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Author Topic: The Shift from Gods to Saints and Angels  (Read 5311 times)

RecycledBenedict

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Re: The Shift from Gods to Saints and Angels
« Reply #15 on: October 12, 2015, 11:28:07 am »
Quote from: Haganrix;180875
Islam has no Saints as Protestantism hasn't, ...


Islam may not has 'saints', but it has walis.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wali_Sanga

As for Protestantism, 'Protestantism' has no saints, if you deny that Lutherans, Anglicans and the Huguenots in Taizé are 'Protestants', but please then clarify that 'Protestantism' is used in a narrow sense by you, not including Lutherans, Anglicans and some Huguenots. It is not obvious without this qualifying explanation.

Up here, schools close for vacation during the week surrounding All Saints' day, because the Lutherans celebrate All Saints' day and All Souls' day. You can't miss it here, even if you practice another religion. Lutheran devotion to the saints is generally less fervent than the one you generally encounter among the Catholics (and invocation of their intercessions is not very popular, although modestly included in the Lutheran Hymnal), but that doesn't mean that the celebration of saints has disappeared. St. John and St. Michael are also mandatory for the Lutherans, while the calendar of saints adopted in the late 1980's (including about thirty saints) isn't mandatory. The most popular among the non-mandatory saints' days is St. Lucy, even outside High Church parishes.

The first Anglican calendar of saints (1561) is here:
http://justus.anglican.org/resources/bcp/1559/Kalendar_1559.htm#Almanac

All other calendars of saints in the Anglican Communion are descendants of this. Each member church have their own regional version.

Seax_Blade

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Re: The Shift from Gods to Saints and Angels
« Reply #16 on: October 12, 2015, 03:29:24 pm »
Quote from: Haganrix;180875
Monotheism spiritually is based on hierarchy, polytheism on equality. Thus the Orthodox Greek Church transformed Gods to Saints e. g. Helios-Apollon now is considered to be Saint Elias, Satan may be the equivalent to Prometheus.


Islam has no Saints as Protestantism hasn't, but those monotheist faculties still deal with angels, the most familiar one... is Gabriel, the archangel.


Although monotheists could hardly do anthing else cause they neglect the spiritual equality I find it unserious to replace Gods by Saints and Angels.


However, as we are polytheists, how should we consider the changes from Gods to Saints and Angels? And the replacement of equality by hierarchy?


What are your views?

I was actually just thinking about this yesterday and today, that perhaps ancestor worship or honoring the spirits of an area is similar to saint veneration. I haven't had as much time to think deeply about it but at least superficially maybe there's something there?
« Last Edit: October 12, 2015, 03:30:42 pm by Seax_Blade »

RandallS

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Re: The Shift from Gods to Saints and Angels
« Reply #17 on: October 13, 2015, 09:59:48 am »
Quote from: FraterBenedict;180944
As for Protestantism, 'Protestantism' has no saints, if you deny that Lutherans, Anglicans and the Huguenots in Taizé are 'Protestants', but please then clarify that 'Protestantism' is used in a narrow sense by you, not including Lutherans, Anglicans and some Huguenots. It is not obvious without this qualifying explanation.


Many protestant denominations (beyond the ones you list) actually recognize many of the saints (especially the early saints)  that the Catholics do, they simply do not believe in the veneration of saints or that you can pray to saints who will they pray to God for you (and get better results because they are saints). Since there is no veneration of saints or prayers for their intercession, they are more background than anything else except on All Saints Day in "High Church" traditions.
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Juniperberry

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Re: The Shift from Gods to Saints and Angels
« Reply #18 on: October 13, 2015, 11:21:04 am »
Quote from: FraterBenedict;180936
Chairman is a very polite description of an absolute monarch surrounded by advisors he isn't bound to listen to, and whom he punish severely if they express dissent.

 
I think there's a difference in the idea that all gods are created equal versus all gods rule equally, though?

