From ancient byways to modern highways, glimpses of faith are everywhere...

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Nefertiti: 'Queen of Monotheism'

Bust of Nefertiti   (Photo by Philip Pikart)
The ancient Egyptians had many endearing titles for their beloved Queen Nefertiti.  These include “Lady of Grace,” “Sweet of Love,” and “Great of Praises.”

She also might as well have been titled “Queen of Monotheism” because Egypt underwent a religious transformation under her influence. Wikipedia explains that Nefertiti and her husband, Pharaoh Akhenaten, “worshiped
one god only, Aten, or the sun disc.”

This one god, Aten, is said to be “a synthesis of very ancient gods viewed in a new and different way.”  It was believed that all of Creation not only emanated from Aten, but also existed within the sun disc.

Because Aten was said to encompass both masculinity and femininity, this new god was not depicted in an anthropomorphic way.  Instead, Aten was represented by the
sun’s “rays of light.”

Some have contended that Nefertiti and Akhenaten did not practice monotheism because the existence of other gods was not fully denied.  The favoring of one god over others is known as monolatry, rather than as monotheism.  


Copyright September 30, 2015 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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