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Is Soft Polytheism A Modern Idea Or Was It Believed By Any Ancient Pagan Religions?

Is soft polytheism a modern idea or was it believed by Ancient Pagans?

If it was believed by Ancient Pagan religions, then which ones (Celtic, Asatru, Roman, Greek, Egyptian, etc)?

If it is a modern idea, then why would one have a belief so fundamentally different from the Ancient religion (assuming the Ancient religions believed in hard polytheism)? How can one be sure this modern idea is a credible?

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Asked by flatlanderjenn at 9:31 PM on Nov. 26, 2010 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 17 (4,354 Credits)
Answers (8)
  • Well, both. Most ancient religions were hard polytheists, but in different times there were different beliefs. For example, while the Egyptians were hard polytheistic, there was a point when the priests taught that there was only one god (the Aten) who was thought to represented by all the other gods... Although, to be fare, times of soft poly, were few and far between, it is much more of a modern concept...

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 9:53 PM on Nov. 26, 2010

  • Now, I am not a soft poly. But what I can say is the ideas which evolved in to soft beliefs tended to come out of the new understandings that there are a great many religions out there and that they are each just as valid as the others. It sprouted from the understanding that there are more similarities in these religions than there are differences.

    It's also worth noting that even in the majority of hard poly belief systems there was a "Great God & Goddess" who were credited with starting everything and who usually predated the Gods. For today's soft polys, it's generally these "Great God & Goddess" who are honored and seen as holding the aspects of the others within them. So although the idea of the All in One or All in Two idea seems to be newer, it's simply a reincarnation of the old beliefs rather than a real alteration. It's still the idea that all the Gods came from just one or two...

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 9:59 PM on Nov. 26, 2010

  • You're doing it again. I don't care how many times you try, you cannot squeeze all these religions into that simple box you want to shove them into. There have always been eclectics -as people traveled and trade grew, people traded religions just like salt and furs. The end result was some odd mixes and permutations. There is no rule book for it, no matter how much that inconveniences you, you can't change it.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 10:06 PM on Nov. 26, 2010

  • If you want to look broadly at faiths, soft polytheism goes back a long way in some traditions. There are shades of it in Hinduism, which is one of the oldest religions still widely practiced. Hinduism contains elements of soft polytheism, as well as monism and pantheism. There are many gods/goddesses, yet they are all one with Brahma, because Brahma is all things. Both soft polytheism and pantheism wrapped into one.

    Answer by Freela at 12:34 AM on Nov. 27, 2010

  • What do you mean by soft polytheism??? I haven't heard that term before.


    Answer by Crafty26 at 7:20 PM on Nov. 27, 2010

  • Crafty, Soft Polytheism is the idea that All Gods are different aspects of One God, and that All Goddesses are different aspects of One Goddess. Hard Polytheism is the idea that each God & Goddess is a completely separate entity from one another.

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 9:03 PM on Nov. 27, 2010

  • Thanks Sabrina.... I was thinking that's what was meant... but didn't want to assume. ;o)


    Answer by Crafty26 at 1:15 PM on Nov. 28, 2010

  • I suggest looking into ancient Hinduism..I believe the answer you seek is in the Upanisads.

    Answer by MamaJasmine at 9:28 PM on Nov. 28, 2010

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