I would definitely say that in monotheism all gods are not created equal, that God is the Supreme, and no other entity even comes close.

In polytheism, even if gods don't rule equally, they exist equally and do, or have the potential to, upset the status quo.
The pace of progress in artificial intelligence (I’m not referring to narrow AI) is incredibly fast. [...] The risk of something seriously dangerous happening is in the five year timeframe. 10 years at most.--Elon Musk

I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence," [Bill] Gates wrote. "First the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent. That should be positive if we manage it well. A few decades after that though the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern. I agree with Elon Musk and some others on this and don\'t understand why some people are not concerned."

Darkhawk

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Re: The Shift from Gods to Saints and Angels
« Reply #19 on: October 13, 2015, 02:36:36 pm »
Quote from: Juniperberry;180983
I think there's a difference in the idea that all gods are created equal versus all gods rule equally, though?

I would definitely say that in monotheism all gods are not created equal, that God is the Supreme, and no other entity even comes close.

In polytheism, even if gods don't rule equally, they exist equally and do, or have the potential to, upset the status quo.

 
I rather suspect that a monotheist would be baffled by the idea of "gods existing equally" because all entities at the god rank are equal by necessity, as there is only one of them.  "All gods are not created equal" is total gibberish when "all gods" is the same thing as "that specific god right there".

My polytheism is full of greater and lesser powers, meanwhile, ranging from the unnamed hosts/entourages of named deities, to named gods explicitly categorised as lesser beings/demons, to various entities which may not have sufficient divine power to be referred to as gods but which nonetheless have more divine power than humans.
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

RandallS

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Re: The Shift from Gods to Saints and Angels
« Reply #20 on: October 13, 2015, 03:00:33 pm »
Quote from: Juniperberry;180983
In polytheism, even if gods don't rule equally, they exist equally and do, or have the potential to, upset the status quo.

I'm not sure what you mean by "they exist equally"? All I know is that my pantheon (of Hellentic deities) has all sorts of immortals: gods of various levels of power, demi-gods, heroes, spirits, etc. and few of them are anything like equal. Some are more or less powerful, some are more or less important, some have a great range, others are very local, etc.
Randall
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Microlite20: Lots of Rules Lite Tabletop RPGs -- Many Free
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RecycledBenedict

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Re: The Shift from Gods to Saints and Angels
« Reply #21 on: October 13, 2015, 03:48:43 pm »
Quote from: Juniperberry;180983
I think there's a difference in the idea that all gods are created equal versus all gods rule equally, though?

I would definitely say that in monotheism all gods are not created equal, that God is the Supreme, and no other entity even comes close.

In polytheism, even if gods don't rule equally, they exist equally and do, or have the potential to, upset the status quo.


Randall has already given almost the same answer I would give. Noetic deities are not equal to henads. Encosmic deities are not equal to hypercosmic deities. They have all their part to play in the emanatory manifold, but equal they are not.

Juniperberry

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Re: The Shift from Gods to Saints and Angels
« Reply #22 on: October 13, 2015, 04:20:47 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;180991
I rather suspect that a monotheist would be baffled by the idea of "gods existing equally" because all entities at the god rank are equal by necessity, as there is only one of them.  "All gods are not created equal" is total gibberish when "all gods" is the same thing as "that specific god right there".


But isn't that the point of the thread? In polytheism you can have multiple gods that are generally equal  while  monotheism only allows for one god, removing equality from the equation completely.  

Quote
My polytheism is full of greater and lesser powers, meanwhile, ranging from the unnamed hosts/entourages of named deities, to named gods explicitly categorised as lesser beings/demons, to various entities which may not have sufficient divine power to be referred to as gods but which nonetheless have more divine power than humans.


