could change the religion any way he wanted, for example in the 14th century BC Akhenaton, the Pharaoh outlawed all gods but Aton, who was the sun god, and this became the first monotheistic religion in history, but it was short lived, for when he died the new Pharaoh overruled the law and restored the other gods. The Egyptians Sacred literature was the “Book of the
Dead” which consisted of 42 “negative confessions” , spells and prayers. Here is a excerpts from the “Book of the Dead”

1. I have not acted sinfully toward me 2. I have not oppressed the members of my family 3. I have not done wrong instead of what is right 4. I have known no worthless folk (Encarta ‘96)

Their were also what we would call "Priests" who sold the people "magical" items that they said would ensure the dead people a way into heaven. Therefore, the authority of the Egyptian religion was controlled heavily by the government.

Second, the Egyptians Faith was an important characteristic of their religion. First, they believed that the Pharaoh was a god, and what he spoke became law. The Egyptians worshipped almost every form of life, the worshipped trees, water, animals, and even vegetables. The Egyptians also believed that a person had 2 souls, the ba and the ka, which left the body at death and then returned later to the body. The Egyptians believed that mummification make sure the ba and the ka would find the body when they returned to the body to transport it to the underworld. The Egyptians also believed that they were the ‘ cattle of the gods', and were controlled by them. They also believed that the gods owned all the land, so they sold all their crops at the temples.
Furthermore, their idea of heaven was that it was in the milky way, that stood for a fertile Nile and where good crops grew every year. Their belief in a hell was that the soul was devoured by a savage animal called the ‘Devourer of Souls' and then thrown into a pit of fire. The Egyptians believed that what was placed
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