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Zeus, the chief Greek god

In religious belief, a deity ({{#invoke:IPAc-en|main}} or {{#invoke:IPAc-en|main}})<ref>The American Heritage Book of English Usage: A Practical and Authoritative Guide to Contemporary English. 1996.</ref> is either a natural or supernatural being, who is thought of as holy, divine, or sacred. Some religions have one supreme deity, while others have multiple deities of various ranks.

C. Scott Littleton's Gods, Goddesses, and Mythology defined a deity as "a being with powers greater than those of ordinary humans, but who interacts with humans, positively or negatively, in ways that carry humans to new levels of consciousness beyond the grounded preoccupations of ordinary life".<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref>

Deities are depicted in a variety of forms, but are also frequently expressed as having human form. Some faiths and traditions consider it blasphemous to imagine or depict the deity as having any concrete form. Deities are often thought to be immortal, and are commonly assumed to have personalities and to possess consciousness, intellects, desires, and emotions comparable but usually superior to those of humans. A male deity is a god, while a female deity is a goddess.

Historically, natural phenomena whose causes were not well understood, such as lightning and catastrophes such as earthquakes and floods, were attributed to deities. They were thought to be able to work supernatural miracles and to be the authorities and controllers of various aspects of human life (such as birth or an afterlife). Some deities were asserted to be the directors of time and fate itself, the givers of human law and morality, the ultimate judges of human worth and behavior, or designers of the Universe.

Deity sections
Intro  Etymology  Other words for the concept  Relation with humanity  Forms of theism  Ancient religions  Buddhist deities  Hindu deities  Psychological interpretations  See also  References  External links  

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