 I'm  not saying *all* gods/beings *must* be equal for equality to exist in polytheism. Just that equality *does* exist  in polytheism and does *not* in monotheism.
The pace of progress in artificial intelligence (I’m not referring to narrow AI) is incredibly fast. [...] The risk of something seriously dangerous happening is in the five year timeframe. 10 years at most.--Elon Musk

I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence," [Bill] Gates wrote. "First the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent. That should be positive if we manage it well. A few decades after that though the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern. I agree with Elon Musk and some others on this and don\'t understand why some people are not concerned."

RecycledBenedict

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Re: The Shift from Gods to Saints and Angels
« Reply #23 on: October 13, 2015, 05:08:32 pm »
Quote from: Juniperberry;180995
But isn't that the point of the thread? In polytheism you can have multiple gods that are generally equal  while  monotheism only allows for one god, removing equality from the equation completely.  



 I'm  not saying *all* gods/beings *must* be equal for equality to exist in polytheism. Just that equality *does* exist  in polytheism and does *not* in monotheism.


Apollo's oracle of Claros (which is one of our sources to classical mediterranean paganism in the Hellenistic and Imperial age) was very clear that the highest unnameable deity was without equal even in a pagan world view. The First Mind is described in a similar way in The Chaldaean Oracles. By Proclus, all such descriptions of a first source are identified with Plotinus' To Hen and Aion of the mystery religions and PMG.

Many monotheists believe in archangels. Archangels seem to be equal to each other. I have already mentioned the pagan opinion that 'gods' and 'archangels' are the same class of beings. That would make monotheism equal, following your definition above?

A fun fact about Phrygian paganism in the Imperial Age is that some gods were given the title 'angels' (Zeus' angels). The moon god Men and the god of justice, Dikaios or Dikaion, are given this title.

Juniperberry

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Re: The Shift from Gods to Saints and Angels
« Reply #24 on: October 13, 2015, 05:24:57 pm »
Quote from: FraterBenedict;180996
Apollo's oracle of Claros (which is one of our sources to classical mediterranean paganism in the Hellenistic and Imperial age) was very clear that the highest unnameable deity was without equal even in a pagan world view. The First Mind is described in a similar way in The Chaldaean Oracles. By Proclus, all such descriptions of a first source are identified with Plotinus' To Hen and Aion of the mystery religions and PMG.


But that doesn't represent all of polytheism.

Quote
Many monotheists believe in archangels. Archangels seem to be equal to each other. I have already mentioned the pagan opinion that 'gods' and 'archangels' are the same class of beings. That would make monotheism equal, following your definition above?


A *pagan's* view of monotheism is irrelevant. Does the *intended* view of monotheism include equally ranked deities?

Odin supplanted Tyr as chief deity. There is no other god in monotheism that could take the place of God. There cannot be equality if there is only one of a thing, you need at least two things to compare and contrast their values. Divine equality is impossible in monotheism, and is possible in polytheism.

I agree that polytheism has a hierarchy, but that top status is fluid because there exist deities with equal potential. In monotheism, God is the sole Supreme deity with zero contenders. Since he *cannot* have any equals, all other beings *must be* lower ranked. That isn't the case with polytheism.
The pace of progress in artificial intelligence (I’m not referring to narrow AI) is incredibly fast. [...] The risk of something seriously dangerous happening is in the five year timeframe. 10 years at most.--Elon Musk

I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence," [Bill] Gates wrote. "First the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent. That should be positive if we manage it well. A few decades after that though the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern. I agree with Elon Musk and some others on this and don\'t understand why some people are not concerned."

Juniperberry

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Re: The Shift from Gods to Saints and Angels
« Reply #25 on: October 13, 2015, 05:49:11 pm »
Quote from: Juniperberry;180998
But that doesn't represent all of polytheism.




God is the sole Supreme deity with zero contenders. Since he *cannot* have any equals, all other beings *must be* lower ranked.



Therefore, any other beings/gods absorbed into Christianity *must* be lower ranking than God himself. However, there are instances  (theorized, at least) of absorbed deities usurping the previous chief deity in polytheism.

