Akhnaton vs. Martin Luther

Essay by brushrop03 May 2004

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History has shown throughout time that man has always believed in some type of higher being or supernatural power greater than himself. This is the essence of religion. All religions have had doctrines that govern the people of that religion; these doctrines are the principals presented for acceptance of belief. Over time the doctrines need to be changed to better suit the people at that time. These changes are known as religious innovations. Egyptian Pharaoh Akhnaton and German reformer Martin Luther were two men, from two different times, who contributed their religious innovations to the world, changing the way some people, even today, view certain religions. These two men shared many similarities and many differences in their views on religion.

The world of Aton in Akhnaton's life began before he was born. It was twenty-five years after the beginning of Akhnaton's father reign before he was born. Queen Tiy, in her grief of not being able to produce a male heir, must have turned from one god to another, promising them many types of gifts if they would grant her a child.

She appeared to turn to Aton with the most confidence; she vowed that if a son were granted to her she would give him to the service of that god. The king, growing old and weak, began to no longer be concerned with state affairs, so most of the power went to Queen Tiy. She slowly began to bring Aton into the foreground of the kingdom. While growing up, Akhnaton was influenced by Queen Tiy's worship of Aton.

The desire for change in religions was very understandable at this time. The priesthood of Amon had attained such power and wealth that it became a threat to the dignity of the throne. Also, the cult of the God Amon...