These divinities, however, seem to have had little or no place in the popular faith, which was occupied by polytheistic gods of the ordinary barbaric type.
It is now more usually given to polytheistic races, thus excluding Mahommedans.
The term properly implies a clear polytheistic conception of gods in contrast with men, while it recognizes that some men cross the dividing line.
The myth, as it appears in Genesis, is quite polytheistic and anthropomorphic. According to Cornelius Alexander (frag.
He assumes that the narrative was meant ethically, not physically, in order to eliminate false and polytheistic notions; and he draws attention to that double narrative in Genesis which was elsewhere to be so fruitfully handled.
Tylor, makes the foundation of all religion animistic, but recognizes the non-human character of polytheistic gods.
Impressed with the perversions and corruptions of popular Hinduism, Ram Mohan Roy investigated the Hindu Shastras, the Koran and the Bible, repudiated the polytheistic worship of the Shastras as false, and inculcated the reformed principles of monotheism as found in the ancient Upanishads of the Vedas.
The more general view that polytheistic and other gods are the elemental and other spirits of the later stages of animistic creeds, is equally inapplicable to Australia, where the belief seems to be neither animistic nor even animatistic in character.
Whilst it can hardly be allowed that Xenophanes, so far from denying, actually affirms a plurality of gods, it must be conceded to Freudenthal that Xenophanes's polemic was directed against the anthropomorphic tendencies and the mythological details of the contemporary polytheism rather than against the polytheistic principle, and that, apart from the treatise De Melisso Xenophane et Gorgia, now generally discredited, there is no direct evidence to prove him a consistent monotheist.
At the same time we ought not to overlook the affinities between the doctrine of Plotinus and that remarkable combination of Greek and Hebrew thought which Philo Judaeus had expounded two centuries before; nor the fact that Neoplatonism was developed in conscious antagonism to the new religion which had spread from Judea, and was already threatening the conquest of the GraecoRoman world, and also to the Gnostic systems (see Gnosticism); nor, finally, that it furnished the chief theoretical support in the last desperate struggle that was made under Julian to retain the old polytheistic worship.