6. A Million and One Gods: Making Sense of Polytheism moderated by Jack Peradotto




Why do we think the concept of multiple gods is wrong? This course confronts head-on the widespread notion that polytheism is but a primitive, irrational stage on the road to monotheistic enlightenment. We will take the case of Greek mythology to show how its polytheism comprises a set of symbols representing real forces—psychological, social, and elemental forces—contending with one another, to which human beings are subject. We will see how Judaism, Christianity and Islam themselves harbor persistent elements of polytheism. Much of this course repeats the content of the Greek Mythology courses offered in 2015 and 2016.