In monotheistic thought, God is conceived of as the supreme being, creator deity, principal object of faith. The conceptions of God, as described by theologians include the attributes of omniscience, omnipresence, as having an eternal and necessary existence. Depending on one's kind of theism, these attributes are used either in way of analogy, or in a literal sense as distinct properties. God is most held to be incorporeal. Incorporeality and corporeality of God are related to conceptions of transcendence and immanence of God, with positions of synthesis such as the "immanent transcendence". Psychoanalyst Carl Jung equated religious ideas of God with transcendental aspects of consciousness in his interpretation; some religions describe God without reference to gender, while others or their translations use sex-specific terminology. Judaism attributes only a grammatical gender to God, using terms such as "Him" or "Father" for convenience. God has been conceived as either impersonal. In theism, God is the creator and sustainer of the universe, while in deism, God is the creator, but not the sustainer, of the universe.
In pantheism, God is the universe itself. In atheism, there is an absence of belief in God. In agnosticism, the existence of God is deemed unknowable. God has been conceived as the source of all moral obligation, the "greatest conceivable existent". Many notable philosophers have developed arguments against the existence of God. Monotheists refer to their gods using names prescribed by their respective religions, with some of these names referring to certain cultural ideas about their god's identity and attributes. In the ancient Egyptian era of Atenism the earliest recorded monotheistic religion, this deity was called Aten, premised on being the one "true" Supreme Being and creator of the universe. In the Hebrew Bible and Judaism, Adonai, YHWH and other names are used as the names of God. Yahweh and Jehovah, possible vocalizations of YHWH, are used in Christianity. In the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, coexisting in three "persons", is called the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit. In Islam, the name Allah is used, while Muslims have a multitude of titular names for God.
In Hinduism, Brahman is considered a monistic concept of God. In Chinese religion, Shangdi is conceived as the progenitor of the universe, intrinsic to it and bringing order to it. Other religions have names for the concept, for instance, Baha in the Bahá'í Faith, Waheguru in Sikhism, Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa in Balinese Hinduism, Ahura Mazda in Zoroastrianism; the many different conceptions of God, competing claims as to God's characteristics and actions, have led to the development of ideas of omnitheism, pandeism, or a perennial philosophy, which postulates that there is one underlying theological truth, of which all religions express a partial understanding, as to which "the devout in the various great world religions are in fact worshipping that one God, but through different, overlapping concepts". The earliest written form of the Germanic word God comes from the 6th-century Christian Codex Argenteus; the English word itself is derived from the Proto-Germanic * ǥuđan. The reconstructed Proto-Indo-European form * ǵhu-tó-m was based on the root * ǵhau-, which meant either "to call" or "to invoke".
The Germanic words for God were neuter—applying to both genders—but during the process of the Christianization of the Germanic peoples from their indigenous Germanic paganism, the words became a masculine syntactic form. In the English language, capitalization is used for names by which a god is known, including'God'; the capitalized form of god is not used for multiple gods or when used to refer to the generic idea of a deity. The English word God and its counterparts in other languages are used for any and all conceptions and, in spite of significant differences between religions, the term remains an English translation common to all; the same holds for Hebrew El, but in Judaism, God is given a proper name, the tetragrammaton YHWH, in origin the name of an Edomite or Midianite deity, Yahweh. In many translations of the Bible, when the word LORD is in all capitals, it signifies that the word represents the tetragrammaton. Allāh is the Arabic term with no plural used by Muslims and Arabic speaking Christians and Jews meaning "The God", while "ʾilāh" is the term used for a deity or a god in general.
