Egypt, Trunk of the Tree: A Modern Survey of an Ancient Land - Vol. 1

Egypt, Trunk of the Tree: A Modern Survey of an Ancient Land - Vol. 1

Egypt, Trunk of the Tree: A Modern Survey of an Ancient Land - Vol. 1

Egypt, Trunk of the Tree: A Modern Survey of an Ancient Land - Vol. 1

Synopsis

A French specialist in systems of religious belief recounts his exploration of the Egyptian patrimony society from 3100 BC to AD 395. The first volume looks at the matrix from which the Egyptian religion, political system, and contexts emerged. The second will trace how Egyptians developed distinctive features to address their own concerns. Annotation (c)2003 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Excerpt

The ancient Egyptians may have surpassed every other civilization in history in their ability to change the substance of their society and religion, while simultaneously pretending that no changes had really been made.

To them, change was impossible. Truth had been established for all time, from creation, from “the first time” or the “first occasion.” But in practice, the Egyptians were constantly making fundamental changes and creating new, more complex and logically incomprehensible molds by heaping layer after layer of beliefs, meanings and names together without eliminating any contradictions.

The first goal of this book is to cut a navigable path through this vast and confused tangle of concepts, changes, subtleties, syncretisms, amalgamations, contradictions and enigmas.

Part I of Egypt, the Trunk of the Tree situates the Egyptian religion, political system and society within the contexts — some of them stretching back as far as before c. 4000 BC — of the early history of religion, mythology, technology, art, psychology, sociology, migratory movements and geography. The anchoring of religious belief in divine immanence and diversity, but a frenzy for religious change without change, the omnipresence of magic, the immense powers of the pharaoh-god and the turning point for man that ancient Egypt represented in many key theological, political, artistic and technological domains from very early dates are examined. Part II examines how these early contexts led to specific consequences and to original Egyptian solutions to political, societal, religious, existential and metaphysical problems. The establishment of a system in which eventually everybody had five souls, the optimistic solution to the problem of death and the setting up of an ambiguous ethical code are especially . . .

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