This is in the context of mythology, where the subject or the creation of a god tries to overthrow, challenge or directly assails the god.

  • 2
    One such word is apostasy. – Andrew Leach Mar 18 '16 at 22:22
  • 2
    Apostasy: the abandonment or renunciation of a religious or political belief. I am looking for a word that describes not the discarding of a belief but the physical attack against a god, like Lucifer against the Christian god. – user289661 Mar 18 '16 at 22:24
  • 2
    Sounds like a rebellion to me. I'm not sure there's a separate word for rebellion specifically against a god. – Kevin Mar 18 '16 at 22:30
  • "defy" comes to mind. thefreedictionary.com/Defy – Elian Mar 18 '16 at 22:37
  • thesaurus.com/browse/heresy -- Please include the research you've done, or consider if your question suits our English Language Learners site better. Questions that can be answered using commonly-available references are off-topic. – Hot Licks Mar 19 '16 at 1:24

Perhaps you could use some expression like "insurrection against the heavenly throne". But if there was a single word for it, some author would surely have used it already to describe Lucifer's rebellion.

"Deicide" could apply to the outcome of a successful attempt, and by analogy with regicide we might seek a "regi-" word that applies to an attempt to overthrow a king. If one existed, we could apply "dei-" to it. But I don't think there is one.

There are words like "mutiny", "rebellion", "revolt", "uprising" and so forth, but these apply to an action against any dictator or feudal overlord. There is no evident way to append a prefix to these to make them apply specifically to a king. And if we can't coin a single word for the far more common case involving a king, then it is hard to imagine that such a word exists for the much more specialized case involving a god.

Edit: by analogy with lèse majesté, you might coin a phrase like lèse divinité or lèse déité.

| improve this answer | |
  • "lese divinite" very poetic – robert Mar 25 '16 at 16:31

If the subject is rebelling against his religious beliefs (e.g. his god's directives), then you could use the word heresy. In other words, the subject is a heretic. However, I just noticed you already rejected apostasy because you want to focus on a physical attack.

In Greek mythology, the Titans were a race of giants who fought with the Olympian gods. In that spirit, you could say your subject fought a "titanic battle" against a god, though the average reader wouldn't understand the significance of the word titanic.

Other words that come to mind include hubris (the perhaps foolish idea that one could beat a god) and heroism. You're describing a David and Goliath struggle but on a much higher level.

| improve this answer | |



(Law) the crime committed if a person insults, offends, or vilifies the deity, Christ, or the Christian religion.



: open or bold resistance to or disregard for authority, opposition, or power.


A huge and powerful warrior-king who virtually embodies defiance against his highest god, Capaneus is an exemplary blasphemer--with blasphemy understood as direct violence against God. Still, it is striking that Dante selects a pagan character to represent one of the few specifically religious sins punished in hell.

Danteworlds - The University of Texas

| improve this answer | |
  • There is nothing about a god in this answer - it is not god-specific. – Drew Mar 18 '16 at 22:53
  • @Drew: I'm pretty sure that blasphemy is centrally about (as Elian's dictionary quotation indicates) insulting, offending, or vilifying the deity. In the seventh circle of the Inferno, Dante places blasphemers, including the remarkable figure Capaneus, who continues to defy and curse Jove despite his eternal punishment in a rain of fire. (Of course, as Capaneus might argue, "It's not eternal yet!") – Sven Yargs Mar 19 '16 at 0:58
  • @SvenYargs: He added blasphemy after my comment about defiance. Instead of spending effort to document the history of blasphemy you might have checked the edit history. ;-) – Drew Mar 19 '16 at 1:39
  • @Drew: Not only did I not pay any attention to the edit history here, but also I didn't notice that the answer already covered Capaneus, who is one of my favorite characters in The Divine Comedy. Anyway, I apologize for misunderstanding the nature of and justification for your original comment. – Sven Yargs Mar 19 '16 at 1:45

I found a word that works well for the particular context in my writing: Treason

  1. the offense of acting to overthrow one's government or to harm or kill its sovereign.
  2. a violation of allegiance to one's sovereign or to one's state.
  3. the betrayal of a trust or confidence; breach of faith; treachery.

Although there is nothing explicitly god-related in this, the things regarding "sovereign" seems appropriate for offense against a god. Beside, the word "treason" almost always have negative connotation, which would be appropriate when the action is described by those who believe in the god.

| improve this answer | |
  • Well, there is the term lèse majesté for treason (or mere affronts) against a king. Maybe you could coin a phrase like lèse divinité or lèse déité? – ghostarbeiter Mar 18 '16 at 23:14

Unbenevalent actions towards a god. Basically unkind actions towards that God. It works well in your context of mythology or with any god because by committing an UNkind or unbenevalent act against them you are showing a sign of rebellion

| improve this answer | |
  • This seems a little bit of a an understatement to me-- "unbenevolent" sound like being mean, not trying to overthrow or rebel against someone. – herisson Mar 19 '16 at 2:19

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.