Why do some consider hinduism a polytheistic belief system

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why do some consider hinduism a polytheistic belief system

Polytheism Quotes (32 quotes)

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Published 12.09.2019

World Religions Study Session 2 Hinduism


Hinduism, the world's third largest religion, is often considered a polytheistic faith, as the religion does not advocate the worship of one particular deity. However, the Hindu belief system includes a complex structure of deities that is not easily categorized. The full list of Hindu gods and goddesses includes thousands of deities, each one representing a certain aspect of the Supreme Absolute, which is known as Brahman. Because they are all manifestations of the same divine spirit, these forms of Brahman are different in essence from the gods of ancient Greek and Roman religion, two of the more famous examples of polytheism. Therefore, Hinduism is consistent with a variety of different belief systems, including monotheism, polytheism, and pantheism.

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Church and ministry leadership resources to better equip, train and provide ideas for today's church and ministry leaders, like you. Monolatrism, a religious system wherein one recognizes many gods though in Hinduism, these are not of different essences but only worships one of them. Kathenotheism, a system wherein one recognizes many gods but only worships one of them at a time. This is a nondualistic monotheism. Monism, a system wherein Ultimate Reality is believed to be the unpersonified essence underlying or encompassing all life.

In most religions which accept polytheism, the different gods and goddesses are representations of forces of nature or ancestral principles , and can be viewed either as autonomous or as aspects or emanations of a creator deity or transcendental absolute principle monistic theologies , which manifests immanently in nature panentheistic and pantheistic theologies. Polytheism is a type of theism. Within theism, it contrasts with monotheism , the belief in a singular God , in most cases transcendent. Polytheists do not always worship all the gods equally, but they can be henotheists , specializing in the worship of one particular deity. Other polytheists can be kathenotheists , worshiping different deities at different times. Polytheism was the typical form of religion during the Bronze Age and Iron Age up to the Axial Age and the development of Abrahamic religions , the latter of which enforced strict monotheism. It is well documented in historical religions of Classical antiquity , especially ancient Greek religion and ancient Roman religion , and after the decline of Greco-Roman polytheism in tribal religions such as Germanic , Slavic and Baltic paganism.

Polytheism - General Overview Polytheism is the belief in and worship of many gods. Typically, these gods are distinguished by particular functions, and often take on human characteristics. This was particularly true in ancient Greece and Rome. In other polytheistic cultures such as ancient Egypt , gods take on the form and characteristics of objects found in nature, including trees, sacred herbs, cattle, animals and animal--human hybrids. The belief in multiple gods is probably the result of an earlier belief in vaguely defined spirits, demons and other supernatural forces. These belief systems are similar to animism, ancestor worship and totemism. However, in polytheism, these supernatural forces are personified and organized into a cosmic family.


  1. Cochi F. says:

    Polytheism - Wikipedia

  2. Emiliana S. says:

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  3. Pierre T. says:

    Is Hinduism polytheistic?

  4. Jorge V. says:

    Is Hinduism polytheistic?

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