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Akhenaten and monotheism

Akhenaten and monotheism

Header-Akhenaton

Anyone who visits Egypt, or even reads about Ancient Egypt, can’t remain indifferent to the level of knowledge bequeathed to humanity by this 5,000-year-old civilization. However, everything we know about the Egyptians is carved in stone, papyrus, and tombs, written in a unique language (hieroglyphics) deciphered in 1822 by Champollion. And, from time to time, new discoveries emerge from the desert sands through a process that requires imagination and judgment.

Historians divide the times of Egyptian rulers into dynasties, with a total of thirty dynasties spanning three thousand years.

During the 18th dynasty, around 1580 to 1320 B.C.E., Pharaoh Amenhotep III, married to queen Tiye, ruled for 13 years. What we know about this pharaoh and his queen is that they were refined and endowed with a great sense of State, at a time when Egypt opened up to the world and there was considerable development of cultural and spiritual aspects. Amenhotep III and queen Tiye’s son was named Amenhotep IV and, as we are about to see, was later changed to Akhenaten (Effective Spirit of Aten).

There are few records of Akhenaten’s childhood, but it is known that he married Nefertiti (“the beautiful one has come”) when he was 12 years old, and they had six daughters.

His upbringing was greatly influenced, in addition to the permanent presence of his parents, by Amenhotep, son of Hapu, a most respected architect and public official, regarded as a great sage for reaching the mythical age of 110.

Akhenaten most likely drank from Amenhotep’s spiritual wisdom that embodied the ideal of ancient Egypt. As a man of action, he understood that thoughts would be worthless if they were not set in stone.

Many historians often dwell on Akhenaten’s physical appearance based on the representations of the pharaoh created by court artists, given that his mummy hasn’t been found. The pharaoh’s body is described as androgynous, emphasizing his somewhat oval head, slanted eyes, and rounded and inclined skull. These forms are less visible on Nefertiti, but the elongated head is clearly seen in the depiction of her daughters and even some court members. 

Records in stone and on walls, statues, and correspondence sent by other nations, show, with some degree of certainty, that there was a co-regency between Amenhotep III and Amenhotep IV. This practice, common in Pharaonic Egypt, symbolizes the unity of thought between father and son in an order aimed at the continuity of policies and ideals.

Based on records found in the city that Akhenaten would later build, his father is believed to have died around the twelfth year of his son’s reign.

Above all, the name change from Amenhotep IV to Akhenaten (probably around the sixth year of his reign) represented a change in the nature of things and a sign that a new way of acting was about to begin. 

Egyptologists who examine the so-called Amarnian period (from the city of Tell el-Amarna) do not usually agree in their analysis. Some consider Akhenaten mentally unstable, while others see him as a remarkable and unusual pharaoh. Some critics of Akhenaten’s regency might have been influenced by the abrupt end of his reign, preventing them from clearly seeing the importance of this hiatus, this rupture, for the history of Egyptian civilization and, perhaps, of all humanity.

Today, most scholars admit that Akhenaten introduced new religious practices and took action by building a city, in addition to laying the foundations of unprecedented social relationships. The artistic representations were also innovative. Images of the pharaohs in combat or during the hunt were no longer frequent and attested to spiritual development. The pharaoh could be seen in several family scenes with his wife and daughters in an atmosphere of affection, in addition to others that praised nature and the solar religion, which everyone attended indiscriminately.

Some historians consider Akhenaten as the introducer or re-introducer of monotheism in Egypt. This issue is greatly influenced by the myriad of Egyptian gods. However, we must remember that there was always a Supreme and Absolute God above all relative gods in this civilization. This one God is very present in Egyptian cosmogony and cosmology. Thus, we could consider that Egypt has always been monotheistic. To better understand this issue, we can establish a parallel with the Catholic religion, monotheistic in essence but full of sanctified entities that acquire some specialization in the popular imagination, such as protector of animals, wedding facilitator, responsible for the weather, etc.

In order to understand the real importance of Akhenaten’s reign and why it is considered one of the most important events in Egyptian history, we must go back to the origins of the religion of that nation. Heliopolis, the “City of the Sun”, located on what is now the outskirts of the city of Cairo, was the ancient theological center of Egypt. Aten (or Atum, “the Complete”) was the creator God, and Ra (or Re) the center of the solar cult. When the pharaoh died, he flew to the sky and joined the solar disk, shining forever. When Akhenaten took the throne, Thebes was Egypt’s main religious, economic, and political center and where the god Amun was worshipped. There were excessive powers given to the priests of Thebes, who were too absorbed by material gains at the expense of spiritual aspects. Akhenaten took a stand not against Amun but against his followers, a veritable group of priests who turned religious beliefs into commercial operations.

