An inescapable aspect of the human element is the central role deities of all shapes, sizes, and personalities play in the lives of members of the human race. These deities are part and parcel with the religions they represent and act as their figureheads; in this way, deities are frequently more closely associated with a religion than the qualities the religion supposedly espouses. Attachment to a deity, or favoring particular deities in poly or duo-theistic religions, anthropomorphizes supernatural beings and thus helps believers associate with a religion’s tenets or interact with its theology more easily. This trait makes deities an integral – and universal – component of major religions.
In the broadest definition of the word, deities are supernatural beings with divine, holy, or sacred characteristics. Many are omnipresent – in all places, seeing all things, at all times. Some gods and goddesses supposedly can unleash storms, floods, and other terrible curses upon the sinful or faithless. There are several outlooks as to how many deities a religion should contain. Some belief systems, like the Abrahamic religions of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity, believe in one divine being and are thus called monotheistic religions. Belief systems like Hinduism and the classical Greek religion are polytheistic due to the pantheons of gods and goddesses they incorporate. Duo-theistic faiths like Wicca have two gods or goddesses, of which one frequently possesses a male likeness and qualities and the other female.
This section of ulc.org provides a brief look into the following divine beings:
Buddha – the former leader and prophet of the eponymous Southeast Asian religion and philosophy
Confucius – the ancient Chinese philosopher who founded the Confucian moral philosphy and whose thoughts have profoundly impacted Chinese social history
Ganesh – one of the principal deities of the Hindu religion
Greek Pantheon – the group of deities worshiped by the ancient Greeks and still referenced in popular culture today
Jesus Christ – the son of God and spiritual leader of the Christian faiths
Lao Tse – the ancient Chinese philosopher responsible for creating Taoism
Norse Pantheon – denizens of Asgard and members of the Vanir and Aesir houses of gods in Norse mythology
Shiva – a primary Hindu god, the so-called “creator and destroyer” of the universe
Zoroaster – the Persian prophet and founder of Zoroastrianism
Please read the materials on the various gods and goddesses from the world’s many religions we have prepared for our minister’s spiritual education. The “Training and Education” section is perpetually being updated so check back sporadically to see if we have made updates or additions to the “Deities” section. Also, please let us know if there is a deity you would like us to cover if we have not yet done so by e-mailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.