At its root, the term polytheism (from the Greek poly, meaning “plural,” and theos, meaning “god”) not only acknowledges a plurality of gods but in its current usage implies the worship of a plurality of gods. The complexity of meanings in the term invites an interrogation of our understanding of what god refers to as well as the characteristics of divine and human plurality involved.

The dominant ethos in the Abrahamic religions and corresponding cultures asserts a monotheism that has sometimes been deployed as a means of distinguishing it from polytheism. In this dynamic, it is not unusual to find a tension between divergent traditions and allegations of superiority of the preferred option.

In the Hebrew scriptures, references to plurality in association with divinity are not unknown. ...

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles