Encyclopedia of Christianity Online

Get access
Search Results: | 14 of 57 |

Polytheism
(616 words)

1. Term

From Thales, the Greeks believed that “all things are full of gods” (Aristotle, De anima 1.5, 411a8–9; Aristotelianism). Only in concrete cases, however, did they call this idea polytheism (e.g., Aeschylus Supp. 424 mentions polytheos hedra, “seat of many gods,” for an altar; Greek Religion). Neither they nor other peoples made of polytheism an abstract concept. The Jews did so when, distancing themselves from polytheism, they criticized the lovers of polytheïa (Philo De mut. nom. 205). So too did Christians, for…

Cite this page
Colpe, Carsten, “Polytheism”, in: Encyclopedia of Christianity Online. Consulted online on 18 March 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2211-2685_eco_P.118>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004169678, 20080512



▲   Back to top   ▲