Some writers compare Akhenaten’s actions to Christ’s expelling of the merchants from the temple. Akhenaten brought back the ancient teachings of Heliopolis from the times of the construction of the pyramids, a time of purity and the belief that the Sun of Justice and Love would never go down. He was the king and the chief priest, ritually enthroned and charged with maintaining the heritage of his ancestors by holding spiritual and temporal power. He wanted to transform his subjects into disciples and give religion a universal character, eliminating the relative, particular, and inaccessible aspects to the lowest levels of society.

Implementing all these ideas required a new city to be built. Thus, the city of the sun, Akhetaten (The Radiant Horizon of Aten), was built. Amarna was not just an architectural monument but the materialization of new religious concepts and new social relationships among its inhabitants, adorned by representational art of the pharaoh’s understanding of man and the universe. 

The final years of Akhenaten’s reign are confusing and unclear, generating many conflicting interpretations. We know that, once again, there was a co-regency between Akhenaten and Semenkhkare, who was probably married to one of his daughters. This union of powers could have lasted about three years, considering Semenkhkare died very young.

Records show that it took 13 years to build Amarna and that Akhenaten ruled for over 17 years, although nothing is known about his death. He was succeeded by Tutankhaten, later named Tutankhamun, who would be his son-in-law or even son. He seems to have returned power to Thebes and Amun in his brief reign.

Akhenaten’s mummified body, as we said, was never found; Amarna was abruptly abandoned and destroyed in the reigns of Seti I and Ramesses II. Akhenaten’s name was erased from some monuments and reused in others in a clear attempt to consider his reign as if it had never existed.

The available facts seem to indicate that the Egyptian population, given its characteristics, represented by specific rites and symbols (each town had its “local god”), was not prepared for such a radical reform, universalizing the religion and making clear the existence of a single God. People would have been confused, requiring an effort to adapt their consciences, especially when they allowed the opening of temples and the approximation of the people with the divinity, which was until then the privilege of the priests.

Akhenaten’s diplomatic negotiations with the warlike Hittites, in order to avoid war, were also understood by some as signs of the pharaoh’s weakness. The most crucial factor was the political issue that was never accepted by the priests of Thebes, who saw their power severely diminished.

An undeniable fact is that Akhenaten left a mark, a testimony of courage, determination, and the foreshadowing example of a religion that would come to resemble that of the first Christians.

There is a certain unity between Akhenaten’s thoughts and Jesus Christ’s teachings. Both state that the secrets of life and divinity are present in nature, it is enough to observe them, understand them and then follow what is in the heart and conscience of each being. Excerpts of the Hymn to Aten found in the tomb of Ay, who succeeded Tutankhamun, and most likely written by Akhenaten himself, are similar to some Christian texts, especially Psalm 104, which is almost a quotation of the exaltation verses to Aten.

Furthermore, there seems to be no doubt that the monotheistic Biblical Moses (who lived from around 1220 to 1290 B.C.E., but there is controversy) equipped himself with Egyptian wisdom at a time when the Ramesside pharaohs were hostile to Akhenaten’s ideals. This fact may have influenced the Exodus, given the uncertainty that the Hebrews were enslaved in Egypt.

Jewish tradition says, “When the sun of a righteous person is extinguished, the sun of another righteous person soon shines”. So it was, and so it will be, forever.

Research source: nationalgeographic.pt

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17-23

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Dell

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BLZ 2400 II

USB

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USB

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Evolve 75

USB e Bluetooth

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UC Voice 550a MS Mono

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Everest Elite 750NC Stereo

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Microsoft

LifeChat LX-3000

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Microsoft

LifeChat LX-6000

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Blackwire 320

USB

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Blackwire 3220 Series

USB

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Blackwire C220

USB

Plantronics

Audio 628 USB

USB

Samsung

USBC Headset

USB

Sony

WH-CH700N

USB

Sony

Headset Pulse 7.1

USB

Sony

WH-XB900N

Bluetooth

Atualização: 11.06.2021

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Gostaríamos de informar que, para a participação no Básico on-line, são indispensáveis os seguintes requisitos mínimos:

Computador (Windows/Mac)

Computador com câmera integrada ou conectada por entrada USB.

