Religious Beliefs in Egypt and Mesopotamia

Polytheism was the most outstanding feature of the ancient religious belief system among the Egyptians. Several deities or gods interacted with Egyptians. The gods had full control of nature and that nothing could take place without their influence.

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Hence, it was the role of individual Egyptians to act according to the desires of the gods in order to receive their favors. The deities responded to individual needs through magic or prayer. They also believed in life after death. Hence, they strived to preserve their souls for the next world. Funerary practices accompanied the latter. Consequently, they offered sacrifices to appease the spirits and built tombs to preserve dead bodies.

Mesopotamians also believed in the existence of many gods (polytheism) that determined all aspects of their lives. Individual deities protected each city within Mesopotamia. They acquired blessings through rituals and ceremonies.

Contrastingly, each individual had an independent god. A person would encounter misfortune if the gods opted to withdraw their support. The wills of the deities came into limelight through divination while prayers and offerings pleased the gods.

These differences demonstrate that the Egyptian culture embedded itself on the King’s power (pharaoh), and hence every belief system stemmed from the top authority. However, Mesopotamians lacked a unifying factor, and that is why each person had a god.

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StudyCorgi. (2020) 'Religious Beliefs in Egypt and Mesopotamia'. 12 January.

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