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Akhenaten and the Religion of Light: Die Religion des Lichtes 49576th Edition
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"In Akhenaten and the Religion of Light, Erik Hornung, . . .explores the metaphysical and religious dimensions of Akhenaten's 'perestroika' . . . shows how psychological and medical interpretations of Akhenaten's portraits based on a literal reading of their anatomy-bending style have often fed dubious moral presumptions. . . .'Ugly' and 'sick' Hornung tells us were the most common epithets applied to Amarna art by scholars at the turn of the century."―Lawrence Osborne. Lingua Franca. April, 2000.
"In this book, the author provides a concise, accurate, and very readable account of Akhenaten's reign. . . It is one of the best books on the subject of this heretic pharaoh. Recommended reading for all."―Frankie's Bibliography of Ancient Egypt
"Eric Hornung. . . effectively and succinctly guides through the mess of interpretations to a sympathetic, yet historically critical understanding of the pharaoh's theology and impact upon Egyptian history. . . Like any good historian he explains the social and historical context that gave rise to Akhenaten and his religion of light. The author has spent a life time trying to unravel for us the intricacies of Egyptian religion. His books are accessible, well written, and full of useful information."―Tom Collins, Religious Studies in Secondary Schools, Spring 2000.
"A concise and thoughtful analysis of Akhenaten's reign and religious innovations by a foremost expert on Egyptian religion. . . Throughout, Hornung's knowledge of Egyptian religion and balanced coverage of the issues make this a publication of great value to anyone with an interest in Akhenaten or in Egyptian religion."―Denise M. Doxey, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Religious Studies Review, Vol. 25, No. 4, October 2000
"This short and eminently readable translation. . . focuses on the nature of Akhenaten's religion, religious beliefs, and cultic practices, bringing together concepts and discussions from a wide range of scholarly writing."―Susan Tower Hollis, SUNY Empire State College. Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 121, No. 3 (2001)
About the Author
David Lorton, an Egyptologist, is the translator of many books, including Erik Hornung's books The Secret Lore of Egypt and Akhenaten and the Religion of Light, both from Cornell.
Top Customer Reviews
Aware that Egyptologists usually infer too much from too little, Herr Hornung is excessively cautious in his approach, always avoiding any labeling of his biographee, whether as the tragic saint glorified by Breasted and Weigall, whether as the decadent fanatic despised by Redford and Aldred, whether as the true founder of Judaism hailed by Freud and the Rosicrucian. He has no opinion about Akhenaten's possible co-regency with his father or with his successor, whoever he (Smenkhkare?), or she (Nefertiti?), might be; he doesn't know what happened in his last years, ignores the debate over the mummy found at Tomb 55 in the Valley of Kings, and has no idea where Tutankhamun came from. He is not sure of anything, though he mentions most of the theories proposed by other authors. All he seems sure of is the basic tenets of Akhenaten's religious ideas.
And this is very interesting, because one of the author's most avoided "clichés" is precisely the pre-Christian feature of this very dramatic character.Read more ›
Akhenaten's revolutionary change from polytheism to monotheistic belief in only one god helped unify Egypt.
The subjective controversy that plagues the history of Akhenaten is an anticipative backlash from exoheretics to the academic practice of historiography. When emotional superfluous definitions to the meaning of heresy are discarded, it becomes obvious (for the right reasons) that Akhenaten was indeed a heretic. As a dissenter from orthodox religious beliefs, he was, by definition, a "heretic king".
Hornung's book delves into Akhenaten's radical dissent from Egypt's traditional polytheism, and his establishment of the world's first instance of monotheism. The belief was in Aten, whom many mistakenly believe was depicted by the solar disk. This book makes it clear that Aten was actually not the sun disk, but rather the LIGHT that is in the sun and which, radiating from it, calls the world to life and keeps it alive. It was no more or less an icon than Judaism's Star of David, or Christianity's Cross of Jesus, or Islam's calligraphic symbol. Early text of a boundary stelae reads, "sculptors do not know him."
The parallels Hornung draws between today's 3 major monotheistic religions and Akhenaten's precedent are many and presented in clear detail.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
So interesting and fascinating even though it's quite thin. I would recommend this wonderfull book for the late summer nights.Published on July 22, 2013 by Tomas Ekroth
_Die Religion des Lichtes_ -or "The Religion of Light" - was originally a lecture given at the Eranos Conference in 1988, hence its berevity (the book weighs in at just over 100... Read morePublished on May 17, 2013 by doc peterson
Interesting in both detail and the author's opinions. We'll never really know what, why and exactly how the entire "Amarna" period played out since we can't know what the... Read morePublished on January 2, 2013 by Lorraine Jones
This is a transcription of a lecture of some type by Hornung himself. Characteristic of Hornung, he tends to stick with the facts and tries not to interpret from them too much. Read morePublished on October 11, 2012 by Della
To be honest, having read many books on Akhenaten, I don't think this book added any new information (is there any? Read morePublished on February 19, 2012 by Sol1979
As a Rosicrucian I really enjoyed reading this book about our first traditional Grand MasterPublished on March 23, 2007 by LaVerne A. Isenberg