I'm not sure, of course, but I think this is the OP's line of thinking.
The pace of progress in artificial intelligence (I’m not referring to narrow AI) is incredibly fast. [...] The risk of something seriously dangerous happening is in the five year timeframe. 10 years at most.--Elon Musk

I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence," [Bill] Gates wrote. "First the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent. That should be positive if we manage it well. A few decades after that though the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern. I agree with Elon Musk and some others on this and don\'t understand why some people are not concerned."

RecycledBenedict

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Re: The Shift from Gods to Saints and Angels
« Reply #26 on: October 13, 2015, 05:55:02 pm »
Quote from: Juniperberry;180998
A *pagan's* view of monotheism is irrelevant.

It isn't a pagan's view of monotheism. It is a pagan's view of the entities interchangeably known as 'gods', 'archangels' or 'angels'. Please also take note of my Phrygian example of nomenclature. A botanist call a banana a berry, while most people call it a fruit. What do they all eat for pudding, a berry or a fruit?

Quote from: Juniperberry;180998
Does the *intended* view of monotheism include equally ranked deities?

It would seem so, but the preferred word is 'angels'. The Hebrew word for 'gods' is translated into the Greek word for 'angel' in one of the psalms in Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible. The psalm is numbered 137 in Septuagint, 138 in the masoretic ennumeration.

Then, this is not the only view of intermediate deities in Jewish/Christian circles. St. Paul nurture a much more negative view in 1Cor. 10.10 in which pagan deities are demoted to the lowest rank of spiritual entities, possibly with negative overtones.

Quote from: Juniperberry;180998
Odin supplanted Tyr as chief deity. There is no other god in monotheism that could take the place of God. There cannot be equality if there is only one of a thing, you need at least two things to compare and contrast their values. Divine equality is impossible in monotheism, and is possible in polytheism.

I agree that polytheism has a hierarchy, but that top status is fluid because there exist deities with equal potential. In monotheism, God is the sole Supreme deity with zero contenders. Since he *cannot* have any equals, all other beings *must be* lower ranked. That isn't the case with polytheism.

There is no other Supreme deity in paganism than the Supreme deity either. This is a logical truth. One difference is that the Supreme being in polytheism often (but not always) is perceived as a Deus Otiosus, making the intermediate deities much more important when it comes to religious practice. Another difference between monotheism and polytheism is, that polytheists are less anxious than monotheists about using several and varying names about the Supreme being. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2015, 11:02:51 pm by SunflowerP »

Juniperberry

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Re: The Shift from Gods to Saints and Angels
« Reply #27 on: October 13, 2015, 06:26:20 pm »
Quote from: FraterBenedict;181000
Quote from: Juniperberry;180998

A *pagan's* view of monotheism is irrelevant.


It isn't a pagan's view of monotheism. It is a pagan's view of the entities interchangeably known as 'gods', 'archangels' or 'angels'.


Are we discussing how pagans compare monotheism and polytheism, or are we discussing the views of monotheism compared to the views of polytheism?


Quote
Please also take note of my Phrygian example of nomenclature. A botanist call a banana a berry, while most people call it a fruit. What do they all eat for pudding, a berry or a fruit?


Well, this threw my dyslexic-thinking all out of whack. Does the banana represent monotheism or polytheism, does it represent the worshiper or the deity? Is "pudding"--whether berry or fruit-- code for religions all being universally the same truth?

Quote
It would seem so, but the preferred word is 'angels'. The Hebrew word for 'gods' is translated into the Greek word for 'angel' in one of the psalms in Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible. The psalm is numbered 137 in Septuagint, 138 in the masoretic ennumeration.

Then, this is not the only view of intermediate deities in Jewish/Christian circles. St. Paul nurture a much more negative view in 1Cor. 10.10 in which pagan deities are demoted to the lowest rank of spiritual entities, possibly with negative overtones.


