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Ancient Religions: Egypt and Judaism

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This 3 page paper covers two subjects: the relationship between ancient Egyptian religion and the idea of death; and ancient Judaism. Bibliography lists 2 sources.

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3 pages (~225 words per page)

File: KV32_HV681070.rtf

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faiths that ordered their lives. Furthermore, Judaism has survived to the present day. This paper briefly discusses two religious topics: the connection between the ancient Egyptian religion and death; and how Judaism differed from other ancient religions and what this meant for the Hebrews. Discussion Egypt: Much of ancient Egyptian religion seems to center on death and in fact, their religious beliefs were the dominant influence in the development of Egyptian culture (Dyson). This is why we cannot think of ancient Egypt without almost automatically thinking of the pyramids, tombs, mummies and other religious artifacts. The Egyptians never developed a cohesive theological system but believed in a number of different myths (Dyson). Still, these myths were pervasive and defined their existence. The mythology of the Egyptians provided them with an explanation for Creation; gave them their gods, who varied from place to place; and was particularly concerned with death and the rituals of burial (Dyson). The burial of the dead "was of religious concern in Egypt, and Egyptian funerary rituals and equipment eventually became the most elaborate the world has ever known" (Dyson). The complex rituals were necessary because of the Egyptian concept of the ka, which Christians might consider analogous to the soul: the Egyptians thought that the there were several "psychical elements" comprising existence, including the ka (Dyson). This was a duplicate body, which "accompanied the body throughout life" but left at death to go to the kingdom of the dead (Dyson). But without the body the ka could not exist, which led to the idea that it was necessary to preserve the body after death, which in turn spurred the development of practices like mummification and other rituals (Dyson). Not only was the body mummified, but "wood or stone replicas of the body were put ...

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