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The History of Religion: Polytheism To Monotheism

Throughout history, people have developed many different religions and worshiped numerous deities. During the first and second century, people began the conversion from believing in many gods to believing in just one. Due to the mass confusion of thousands of gods, the lack of unity, and the constant wars causing all people to fear death and look for divine answers, monotheism developed.

The mass confusion of thousands of gods made polytheism too difficult and extremely unorganized. In "St. Augustine: Animistic spirits in Roman Religion," Saint Augustine stated "But how is it possible to mention in one part of this book all the names of gods or goddesses, which the Romans scarcely could comprise in great volumes..." In other words, Saint Augustine was saying that there was countless numbers of gods and goddesses that caused too much confusion and frustration. They believed they needed one god or goddess to trust in, to watch over many specific and various things. For example, Proserpina watched over the germinating seeds, Nodutus over the joints and knobs of the stems, the farms to goddess Rumina, and the ridges and mountains to god Jugatinus. This shows that by converting to monotheism, it makes life simpler and less complicated.

Another reason why they converted to monotheism is because they needed and wanted to feel a better trust and a sense of unity. The Romans felt insecure of their religion and felt that there needed to have just one mighty god. In "Augustine Is Brought to His Faith," Saint Augustine declared "I read no further, I did not need to; for instantly, as the sentence ended-by a light of security that poured into my heart-all the gloom of doubt vanished." (Plikington 126). After Saint Augustine picked up and read the New Testament, he then knew that monotheism is better because of the trust and security that he felt. After reading the New Testament, people started to feel the sense of unity that they did not...

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The History of Religion: Polytheism To Monotheism. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 15:45, August 23, 2014, from