The term properly implies a clear polytheistic conception of gods in contrast with men, while it recognizes that some men cross the dividing line.
It is now more usually given to polytheistic races, thus excluding Mahommedans.
This Barlaam held to be polytheistic, inasmuch as it postulated two eternal substances, a visible and an invisible God.
Whilst at times a truly monotheistic fervour manifests itself in the adoration of these two gods, the polytheistic instincts of the people did not fail to extend the pantheon by groups of new deities in connexion with them.
Tylor, makes the foundation of all religion animistic, but recognizes the non-human character of polytheistic gods.