Mesoamerican Religions

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In Religions of Mesoamerica by David Carrasco, the traditions of both Maya and Aztec cultures are looked into in a deeper manner – especially their religion. As is true with most religions and societal codes, they are adapted from ideas before them to better fit the beliefs of the people practicing. Most of the Mesoamerican religions appear to have several similarities, stemming from an idea Carrasco describes as means for world-making, centering, and renewal. The interpretation of this metatheory is also taken very different between the two religions as well. Establishing in the areas of Mexico and Guatamala around 200CE (Carrasco: 116), the Maya people were one of the first (along with the Olmec) to create the key characteristics of religion that will continue on throughout other Mesoamerican societies - including the Aztecs. Unlike Christianity and Catholicism, the Mesoamerican religions consisted of numerous deities that made up the different elements of the universe. Some of the most powerful and common among those being the gods of the Sky, Sun, and Underworld for example. Vegetation also played a key role in religion as each part of the plant had sacred life forces within them that were consistent with patterns of rebirth, an event that proved vital for …show more content…

In both societies, the Maya and Aztec use vegetation to represent the creation of Earth, temples and city-states as axis mundi, and an emphasis on birth, death, rebirth to ensure proper renewal cycles are performed. Without this theory, it would have been much harder to grasp the ideas of these cultures because they have such different focal points than the religions I am most familiar with. It allows for the levels of the several realms to be portrayed in a way that makes more practical sense and isn’t such an abstract

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