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From Akhenaten to MosesAncient Egypt and Religious Change$
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Jan Assmann

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9789774166310

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774166310.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CAIRO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.cairo.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The American University in Cairo Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CSO for personal use.date: 16 October 2021

Egyptian Mysteries and Secret Societies in the Age of Enlightenment

Egyptian Mysteries and Secret Societies in the Age of Enlightenment

Chapter:
(p.95) 6 Egyptian Mysteries and Secret Societies in the Age of Enlightenment
Source:
From Akhenaten to Moses
Author(s):

Jan Assmann

Publisher:
American University in Cairo Press
DOI:10.5743/cairo/9789774166310.003.0007

The 18th century was the age not only of enlightenment but also of secret societies. Many of them—Freemasons and Illuminati—discovered in what they understood as “Egyptian mysteries” the origin of their craft and reconstructed the secret theology of these mysteries as a cult of Nature=Isis and a precursor of Spinozism (“deus sive natura”). The distinction between “religions of nature” or “reason” and “religions of revelation” led to a reappraisal of ancient Egyptian (secret) religion as the archetype of “natural religion. ”

Keywords:   nature, Enlightenment, secret societies, Illuminism, freemasonry

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