The Development of religions in ancient civilizations in relation to the fear of death

Essay by nectron101College, Undergraduate October 2004

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Religion played a major role and had a great portion of interest and involvement in the daily life of ancient cilvilizations alike.

Infact, many aspects of life such as the night and day cycle, floods, wars, birth and death were important factors that created the feeling of superpowers which controlled the life of ancient civilizations.

Death, was one of the greatest fears among all of them and the search for IMMORTALITY developed the humankind's thought of religion.

By immortality is ordinarily understood the doctrine that the human soul will survive death, continuing in the possession of an endless conscious existence. Together with the question of the existence of God, it forms the most momentous issue with which philosophy has to deal. It belongs primarily to rational or metaphysical psychology and the philosophy of religion, though it comes also into contact with other branches of philosophy and some of the natural sciences.

For instance, in the ancient civilizaition of Egypt, people had a great belief that their gods had total control in all aspects of their life as well as death. They viewed the sun's daily ascent in the east as symbolic of god's "rebirth"; his daily resurrection signified the victory of the forces of day, light, purity, goodness, and life over those of night, darkness, ignorance, evil and death.

In the cyclical regularity of nature evidence by the daily rising and setting of the sun, the ancient Egyptians preceived both the inevitability of death and the promise of birth.

Further more, dipictions of their rituals on the walls of Egyptian temples and tombs show the pharaoh recieving from Amon the gift of immortality on the form of ankh, the hieroglyphic symbol meaning "life".

Also, the Osiris myth that the ancient Egyptians believed in vividly describes the idea of resurection, which...