As atividades não poderão ser assistidas por nenhum outro dispositivo, tais como celulares, smartphones e tablets ou computadores com outros sistemas operacionais.

Especificações e Sistema Operacional

• Processador: Intel Core i3, i5 e i7 – 3100 Series , ou superior.

• Memória RAM: 4GB, ou superior.

• Sistema Operacional:

• Windows 7 com todas as atualizações, ou versão superior (somente 64 bits).

• MacOS 10.15 Catalina, ou versão superior.

Verifique as configurações de seu computador Windows clicando aqui.

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Fones de ouvido com microfone (headset)

Modelos homologados para uso com nossa plataforma.

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19-25

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14h30 às 17h30*

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27-03

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às 20h30*

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às 14h30*

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Hora de São Paulo

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08-14

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às 20h30*

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às 14h30*

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às 10h00*

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25-29

OUT    OUT

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PT

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Segunda a sexta-feira

às 20h30*

Hora de São Paulo

*A atividade tem duração aproximada de 3 horas.

Para saber como participar, clique abaixo.

Requisitos técnicos indispensáveis

Veja no vídeo abaixo as informações:

Computador (Windows/Mac)

Computador com câmera integrada ou conectada por entrada USB.

As atividades não poderão ser assistidas por nenhum outro dispositivo, tais como celulares, smartphones e tablets ou computadores com outros sistemas operacionais.

Especificações e Sistema Operacional

• Processador: Intel Core i3, i5 e i7 – 3100 Series , ou superior.

• Memória RAM: 4GB, ou superior.

• Sistema Operacional:

• Windows 7 com todas as atualizações, ou versão superior (somente 64 bits).

• MacOS 10.15 Catalina, ou versão superior.

Verifique as configurações de seu computador Windows clicando aqui.

Como verificar suas especificações no Mac? Clique aqui.

Fones de ouvido com microfone (headset)

Modelos homologados para uso com nossa plataforma.

Consulte a lista de headsets homologados:

Internet

Banda larga com conexão estável, com no mínimo 10MB de download e 4MB de upload.

Como verificar sua banda de internet? Clique aqui para testa-la.

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No registrations will be made on the weekend before the activity, or in the week it takes place.

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22-26

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Hora de São Paulo

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24-30

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Semana de Básico

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SPANISH - WITH INTERACTION

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at 9 p.m.*

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at 11 a.m*

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Hello !

Welcome to the internal Home Page of the PRÓ-VIDA website. In this environment you will find information about our movement, such as the activities calendar, news and content that may be of interest to you.

Where to find the activities?

You will find the activities calendar right at the top of the home page and, to see all the available activities, just click on “See full calendar”.

The activities are organized by language, time zone, modality (in person, online, or remote in-center), and categories:

  • BAS, AV1 and INT weeks
  • Exercises and Training
  • Lectures and Talks
  • Advanced Levels
  • CGD (General Center for the Tithe)
  • Departments

What activities can I participate in?

You will be able to participate in all available activities, according to your level. They are identified in the calendar by a stripe with the color of the level, on the left side of the activity name.

Basic Level

Every Monday, online Basic Level activities are available. They are offered in four languages ​​(Portuguese, Spanish, Italian and English) and different time zones.

In addition, starting at the Basic Level, you will be able to participate in all the activities identified with the following colors:

Weeks, lectures and exercises aimed at participants from the Basic Level and up.

Here you can find activities such as Keeping in Touch, celebrations, and ceremonies.

Activities carried out by PRÓ-VIDA Departments, such as lectures, presentations and studies.

Check the calendar for upcoming activities and check their times.

Advanced 1​ Level

Activities for the Advanced 1 Level and up are also available for those who have completed that level

Weeks, lectures, exercises and talks for participants from Advanced 1 Level and up.

Introduction Level

For those at the Introduction Level, also the following activities are available:

Weeks, lectures, exercises, and talks for participants from the Introduction Level and up.

Activity for all PRÓ-VIDA participants, starting at the Introduction Level.

Advanced 2SC Level

From Advanced 2 Level and up, the following activities are also available:

Weeks, lectures, exercises and talks for participants from the Advanced 2SC Level and up.

How to browse the site?

Navigate through the pages and contents of the site by clicking the links on the top golden bar or the “hamburger button” (≡), located in the upper left corner.

In addition to content and articles on various topics, you will be able to access some important areas for your participation in the activities:

Online Activities: It’s the place where you will access the activities that will be transmitted in the online modality.

