Die gode is naby

Ponelis, I. A. (Isabella Annanda) (2003-03)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2003.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The rise of Ancient Egyptian civilization by the end of the fourth millennium BC was essentially a religious process. The civilization developed from a religious core that was formed by and in the Nile valley. Metaphors were drawn from the context of the Nile to represent deities. In different epochs and at different places, creation myths attempted explaining the mystery of the origin of god and man. According to these myths, both god and man were created by a primal being after it had brought itself into being. In an attempt to depict different facets of deities, various metaphors were used. One and the same god could be represented as a human and as an animal. Nonetheless, all deities possessed human features and all functioned in human structures. In the primal state mankind and the gods coexisted in harmony. When man rebelled this harmony was shattered, and the gods left the world of man. After the gods had left earth they could be approached only by a mediator. The role of mediator was played by the pharaoh. It was the pharaoh's mission to maintain the order on earth that had been present since creation. Inthe office as high priest of all cults it was incumbent on the pharaoh to keep the gods satisfied by ensuring them of the maintenance of Ma'at. In this the pharaoh as god-king was assisted by a hierarchy of priests who performed cult rituals in temples and sacrificed to the gods. To a great extent, ordinary people were excluded from formal religion and resorted to popular or demotic religion. The dominant role of artefacts in death and grave rituals does not signify an obsession with death. All rituals and artefacts were involved in maintaining life after death, and the afterlife was something that Ancient Egyptians implicitly believed in. Admission to life after death required a morally sound and just life, which was determined in the judgement ceremony when the deeds of the deceased were placed on a scale weighted with the feather of Ma'at. Religion, with the pharaoh at its centre, permeated every aspect of daily life in Ancient Egypt.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die opkoms van die Antieke Egiptiese beskawing teen die einde van die vierde millennium vC was essensieel 'n godsdienstige proses. Die beskawing het rondom 'n godsdiens ontwikkel wat sy skering en inslag in die vrugbare Nylvallei gehad het. Metafore uit die Nylkonteks is gebruik om die godedom te vergestalt. Skeppingsmites het op verskillende tye en op verskillende plekke 'n verklaring van die ontstaansgeheim van gode en mense probeer gee. Hiervolgens is alle gode en mense deur 'n oerwese geskape nadat hierdie oerwese homself tot stand gebring het. In 'n poging om die verskillende fasette van gode uit te beeld, is verskillende metafore gebruik; dieselfde god kon vergestalt word as mens en/of dier. Tog het alle gode menslike eienskappe gehad en het hulle almal in menslike strukture gefunksioneer. In die oerstaat sou mense en gode in harmonie saamleef. Toe die mens in opstand gekom het, is hierdie harmonie versteur, en die gode het die wêreld van die mensdom verlaat. Nadat die gode die aarde verlaat het, kon hulle net deur 'n middelaar bereik word. Die rol van middelaar is ingeneem deur die farao. Dit was die opdrag van die farao om die orde wat van die skepping af teenwoordig was, op aarde te handhaaf. In sy amp as hoëpriester van alle kultusse moes die farao daagliks die gode tevrede hou deur hulle van die instandhouding van Ma'at te verseker. Hierin is hy as godkoning bygestaan deur 'n hiërargie van priesters wat in tempels kultusrituele uitgevoer en offers aan die gode gebring het. Die gewone mens is in 'n groot mate uitgesluit van formele godsdiens en het 'n heenkome in volksgodsdiens gevind. Die dominante rol wat artefakte rondom die dood en grafrituele speel, het geensins gedui op 'n beheptheid met die dood nie. Alle rituele en toerusting is gerig op die instandhouding van die lewe na die dood, waaraan die Antieke Egiptenaar onwrikbaar geglo het. Toetrede tot die lewe na die dood het 'n moreel regverdige lewe vereis en is bepaal by die oordeelseremonie wanneer die afgestorwene se dade op 'n skaal teenoor die veer van Ma'at geweeg is. Elke aspek van die daaglikse lewe in Antieke Egipte is geraak en bepaal deur die besondere rol van die godsdiens en die farao as hoofrolspeler in die godsdiens.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/53372
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