Morality and ethics

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review

Abstract

In Ancient Egypt, the foundation upon which ethical values rest is the principle of maat, a concept that embraces what we would call justice but which is much broader, signifying the divine order of the cosmos established at creation. It is personified as the goddess Maat, held to be the daughter of the creator, the sun god Ra. Maat's role in creation is expressed in chapter 80 of the Coffin Texts (c. 2000 BC) where Tefnut, the daughter of Atum is identified with maat, the principle of cosmic order, who, together with Shu, the principle of cosmic 'life', fills the universe (Faulkner 1973:83-7; Junge 2003: 87-8). Maat is, therefore, one of the fundamental principles of the cosmos, present from the beginning, like the personification of Wisdom in the later Biblical tradition (Wisdom of Solomon 7,22; 7,25; 8,4; 9,9). This concept of creation and the role of maat has also been likened to that found in Plato's Timaeus (30a-b), where the creator demiurge forms a cosmos governed by reason by replacing disorder with order (Junge 2003: 88).
LanguageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Egyptian world
EditorsToby Wilkinson
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor and Francis Group
Pages252-262
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9780415427265
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Publication series

NameThe Routledge worlds
PublisherRoutledge

Fingerprint

Morality
Cosmos
Creator
Daughters
Plato's Timaeus
Universe
Deity
William Faulkner
Fundamental
Personification
Coffin
Justice
Goddess
Wisdom
Demiurge
Sun
Wisdom of Solomon
Ethical Values
Signifying
Ancient Egypt

Keywords

  • Ancient Egypt religion ethics

Cite this

Ockinga, B. G. (2007). Morality and ethics. In T. Wilkinson (Ed.), The Egyptian world (pp. 252-262). (The Routledge worlds). New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group.
Ockinga, Boyo G. / Morality and ethics. The Egyptian world. editor / Toby Wilkinson. New York : Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 2007. pp. 252-262 (The Routledge worlds).
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Ockinga, BG 2007, Morality and ethics. in T Wilkinson (ed.), The Egyptian world. The Routledge worlds, Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, New York, pp. 252-262.

Morality and ethics. / Ockinga, Boyo G.

The Egyptian world. ed. / Toby Wilkinson. New York : Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 2007. p. 252-262 (The Routledge worlds).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review

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AB - In Ancient Egypt, the foundation upon which ethical values rest is the principle of maat, a concept that embraces what we would call justice but which is much broader, signifying the divine order of the cosmos established at creation. It is personified as the goddess Maat, held to be the daughter of the creator, the sun god Ra. Maat's role in creation is expressed in chapter 80 of the Coffin Texts (c. 2000 BC) where Tefnut, the daughter of Atum is identified with maat, the principle of cosmic order, who, together with Shu, the principle of cosmic 'life', fills the universe (Faulkner 1973:83-7; Junge 2003: 87-8). Maat is, therefore, one of the fundamental principles of the cosmos, present from the beginning, like the personification of Wisdom in the later Biblical tradition (Wisdom of Solomon 7,22; 7,25; 8,4; 9,9). This concept of creation and the role of maat has also been likened to that found in Plato's Timaeus (30a-b), where the creator demiurge forms a cosmos governed by reason by replacing disorder with order (Junge 2003: 88).

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Ockinga BG. Morality and ethics. In Wilkinson T, editor, The Egyptian world. New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group. 2007. p. 252-262. (The Routledge worlds).