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Conceptions of God in Ancient Egypt: The One and the Many Paperback – Oct 31 1996

4.9 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press (Oct. 31 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801483840
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801483844
  • Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 1.8 x 21.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 363 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #492,393 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

"An excellent historical overview of the gods. . . It is a recommended necessary reading for those studing Ancient Egyptian religion."—Frankie's Reviews in Egyptology

"After surveying the approaches to Egyptian religion from antiquity through twentieth-century scholarship, Hornung . . . considers aspects of divinity, the iconography and characteristics of the gods, and the relationship between gods and believers. . . . A masterly, scrupulously documented work that combines close attention to textual and artifactual evidence with penetrating theological insights."—Library Journal

"Hornung asks usually neglected questions concerning what the Egyptians themselves thought about their gods, thus meeting these people on their own terms. Along the way he carefully examines evidence that has been marshaled in favor of monotheism or monotheistic tendencies within what appears to be a vast Egyptian pantheon. Adding to the pleasure and usefulness of this work is the fine translation by John Baines. . . . Containing a full index, a glossary of gods, and appropriate illustrations, this is a significant volume."—Choice

"It is not often that an introduction to the thorny topic of ancient Egyptian religion can be recommended unreservedly. . . . Over the past thirty-five years the acceptable introductions to Egyptian religion can be counted on the fingers of one hand, and all are from the pens of scholars trained in a Germanic tradition! The present work by Erik Hornung maintains this excellent, though rare, standard."—American Historical Review

From the Back Cover

'After surveying the approaches to Egyptian religion from antiquity through twentieth-century scholarship, Hornung...considers aspects of divinity, the iconography and characteristics of the gods, and the relationship between gods and believers....A masterly, scrupulously documented work that combines close attention to textual and artifactual evidence with penetrating theological insights.'--Library Journal

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

This book is at the top of many lists for those wishing to study ancinet Egyptian religion in-depth. Upon reading it, I can see why! This book explores what exactly the ancient Egyptians thought god(s) were, how the gods reacted to humans, and how humans reacted to the gods. Given the unique and often confusing nature of the concept "ntr" or god, this book is very useful indeed.
It is extermely detailed, (though admittedly dry,) and leaves the reader with a good idea of what the Egyptian Gods were like and how they developed throughout the millenia. The beginning also nicely addresses the erroneous notion that the Egyptians were really monotheists from the start, and that only the ignorant common people held polythistic beliefs; a Victorian bias that taints the studies of many ancient cultures. Horning clearly has a great deal of respect for the ancient Egyptian religion, and as a Kemetic pagan, I really appreciate that this book exists in English.
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"Conceptions of God in Ancient Egypt" is an English translation of a German publication from 1970. While its definately in the 'academic' category with some pages weighing in longer on footnotes than on text, its an interesting read throught. The section on Akhenaton in the chapter entitled "Classification and Articulation of the Pantheon" is my favorite.
Highly recommeded.
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By A Customer on July 22 2000
I thought the chapters on the characteristics and manifestations of the gods were fascinating, and I also enjoyed the chapter about the names of the gods. Many people love this book, but I found the chapter on the use of the word ntr to be somewhat dry. The information in this chapter was very informative, but the subject matter just did not hold my interest; perhaps this shows more where my interest lay, rather than the skill of the author. However those interested in this aspect of Egyptian religion, will probably get a lot out of this book.
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In this book, the author introduces the basic concepts of the gods. He first defines the terminology for the word 'god' and then explains the names of the Ancient Egyptian gods as well as their characteristics. He provides an excellent historical overview of the gods. A useful glossary of gods is included, along with a great bibliography for further reading. It is a recommended necessary reading for those studying Ancient Egyptian religion.
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