I saw someone on a list say that Egyptology should not be taken seriously because the
Egyptologists are non-believers in the Kemetic faith
and only information from believers should be taken seriously because they have been touched by Netjer.
First, any scholarship in Kemetic religion happened because of the work of "non-believers" for many years.
It was their work that introduced others to Kemet and the religion. Without them, no one would know of
any of the deities or practices therein. Also, these Kemetic researchers rely on the findings of those "non-believers"
in order to do any research to begin with and those "believers" would rely on those that excavated the artifacts
for their information.
Furthermore, for any scholarship to happen, any researcher, a Kemetic
or not, would have to study the current academic scholarship in Egyptology in order to understand who the ancients
worshipped and how they did so. To do otherwise is just poor scholarship, in my opinion.
This does not mean rely solely on the Egyptological record to reconstruct a religion. This means
take from the ancients which is applicable today while allowing for personal innovation and differentiating
between what is ancient and what is modern.
Why use what the ancients did as a starting point or for most of the information about worship
in Kemetic Reconstructionism?
The ancients consistently worshipped these deities for thousands of years in societies
where it was expected of them and was apart of their everyday lives. The knowledge about their experiences and ways of
doing this is vast and highly useful. How can you reconstruct the religion of the ancient Egyptians
if you don't know what they did?
Why use Egyptology to find this out?
Since Egyptologists have studied ancient Egypt for years to become Egyptologists. I'm not going to go to a brain surgeon
to fix my
refrigerator. In the same token, why would I go to any Joe Shmoe to learn about ancient Egyptian religion instead
of a person who specializes in the field? Whether or not, someone agrees with Jan Assmann's or any other Egyptologist's
theories or not,
they do present evidence---found in the Egyptological studies--to back them up. They aren't just pulling theories
out of thin air. Theories are based on evidence. How one interprets the evidence is well,
how one interprets the evidence. Whether or not, it is a good theory that can be credited is based on how
well their theory is supported by the evidence (the argument is well made) and among scholars, other experts
looking at it for peer review. Read critically, in other words.
Someone else may not use Egyptology to shape their religion while still following the Netjeru. That's fine.
I'm just not one of them.