Participant’s Area: It gathers information about your registration and your level in PRÓ-VIDA.

Need help?

If you need help, or to clarify any questions, contact our support by e-mail: foundation.secretary@provida.net.

MON    SUN

24-30

JAN    JAN

Online

Semana de Básico

PT

It will be transmitted in the following language ​​and times:

PORTUGUESE - WITH INTERACTION

Monday to Friday

at 9 p.m.*

Saturday

at 2:30 p.m.*

Sunday

at 11 a.m.*

Time Zone: (UTC) Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon

*The activity lasts approximately 3 hours.

To find out how to participate, click below.

No registrations will be made on the weekend before the activity, or in the week it takes place.

*Para repetição oficial, participantes que estão retornando ou em R.A., em breve mais informações.

MON    SUN

31-06

JAN    FEB

Online

Semana de Básico

ES

It will be transmited in the following language ​​and times:

SPANISH - WITH INTERACTION

Monday to Friday

at 9 p.m.*

Saturday

at 2:30 p.m.*

Sunday

at 11 a.m.*

Time Zone: (UTC + 01:00) Brussels, Copenhagen, Madrid, Paris

*The activity lasts approximately 3 hours.

To find out how to participate, click below.

No registrations will be made on the weekend before the activity, or in the week it takes place.

*Para repetição oficial, participantes que estão retornando ou em R.A., em breve mais informações.

MON    SUN

31-06

JAN    FEV

Online

Basic Week

EN

It will be transmitted in the following language ​​and times:

ENGLISH - WITH INTERACTION

Monday to Friday

at 8:30 p.m.*

Saturday

at 2:30 p.m.*

Sunday

at 10 a.m*

Time Zone: (UTC-05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada)

*The activity lasts approximately 3 hours.

To find out how to participate, click below.

No registrations will be made on the weekend before the activity, or in the week it takes place.

MON    SUN

07-13

FEB    FEB

Online

Settimana di Basico

IT

It will be broadcast in local languages ​​and times:

ITALIAN - WITH INTERACTION

Monday to Friday

at 9 p.m.*

Saturday

at 2:30 p.m.*

Sunday

at 11 a.m.*

Time Zone: (UTC+01:00) Amsterdam, Berlin, Bern, Rome, Stockholm, Vienna

*The activity lasts approximately 3 hours.

To find out how to participate, click below.

No registrations will be made on the weekend before the activity, or in the week it takes place.

SEG    SEX

07-11

FEV    FEV

Online

Semana de Avançado 1

PT

Será transmitido nos idiomas e horários locais:

PORTUGUÊS - COM INTERAÇÃO

Segunda a sexta-feira

às 20h30*

Fuso horário: (UTC-03:00) Brasilia

*A atividade tem duração aproximada de 3 horas.

Inscrições abertas a partir de 24/01.

Para saber como participar, clique abaixo.

Não serão feitas inscrições no fim de semana anterior à atividade, ou na semana em que ela acontece.

*Para repetição oficial, participantes que estão retornando ou em R.A., em breve mais informações.

SEG    DOM

14-20

FEV    FEV

Online

Semana de Básico

PT

Será transmitido nos idiomas e horários locais:

PORTUGUÊS - COM INTERAÇÃO

Segunda a sexta-feira

às 20h30*

Sábado

às 14h30*

Domingo

às 10h00*

Fuso horário: (UTC-03:00) Brasilia

*A atividade tem duração aproximada de 3 horas.

Inscrições abertas a partir de 25/01.

Para saber como participar, clique abaixo.

Não serão feitas inscrições no fim de semana anterior à atividade, ou na semana em que ela acontece.

*Para repetição oficial, participantes que estão retornando ou em R.A., em breve mais informações.

Modalities of PRÓ-VIDA activities

In-person

Presenter in-center

Participants in-center

This is a live activity carried out in one of the PRÓ-VIDA Centers with both the presenter and the enrolled participants attending in-person.

Remote in-center

Remote presenter

Participants in-center

The activity is transmitted live from one of the PRÓ-VIDA studios to several Centers where the participants are attending in-person. It allows the presenter and the participants to interact despite the fact that the presenter is in a remote location. 

Online

Online presenter

Online participants

The activity is transmitted live from one of the PRÓ-VIDA studios and enables interaction between participants and the presenter in a virtual environment.

To learn more about the modalities, talk to a PRÓ-VIDA representative by chat or email secretaria@provida.net (for Brazil residents) or foundation.secretary@provida.net (for residents in other countries).

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