God may be given a proper name in monotheistic currents of Hinduism which emphasize the personal nature of God, with early references to his name as Krishna-Vasudeva in Bhagavata or Vishnu and Hari. Ahura Mazda is the name for God used in Zoroastrianism. "Mazda", or rather the Avestan stem-form Mazdā-, nominative Mazdå, reflects Proto-Iranian *Mazdāh. It is taken to be the proper name of the spirit, like its Sanskrit cognate medhā, means "intelligence" or "wisdom". Both the Avestan and Sanskrit words reflect Proto-Indo-Iranian *mazdhā-, from Proto-Indo-European mn̩sdʰeh1 meaning "placing one's mind", hence "wise". Waheguru is a term most used in Sikhism to refer to God, it means "Wonderful Teacher" in the Punjabi language. Vāhi means "wonderful" and guru is a term denoting "teacher". Waheguru is described by some as an experience of ecstasy, beyond all descriptions; the most common usage of the word "Waheguru" is in the greeting Sikhs use with each other: Baha, the "greates
A deity is a supernatural being considered divine or sacred. The Oxford Dictionary of English defines deity as "a god or goddess". C. Scott Littleton defines a deity as "a being with powers greater than those of ordinary humans, but who interacts with humans, positively or negatively, in ways that carry humans to new levels of consciousness, beyond the grounded preoccupations of ordinary life". In the English language, a male deity is referred to as a god, while a female deity is referred to as a goddess. Religions can be categorized by. Monotheistic religions accept only one deity, polytheistic religions accept multiple deities. Henotheistic religions accept one supreme deity without denying other deities, considering them as aspects of the same divine principle. Although most monotheistic religions traditionally envision their God as omnipotent, omniscient and eternal, none of these qualities are essential to the definition of a "deity" and various cultures conceptualized their deities differently.
Monotheistic religions refer to God in masculine terms, while other religions refer to their deities in a variety of ways – masculine, feminine and without gender. Many ancient cultures – including the ancient Mesopotamians, Greeks and Norsemen– personified natural phenomena, variously as either deliberate causes or effects; some Avestan and Vedic deities were viewed as ethical concepts. In Indian religions, deities were envisioned as manifesting within the temple of every living being's body, as sensory organs and mind. Deities were envisioned as a form of existence after rebirth, for human beings who gain merit through an ethical life, where they become guardian deities and live blissfully in heaven, but are subject to death when their merit is lost; the English language word "deity" derives from Old French deité, the Latin deitatem or "divine nature", coined by Augustine of Hippo from deus. Deus is related through a common Proto-Indo-European origin to *deiwos; this root yields the ancient Indian word Deva meaning "to gleam, a shining one", from *div- "to shine", as well as Greek dios "divine" and Zeus.
Deva is masculine, the related feminine equivalent is devi. Etymologically, the cognates of Devi are Greek thea. In Old Persian, daiva- means "demon, evil god", while in Sanskrit it means the opposite, referring to the "heavenly, terrestrial things of high excellence, shining ones"; the linked term "god" refers to "supreme being, deity", according to Douglas Harper, is derived from Proto-Germanic *guthan, from PIE *ghut-, which means "that, invoked". Guth in the Irish language means "voice"; the term *ghut- is the source of Old Church Slavonic zovo, Sanskrit huta-, from the root *gheu-,An alternate etymology for the term "god" comes from the Proto-Germanic Gaut, which traces it to the PIE root *ghu-to-, derived from the root *gheu-. The term *gheu- is the source of the Greek khein "to pour"; the German root was a neuter noun. The gender of the monotheistic God shifted to masculine under the influence of Christianity. In contrast, all ancient Indo-European cultures and mythologies recognized both masculine and feminine deities.
There is no universally accepted consensus on what a deity is, concepts of deities vary across cultures. Huw Owen states that the term "deity or god or its equivalent in other languages" has a bewildering range of meanings and significance, it has ranged from "infinite transcendent being who created and lords over the universe", to a "finite entity or experience, with special significance or which evokes a special feeling", to "a concept in religious or philosophical context that relates to nature or magnified beings or a supra-mundane realm", to "numerous other usages". A deity is conceptualized as a supernatural or divine concept, manifesting in ideas and knowledge, in a form that combines excellence in some or all aspects, wrestling with weakness and questions in other aspects, heroic in outlook and actions, yet tied up with emotions and desires. In other cases, the deity is a principle or reality such as the idea of "soul"; the Upanishads of Hinduism, for example, characterize Atman as deva, thereby asserting that the deva and eternal supreme principle is part of every living creature, that this soul is spiritual and divine, that to realize self-knowledge is to know the supreme.
