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The Replacement

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The Replacement

Post  Haganrix on Sat Oct 10, 2015 4:29 pm

Monotheism spiritually is based on hierarchy, polytheism on equality. Thus the Orthodox Greek Church transformed Gods to Saints e. g. Helios-Apollon now is considered to be Saint Elias, Satan may be the equivalent to Prometheus.

Islam has no Saints as Protestantism hasn't, but those monotheist faculties still deal with angels, the most familiar one is Gabriel, the archangel.

Although monotheists could hardly do anthing else cause they deny the spiritual equality I find it unserious to replace Gods by Saints and Angels.

However, as we are polytheists, how should we consider the changes from Gods to Saints and Angels? And the replacement of equality by hierarchy?


What are your views?

_________________
The mind views all at once whereas the speech puts it into the order (Salustios, On the Gods and the Cosmos, Chapter 4, Par. 9).

Der Geist schaut alles zugleich, während die Rede eines nach dem Anderen erzählt (Salustios, Von den Göttern und der Welt, Kapitel IV, Abschnitt 9).

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Re: The Replacement

Post  Human on Sat Oct 10, 2015 4:45 pm

I wouldn't say it's quite the same on an intellectual perspective while I feel there isn't really a whole lot of thought on Saint hood among Catholics. I think they just sort of pray to people who were told to have supernatural abilities or were great people in life. I think they feel that it's much more relateable to pray to a Saint than an abstract God thus why I think the Gods are portrayed in human forms and why they hold the place they do in Catholicism. I don't think they really give much thought to who has more power where in Hellenism in myth Zeus generally has more power than the rest but (Olympian) Gods at least have a large say in how the world is ran and power have a great deal more power as opposed to just being the patron of healing, warfare, or doctors etc.

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Re: The Replacement

Post  Erodius on Sun Oct 11, 2015 1:56 pm

Monotheism spiritually is based on hierarchy, polytheism on equality.

Not exactly.

Divine hierarchy is certainly not absent from Classical tradition, not hardly, nor from any traditional religion – there are vast arrays of orders of Olympian and Chthonian Gods, elder and younger, and all beneath Zeus and the Fates, abstract and impersonal divine forces, daemones of places and things, of the sea, air and land, heroes, deified and sanctified mortals, and ancestral spirits.

It is not a difference of equality versus hierarchy – it is a difference of, for instance, a system with four categories (God, angels, saints, humans) versus a Classical system of categories reaching into the multiple digits, and without any real upper limit, especially for the theologians attempting to describe all the intricacies thereof.

Still, there is another difference, along the lines of what you have said, between the Catholic hierarchy and the Graeco-Roman hierarchy, for instance. The Catholic one is a hierarchy of basic identity – angels are not God, saints are not angels nor regular humans, and most humans probably have little hope of ever becoming saints. These categories are based on the belief in core differences of essence between them. The Classical divine hierarchy, however, is a hierarchy, instead, of magnitude, where the categories are established by 'measure' or 'breadth' of divine power, rather than identity. A divinity is, fundamentally, a divinity – deified mortal is worshipped almost identically to any full fledged God – and there is no difference in essence between a minor daemon and a major God, but only in magnitude.

In the Catholic system, it is essential that different sorts of divine beings receive different sorts of veneration; one does not pray to a saint or angel (in theory), but rather one asks a saint or angel to pray for or intercede for him/her. There is no such distinction in the Classical system. The daemon of the stream behind my house is certainly hierarchically below Apollo, but I would venerate this daemon in much the same way as I would Apollo, and can ask of it anything I would of any other god.

_________________
"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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Re: The Replacement

Post  De Li on Tue Oct 13, 2015 4:28 pm

^^ I greatly enjoyed your response/explanation, Erodius. Thank you. Smile
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Re: The Replacement

Post  Haganrix on Sun Oct 18, 2015 2:50 pm

De Li wrote:^^ I greatly enjoyed your response/explanation, Erodius. Thank you. Smile

So do I.

I forgot to consider the meaning of the so-called "lower mythology". Maybe this term is unsuitable. Rudolf Simek used it.

But however, I agree with you, the differences that exist are not in core.

_________________
The mind views all at once whereas the speech puts it into the order (Salustios, On the Gods and the Cosmos, Chapter 4, Par. 9).

Der Geist schaut alles zugleich, während die Rede eines nach dem Anderen erzählt (Salustios, Von den Göttern und der Welt, Kapitel IV, Abschnitt 9).

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