"The oldest known [Egyptian] religious texts, the so-called Pyramid-Texts, are found in the burial chambers of the royal pyramids of the Fifth and Sixth Dynasties. Consisting of long vertical columns of hieroglyphs engraved into the stone walls, these inscriptions have the central purpose of facilitating the king's ascension into the heavens and his return to the side of his father, the Supreme God, where he will live eternally in the form of a pure and luminous spirit (akh).
The One, the Eternal, can be defined only through his countless qualities, which alone are nameable [this same understanding is also found in Neoplatonism, Sufism, Tantra, Kabbalah, and elsewhere]. These names then represent the active functional principles, the Neterw, cosmic or vital powers which find expression as the genesis of the world unfolds. Thus, through the invocations addressed to these powers - not gods but 'divine entities' or divine attributes
- we can reconstitute the general outline of a cosmogony which was probably already very ancient by the time of the Pyramid Texts. This cosmogony is frequently recalled in the texts of all periods, but was never further developed.[Lucy Lamy, Egyptian Mysteries; Art and Imagination Series, Thames & Hudson, 1981, p.8]
There are four great Egyptian religions, and doubtless many more minor ones, which shared (as in the Hindu family of religions) overlapping mythologies, theologies, and iconographies. All adopt a more or less Henotheistic/ Kathenotheistic approach. It is wrong to consider them as strict polytheism as in the Homeric pantheon. These four religions are as follows:
|Heliopolis Theology||Memphis theology||Hermopolis theology||Theban theology|
An aberrant attempt at strict Monotheism was represented by the Pharoah Akenaten's attempt to institute a worship of the sun disc (Atenism) and oppression of all other religions. This did not catch on.
The Egyptian Concept of the Soul and the After-Life | Kheper | Some Quabalistic Comments on Anubis and other Egyptian Gods - Tony Bermanseder
|Books, DVDs and Web Links|
NOTES ON EGYPTIAN RELIGION by Vincent Bridges
Ultimate Resource of Egyptian Gods - links to different pages on Egyptian gods
Ancient Egyptian religion - Wikipedia pages
Conceptions of God in Ancient Egypt : The One and the Many by Erik Hornung, John Baines (Translator)
Gods of Ancient Egypt by Barbara Watterson