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Ancient Religions: A Comparison

Uploaded by mikiedaman on Jun 15, 2002

As civilization has expanded and improved it has gone through many different religions. Some of the most interesting and different have been the Mesopotamian religion, the religion of the Greeks and finally Christianity. These three religions were practiced in different areas and different time periods and therefore they will be excellent for a comparison. Religion is a key part of every society and civilization. No matter how it is organized or what type of God they worship, a society would be nothing without some kind of deity to organize it. Through the units of study the amount that people rely on Gods has been evident and that is why this makes a very good essay topic. Three areas of religion will be used to compare each of the religions chosen, worship style, their temples or places of worship, and the nature of their God or Gods.

Each of the three religions selected had very different ideas of how to worship their God or Gods. In the Mesopotamian religion worship was very straightforward and casual. They would give daily offerings of food and drink with sacrifices during special monthly and annual feasts. The most important of these feasts was the New Year’s festival, which later on during the first millennium came to include some lesser festivals as well. These worship events were held by the Priests and Priestesses who also took care of the great wealth stored in the Mesopotamian’s temples. The director of the temple cults was the Sheshgallu; all the sacrifices were performed by the Shangu-priests. Other classes of priests dealt with the other, lesser rituals. The priestesses varied from the Entu, the consort of the God, all the way down to the temple harlots (Garber, p204). The Greeks on the other hand, did most of their worship in private. They also had festivals and rituals, but their worship was much less organized. If a person wished to pray to a god, or invoke their intervention, they would go to one of the shrines or temples of that god and say a prayer and leave a small gift. These gifts varied from frankincense or a cake to large sacrifices of animals. There were also dedications of small statuettes or even large painted vases (Webster, p79). There was no class of priests nor any real religious teachings or texts. There were no real worship services as we think of them,...

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Uploaded by:   mikiedaman

Date:   06/15/2002

Category:   Religion

Length:   10 pages (2,224 words)

Views:   1044

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