What is a Deity?

What Does Deity Mean

When we speak of a deity, we refer in very general terms to any form of god, divinity or mystical, spiritual or supernatural entity to which some role is attributed within the cosmic order and to which, therefore, some role is given. form of tribute or devotion. It is a term similar to that of "god", but much broader and more comprehensive, since it refers to the gods of any monotheistic or polytheistic religion .

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Deities of various kinds have accompanied the human being throughout the history of civilization, they embodied different values and played different roles in their imaginary order of things. Many of them represented ideals of justice , order and abundance, while others had more grim roles, as destroyers of the world, responsible for chaos and death, or rulers of the afterlife.

In fact, some of the first known deities were linked either to the world of agriculture and the fertility of the earth , or to natural phenomena such as day and night, the path of the sun in the sky, and so on. For example, the ancient Egyptians called the sun god Ra, and imagined him as a hawk-headed man, traveling through the sky in his chariot, along with his daughter Maat, who embodied the cosmic order.

The term "deity" comes from the Latin deitas , more or less comparable with "divinity", although sources such as Saint Augustine (354-430 AD) assure that it is a term created by ancient Christians to differentiate their god from the worshiped by pagans. Similarly, other authors distinguish between "deity" and "divinity", in this case stating that the first term refers to the god and the second to his powers or supernatural faculties.

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