Essay: The concept of ‘Anthropomorphism’

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Essay: The concept of ‘Anthropomorphism’

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The second aspect of their poetry that attracted immense criticism was the concept of ‘Anthropomorphism’ that was encompassed in their poetries. Anthropomorphism is defined as attributing human act or form to inanimate objects, elements of nature or animals. It formed an integral part of Greek literature and many of their religious beliefs are centered on anthropomorphic concepts and beliefs.

These conceptions were ridiculed by Xenophanes, as anthropomorphic notions were associated with deities and the Greek societies blindly worshipped them. He further criticized the fact that the people attributed human traits with gods, and openly mocked the poets for depicting the gods so and the naivety of the people for believing them. (Xenophanes & Lesher, 2001)

According to Xenophanes’ philosophy, there is only one true God, who is sovereign over the entire world and the universe. His attributes are non-anthropomorphic and is beyond the imagination and perception of humans. He stated:

“One God, the greatest among gods and men, neither in form like unto mortals nor in thought.”(Xenophanes, Fr 23)

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