Theism is the belief in the existence of one or more deities. Polytheism is the belief in and worship of multiple deities, which are assembled into a pantheon of gods and goddesses, with accompanying rituals. In most polytheistic religions, the different gods and goddesses are representations of forces of nature or ancestral principles, can be viewed either as autonomous or as aspects or emanations of a creator God or transcendental absolute principle, which manifests immanently in nature. Henotheism accepts the existence of more than one deity, but considers all deities as equivalent representations or aspects of the same divine principle, the highest. Monolatry is the belief that many deities exist, but that only one of these deities may be validly worshipped. Monotheism is the belief. A monotheistic deity, known as "God", is u
The Polynesian narrative or Polynesian mythology encompasses the oral traditions of the people of Polynesia, a grouping of Central and South Pacific Ocean island archipelagos in the Polynesian Triangle together with the scattered cultures known as the Polynesian outliers. Polynesians speak languages that descend from a language reconstructed as Proto-Polynesian, spoken in the Tonga - Samoa area around 1000 BC. Prior to the 15th century AD, Polynesian peoples fanned out to the east, to the Cook Islands, from there to other groups such as Tahiti and the Marquesas, their descendants discovered the islands from Tahiti to Rapa Nui, Hawai‘i and New Zealand. Latest research puts the settlement of New Zealand at about 1300 AD; the various Polynesian languages are all part of the Austronesian language family. Many are close enough in terms of vocabulary and grammar to permit communication between some other language speakers. There are substantial cultural similarities between the various groups in terms of social organisation, childrearing, as well as horticulture and textile technologies.
In some island groups, help is of fishing. There is a story of the marriage between Sky and Earth. There are stories of islands pulled up from the bottom of the sea by a magic fishhook, or thrown down from heaven. There are stories of voyages, migrations and battles, as one might expect. Stories about a trickster, Māui, are known, as are those about a beautiful goddess/ancestress Hina or Sina. In addition to these shared themes in the oral tradition, each island group has its own stories of demi-gods and culture heroes, shading into the firmer outlines of remembered history; such stories were linked to various geographic or ecological features, which may be described as the petrified remains of the supernatural beings. The various Polynesian cultures each have distinct but related oral traditions, that is, legends or myths traditionally considered to recount the history of ancient times and the adventures of gods and deified ancestors; the accounts are characterised by extensive use of allegory, parable and personification.
Orality has an essential flexibility. In an oral tradition, there is no fixed version of a given tale; the story may change within certain limits according to the setting, the needs of the narrator and the audience. Contrary to the Western concept of history, where the knowledge of the past serves to bring a better understanding of the present, the purpose of oral literature is rather to justify and legitimatise the present situation. An example is provided by genealogies, which exist in multiple and contradictory versions; the purpose of genealogies in oral societies is not to provide a'true' account, but rather to emphasise the seniority of the ruling chiefly line, hence its political legitimacy and right to exploit resources of land and the like. If another line should rise to ascendency, it was necessary to bestow upon the new line the most prestigious genealogy if this meant borrowing a few ancestors from the preceding dynasty; each island, each tribe or each clan will have their own version or interpretation of a given narrative cycle.
This process is disrupted when writing becomes the primary means to record and remember the traditions. When missionaries, anthropologists or ethnologists collected and published these accounts, they changed their nature. By fixing forever on paper what had been subject to infinite variation, they fixed as the authoritative version an account told by one narrator at a given moment. In New Zealand, the writings of one chief, Wiremu Te Rangikāheke, formed the basis of much of Governor George Grey's Polynesian Mythology, a book which to this day provides the de facto official versions of many of the best-known Māori legends; some Polynesians seem to have been aware of the danger and the potential of this new means of expression. As of the mid-19th century, a number of them wrote down their genealogy, the history and the origin of their tribe; these writings, known under the name of "pukapuka whakapapa" or in tropical Polynesia as "puta tumu" or "puta tūpuna” were jealously guarded by the heads of households.
Many were destroyed. In the 1890s, Makea Takau, a Rarotongan chief, ordered his tribe to burn all their family books, save his own; as a result, Makea Takau's version became the official history of the chiefly line, removing the possibility of dissent. At his request, extracts were published in the Journal of the Polynesian Society. Beckwith, Hawaiian Mythology, Yale University Press, 1940, as re-issued in 1970, University of Hawaii Press Buck, Sir Peter / Te Rangi Hiroa, Samoan Material Culture. Bishop Museum bulletin. Craig, D. Robert, Dictionary of Polynesian Mythology, 1989, Greenwood Press. Kirch, Patrick,'On the Road of the Winds' 2000, University of California Press. Malo, Hawaiian Antiquities, first published in English in 1898, available as Bernice P. Bishop Museum Special Publication 2, Second Edition, 1951
Tikopia is a small high island in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It is culturally Polynesian; the first Europeans arrived on 22 April 1606 as part of the Spanish expedition of Pedro Fernandes de Queirós. Covering an area of 5 square kilometres, the island is the remnant of an extinct volcano, its highest point, Mt. Reani, reaches an elevation of 380 metres above sea level. Lake Te Roto covers an old volcanic crater, 80 metres deep. Tikopia's location is remote, it is sometimes grouped with the Santa Cruz Islands. Administratively, Tikopia belongs to Temotu Province as the southernmost of the Solomon Islands; some discussions of Tikopian society include its nearest neighbour, the tinier island of Anuta. While it is located in Melanesia, the people of Tikopia are culturally Polynesian, their language, Tikopian, is a member of the Samoic branch of the Polynesian languages. The linguistic analysis indicates that Tikopia was colonized by seafaring Polynesians from the Ellice Islands; the time frame of the migration is not identified but is understood to be some time between the 10th century to the mid-13th century.
