In religio-mythology, pantheonic adjustment, synonymous with: "recension" (Budge, 1899), "rescript" (Kuhn, 1944), or "redaction" (Greenberg, 2000), refers to a transition state period reformulation of a given state religion or national religion, wherein, typically, a previous local god or god group (e.g. Ogdoad, Ennead) becomes the new supreme god (or god complex), or, as seen in later periods, god reduction occurs (e.g. synretism), generally done for political reasons, albeit overtly justified via socio-religious purviews.

In 1965, Govind Ghurye (1893-1983) (ΡΊ), in his Religious Consciousness, in elaboration on what he considers to be the three main religion cosmology “adjustments” of ancient Egypt as follows: [1]

Pantheonic adjustment is a form of [god family] manipulation to promote political ends, which, in Egypt, occurred thrice: when Ptah, Amen and Aten were declared supreme gods at different periods. Around 3000BC, the deity Ptah was declared the ‘supreme one’. He was the presiding deity of the city of Memphis from where King Menes ruled. Ptah displaced the deity Ra of Heliopolis, till then the overlord (see: Heliopolis creation myth, 3100BC). The priests fabricated a suitable mythology to support the claim. A very important document, the Memphite theology (see: Memphis creation myth, 2800BC), was brought out to legitimize Ra as the creation of Ptah. The occasion for this change-over was the unification of southern and northern Egypt. The purpose was political though the socio-religious point was put forth, namely the need to have one god at the apex of the pantheon in a unified nation.

→ [see: Hermopolis creation myth, 2150BC]

By about 1971BC, the powerful noble families of the city of Thebes (see: Thebian creation myth, 2000BC), declared their deity Amen as the supreme god. In this case the deity Ra was incorporated with Amen who by 1870BC, during the reign of Senusret III, became Amen-Ra.

In 1372BC, Amenhotep introduced a form of sun worship through his chosen deity Aten. He changed his name to Akhenaten, dropping 'Amen’ from Amenhotep and placing Aten in the second part of the name (see: Amarnan creation myth, 1330BC). Aten too fell after a period. The next king Tutankhaten changed his name to Tutankhamen and revived lord Amen. On all these occasions theologians and priests fabricated suitable mythologies connecting other deities in a subordinate relationship to the supreme deity of the moment.”


See also
● Egyptian pantheon
● Greek pantheon
● Supreme god timeline

1. (a) Ghurye, Govind. (1965). Religious Consciousness (pantheonic adjustment, pgs. 80, 88). Publisher.
(b) Pillai, Devadas. (1997). Indian Sociology Through Ghurye: a Dictionary (pg. 237). Publisher.

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