The Egyptian Religion

The Egyptians had a very influential religion that can be analyzed using
the five elements of religion. The characteristics of the Ancient Egyptian\'s
religion can be divided into the five elements of religion: authority, faith,
rituals, moral code, and concept of the deity.
First, the authority of the Egyptian religion. The main authority of
the Egyptian religion was the Pharaoh, he had divine right over the people and
was considered a god. Also, he could change the religion any way he wanted, for
example in the 14th century BC Akhenaton, the Pharaoh outlawed all gods but Aton,
who was the sun god, and this became the first monotheistic religion in history,
but it was short lived, for when he died the new Pharaoh overruled the law and
restored the other gods. The Egyptians Sacred literature was the “Book of the
Dead” which consisted of 42 “negative confessions” , spells and prayers. Here
is a excerpts from the “Book of the Dead”

1. I have not acted sinfully toward me 2. I have not oppressed the members of my
family 3. I have not done wrong instead of what is right 4. I have known no
worthless folk (Encarta ‘96)

Their were also what we would call "Priests" who sold the people "magical" items
that they said would ensure the dead people a way into heaven. Therefore, the
authority of the Egyptian religion was controlled heavily by the government.

Second, the Egyptians Faith was an important characteristic of their
religion. First, they believed that the Pharaoh was a god, and what he spoke
became law. The Egyptians worshipped almost every form of life, the worshipped
trees, water, animals, and even vegetables. The Egyptians also believed that a
person had 2 souls, the ba and the ka, which left the body at death and then
returned later to the body. The Egyptians believed that mummification make sure
the ba and the ka would find the body when they returned to the body to
transport it to the underworld. The Egyptians also believed that they were the ‘
cattle of the gods\', and were controlled by them. They also believed that the
gods owned all the land, so they sold all their crops at the temples.
Furthermore, their idea of heaven was that it was in the milky way, that stood
for a fertile Nile and where good crops grew every year. Their belief in a hell
was that the soul was devoured by a savage animal called the ‘Devourer of Souls\'
and then thrown into a pit of fire. The Egyptians believed that what was placed
in a person\'s tomb was what they would have in the afterlife, so they stocked
their tombs full of items, such as war chariots, tables, chairs, and for the
king, his throne. Their were even gods and goddesses for Ancient Egyptian cites.
Also, the Egyptians believed that no mater what the Pharaoh did, he was
entitled to a afterlife. The Egyptians spent most of their lives preparing for
the afterlife and a one Egyptologist put it:

The dead man is at one and the same time in heaven, in the god\'s boat, under the
earth, tilling the Elysian fields, and in his tomb enjoying his victuals (Casson

They also believed that the dead had to be buried on the west side of the Nile,
since the sun ‘died\' in the west. When a person reached judgment day, they had
to do a ‘negative confession\' to 42 sins, each with their own judge, and after
that Anibus then proceeded to weigh the person\'s heart against a feather, the
heart had to be lighter than the feather for the person to be admitted to heaven.
Also, Thoth was their watching over the weighing. The Egyptians believed that
setting of the sun was Nut, goddess of the sky, devouring it and in the morning
would give birth to it again. Furthermore, the Egyptian creation myth said that
in the beginning their was only the ocean, then Ptah, the Lord of Truth who made
an egg, that hatched and made the moon and sun, from the sun came Amon-Ra, the
sun god from him came air, from the air, the earth, from the earth, the Nile and
from the Nile Egypt, which is how Egypt got the nickname ‘the gift of the Nile”.
Therefore the characteristics of the Egyptian faith are very strict.

The Egyptians performed many rituals that characterize their religion.
First, when a person died, their body was mummified, the ‘mumifier\' was
performing a ritual. Second, the Egyptians would practice reading the Book