Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952453 | Print ISBN: 9780761930297 | Online ISBN: 9781412952453 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
The term is composed of two words of Greek origin: anthropos (man) and morphe (form, aspect). It defines the attribution of properly human characteristics to nonhuman beings, that is, either divine entities or animals. In many religions, polytheistic or monotheistic, the divine was or is believed to possess external or internal characteristics similar to the ones of humans, as it may be understood by the artistic representations and mythological or sacred books' tradition. The first-known thinker who severely criticized this attitude was Xenophanes of Colophon (ca 570–480 BC). In some of the fragments of his works that have been saved, Xenophanes condemned famous poets like Homer and Hesiod, who were looked upon as ...