Early Greek Theology: God as Nature and Natural Gods

Jan N. Bremmer and Andrew Erskine

in The Gods of Ancient Greece

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780748637980
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748670758 | DOI:
Early Greek Theology: God as Nature and Natural Gods

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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

Chapter.  21002 words. 

Subjects: Religion in the Ancient World

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