The arrival of the voyagers in Anuta could have occurred later. The pattern of settlement, believed to have occurred is that the Polynesians spread out from Tonga and other islands in the central and south eastern Pacific. During pre-European-contact times there was frequent canoe voyaging between the islands as Polynesian navigation skills are recognised to have allowed deliberate journeys on double-hull sailing canoes or outrigger canoes; the voyagers moved into the Tuvaluan atolls as a stepping stone to migration into the Polynesian outlier communities in Melanesia and Micronesia. In Tikopian mythology Atua Fafine and Atua I Raropuka are creator gods and Atua I Kafika is the supreme sky god; the population of Tikopia is about 1,200, distributed among more than 20 villages along the coast. The largest village is Matautu on the west coast; the tiny island has supported a high-density population of a thousand or so. Strict social controls over reproduction prevented further increase. Tikopians practice an intensive system of agriculture, similar in principle to forest gardening and the gardens of the New Guinea Highlands.
Their agricultural practices are and consciously tied to the population density. For example, around A. D. 1600, the people agreed to slaughter all pigs on the island, substitute fishing, because the pigs were taking too much food that could be eaten by people. Tikopians have developed figurative constructions related to their fishing practices. Unlike the Westernizing society of much of the rest of Temotu Province, Tikopia society is little changed from ancient times, its people take great pride in their customs, see themselves as holding fast to their Polynesian traditions while they regard the Melanesians around them to have lost most of theirs. The island is controlled by four chiefs Kafika, Tafua and Fangarere, with Kafika recognised as the first among equals. Tikopians have a developed culture with a strong Polynesian influence, including a complex social structure. New Zealand anthropologist Raymond Firth, who lived on Tikopia in 1928 and 1929, detailed its social life, he showed how the society was divided geographically into two zones and was organized into four clans, headed by clan chiefs.
At the core of social life was the te paito - the house inherited from male ancestors, who were buried inside it. Relationships with the family grouping of one's mother were very important; the relations between a mother's brother and his nephew had a sacred dimension: the uncle oversaw the passage of his nephew through life, in particular, officiating at his manhood ceremonies. Intricate economic and ritual links between paito houses and deference to the chiefs within the clan organization were key dimensions of island life. Raymond Firth, who did his post-graduate anthropological study under Bronislaw Malinowski in 1924, speculates about the ways population control may have been achieved, including celibacy, warfare and sea-voyaging. Firth's book, Tikopia Ritual and Belief remains an important source for the study of Tikopia culture; the Anglican Melanesian Mission first made contact with Tikopia in 1858. A mission teacher was not allowed to settle on the island until 1907. Conversion to Christianity of the total population did not occur until the 1950s.
Tikopia is part of Anglican Church of Melanesia. The introduction of Christianity resulted to the banning of traditional birth control, which had the consequence of a 50% increase of the population: 1,200 in 1920 to 1,800 in 1950; the increase in population resulted in migration to other places in the Solomon Islands, including in the settlement of Nukukaisi in Makira. On Tikopia in 1964, explorers found artefacts from the shipwreck of the expedition of Jean-François de Galaup, comte de Lapérouse. Cyclone Zoe in December 2002 devastated the human settlements in Tikopia. Despite the extensive damage, no deaths were reported, as the islanders followed their traditions and sheltered in the caves in the higher ground; the narrow bank that separated the freshwater lagoon from the sea was breached by the storm, resulting in the continuing contamination of the lagoon and the threatened death of the sago palms on which the islanders depend for survival. A remarkable international effort by "friends of" the island, including many yacht