You seem to be addressing whether or not there is equality anywhere at all in monotheism (arguing that there is, with angels etc). I am looking at equality of the top position. In monotheism, God is the top position eternally (by virtue of being God), with all things falling in  rank beneath. In polytheism, the top position is (by virtue of concept), and it can be held by any deity. In this way, gods can be equal in their potential to hold that top position, but there is no equal to God.


Quote
There is no other Supreme deity in paganism than the Supreme deity either.


But in polytheism it is a position and not a state of being.

Quote
One difference is that the Supreme being in polytheism often (but not always) is perceived as a Deus Otiosus, making the intermediate deities much more important when it comes to religious practice.


But if you're going to argue semantics, then you should know that "supreme" is defined as the ultimate authority of office. A retired god is no longer the supreme god.

Quote
Another difference between monotheism and polytheism is, that polytheists are less anxious than monotheists about using several and varying names about the Supreme being. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.


That doesn't seem to have anything to do with anything. Unless you're saying that the Supreme Office is the ultimate mysterious truth in polytheism, and that whatever name we give to it (Odin, Tyr, Zeus) is less important than it's actual function.
The pace of progress in artificial intelligence (I’m not referring to narrow AI) is incredibly fast. [...] The risk of something seriously dangerous happening is in the five year timeframe. 10 years at most.--Elon Musk

I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence," [Bill] Gates wrote. "First the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent. That should be positive if we manage it well. A few decades after that though the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern. I agree with Elon Musk and some others on this and don\'t understand why some people are not concerned."

Darkhawk

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Re: The Shift from Gods to Saints and Angels
« Reply #28 on: October 13, 2015, 06:57:25 pm »
Quote from: Juniperberry;181001
But in polytheism it is a position and not a state of being.

 
In the forms of polytheism of which FraterBenedict is speaking, it is absolutely a state of being: there is one, remote, unknowable deity which is honored but sufficiently removed as to be incomprehensible.  This deity therefore creates/appoints/emanates/gives rise to other entities, "lesser" gods, which are more comprehensible to humanity and thus the focus of direct veneration, supplication, and ritual.

This mode of religious thought can be found in, off the top of my head, some forms of ceremonial magic rooted religion, some forms of religious witchcraft, and at least one popular strain of Kemetic thought.  Probably other places too, that's just what I know of off the top of my head. (I'd be shocked if there weren't at least two Greek philosophical schools that had positions on this basic theology, for example.)

Something similar also present in certain African Traditional Religions and their descendants, the African Diaspora Religions, though it is inappropriate to refer to the emanated entities as gods, for much the same reason that one does not refer to angels as gods when speaking of Abrahamic religions.
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

Juniperberry

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Re: The Shift from Gods to Saints and Angels
« Reply #29 on: October 13, 2015, 07:13:47 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;181002
In the forms of polytheism of which FraterBenedict is speaking, it is absolutely a state of being: there is one, remote, unknowable deity which is honored but sufficiently removed as to be incomprehensible.  This deity therefore creates/appoints/emanates/gives rise to other entities, "lesser" gods, which are more comprehensible to humanity and thus the focus of direct veneration, supplication, and ritual.



Fair enough. I thought there was some agreement that we were talking about polytheism as a varied whole. Also just now realizing I'm in a SIG, and if that's an intrusion I apologize.

So to clarify, in some polytheistic religions it can be a state of being and in others it's not, but in monotheism it must be a state of being (and that being is God).
The pace of progress in artificial intelligence (I’m not referring to narrow AI) is incredibly fast. [...] The risk of something seriously dangerous happening is in the five year timeframe. 10 years at most.--Elon Musk

I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence," [Bill] Gates wrote. "First the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent. That should be positive if we manage it well. A few decades after that though the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern. I agree with Elon Musk and some others on this and don\'t understand why some people are not concerned."

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