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The Gods of Ancient GreeceIdentities and Transformations$
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Jan Bremmer and Andrew Erskine

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780748637980

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748637980.001.0001

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Early Greek Theology: God as Nature and Natural Gods

Early Greek Theology: God as Nature and Natural Gods

(p.273) 14 Early Greek Theology: God as Nature and Natural Gods
The Gods of Ancient Greece

Jan N. Bremmer

Andrew Erskine

Edinburgh University Press

The study examines the place of gods in Early Greek philosophy, with attention paid to breaks and continuity with the inherited beliefs from the Homeric age. Beyond the well-known rejection of anthropomorphism by Xenophanes, the author examines the growing tension between various conceptions of the gods as abstract powers and principles and the older notion of divine beings as persons of power. Against earlier work, the author sees little evidence of monotheism, but rather the first rise of the classical pagan theological scheme of world-governing cosmic God and plurality of lesser divine beings.

Keywords:   Theology, Philosophy, Homer, Xenophanes, Monotheism, Cosmic God, Anthropomorphism

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