Original Research

Wêreld- en tydsbeskouing in antieke kulture

Marius Nel
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 59, No 4 | a699 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v59i4.699 | © 2003 Marius Nel | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 October 2003 | Published: 27 October 2003

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Marius Nel, Universiteit van Pretoria, South Africa

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Abstract

View of the world and time in ancient cultures

Three important cultures that dominated the Ancient Near East in the three millennia BCE are investigated to delineate their world views, as well as their views of time and eternity. The aim of the article is to describe the view of the world and time in ancient cultures. The Egyptian, Mesopotamian and Vedic Indian cultures and theologies largely have the same view of the world, namely that it is an ordered unity that would keep on existing as it is known for all ages and time to come. Among these cultures there is no expectation of a world that would be made perfect, or become immutable in its perfection. They did not fantasize about a world without chaos. Chaos is the one factor that exists through all ages alongside order. Chaos is known to human beings in their daily existence in the form of warfare, drought and floods, with resultant famine. These conditions were typical of those times in areas where, with the exception of the fertile valleys alongside rivers, desert conditions otherwise prevailed and are interpreted theologically in terms of a combat between order and chaos, or between gods and demons.


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