The belief in several gods is known as polytheism. Except for Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, which have a common history of monotheistic, or belief in one God, nearly all faiths are polytheistic. That is, they believe that there are many Gods, usually including a supreme being or beings.
Polytheism has been prevalent throughout history and exists today in many forms across the world. In Africa, for example, many people believe in a collection of about 50 or more individual gods, each worshiped by a community or family church. In Asia, polytheism is also popular; there are hundreds of deities believed to be responsible for good and evil. In North America, the first settlers believed in both a god and goddess, who were often considered leaders of their tribes. Today, most Americans identify as either Christian or Jewish, but many others continue to practice polytheism.
In Europe, paganism was the predominant religion until about 500 AD when the idea of one single God started to become popular among the clergy. Today, some individuals and organizations claim to speak for these ancient religions, but they actually represent only a small fraction of those beliefs. There are many different types of pagans, from Wiccans (who celebrate the annual festival of Beltannerie) to Zoroastrians (who revere Zarathustra).
Polytheism is the worship of or belief in numerous deities, who are frequently grouped together in a pantheon of gods and goddesses, each having its own religion and rites. Theism includes polytheism. While some polytheists believe that their many gods are all parts of one single entity (like many faces of a single deity), most distinguish between them.
In English, the term "polytheist" has negative connotations due to association with pagan religions, but this is not necessarily the case for other languages that have developed terms for people who believe in many gods. In Greek, for example, they are called "polytheistai", which means "people who worship many gods".
"Polytheistic" is also a controversial word in some religious contexts. Some Christians believe that polytheism is wrong because it involves putting faith in more than one God, while others will say that monotheism is wrong because it involves denying or ignoring the existence of other Gods. Neither view is fully consistent or rational, but rather both reflect a desire to define religion in terms that are convenient for those holding them.
In conclusion, yes, polytheism is a belief system that exists in addition to monotheism. It has its own set of practices that include prayer, ritual, and music among others.
Many cultures that have emerged over history have been polytheistic, including ancient Greece and Rome, Indian culture, and pre-Columbus America. Although Christianity is generally considered to be a monotheistic religion, some scholars argue that it incorporates aspects of polytheism.
Why do people believe in many gods? In many cases, it is simply because they can't afford to neglect any deity. If there's no room in your heart for God, then you make room by adding more gods - objects of fear and hope. The most common form of polytheism is dualism, where people worship either a god or a goddess. However, polytheists may also choose to serve several gods, as long as they are not the same god. For example, someone could worship Zeus as well as Apollo; however, if someone were to worship Apollo twice, this would be an error since they are two different gods.
People often claim that they believe in one god but actually follow another one. For example, someone might say that they believe in Jesus Christ but actually pray to Krishna. When they do this, they're being hypocritical since both Christians and Hindus are monotheistic religions.
The theory or belief that there is only one deity is known as monotheism. Panentheism is the idea that a god is both a part of and beyond the cosmos. Pantheism is a theology that associates God with the cosmos and its occurrences. Worship of or belief in more than one god is known as polytheism.
Monotheism: The belief that there is only one God. This term applies to both Christianity and Islam. Both religions believe that their prophets are the final speakers for God on earth. However, both churches also believe in other prophets who have spoken before them. For example, Muhammad is considered by Muslims to be the final prophet in Islam while Jesus is considered by Christians to be the final prophet in Christianity. Both prophets will return at some point in the future.
Polytheism: The belief in many gods. Polytheists believe that there are many deities, but they all belong to one single family of gods. They may refer to certain members of this family as fathers or leaders, but they all possess equal power and authority over the others.
Panentheism: The belief that God is everywhere even though he has no location in space. Panentheists believe that God is present in everything and in everyone. He cannot be removed from the universe nor can he be confined to any one place.