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Akhenaten and the Origins of Monotheism$
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James K. Hoffmeier

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199792085

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199792085.001.0001

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The Hymns to Aten

The Hymns to Aten

A Monotheistic Manifesto

(p.211) Chapter 8 The Hymns to Aten
Akhenaten and the Origins of Monotheism

James K. Hoffmeier

Oxford University Press

The Great Hymn and short hymns to Aten are thought to represent the teaching and theology of Akhenaten’s religion. A careful analysis of key and frequently repeated terminology in the hymns allows one to draw out the principal dogma of Atenism. The result is that the main theme is that Aten is creator and sustainer of all life. This chapter further shows that while there is much traditional, solar language in the hymns, in some cases reaching back to the Old Kingdom Pyramid Texts, While couched in traditional language in some cases new monotheistic nuances emerge in these hymns. Similarities to biblical monotheism and the introduction of the God Yahweh in the Bible are discussed.

Keywords:   Aten hymns, Atenism, Great Hymn to Aten, monotheism, Akhenaten, Yahweh

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