The Heliopolitan cosmogony attributes creation to Atum, the first god who created himself from the primordial waters.

The Memphis creation myth, however, places Ptah, god of craftsmen and architects, to the role of the demiurge. According to this version, Atum was produced from the intellect of Ptah. Once formed, Atum carried out creation in a manner similar to the Heliopolis version.

It could be argued that the Memphite version reconciles the two belief systems, by providing a direct link between them. At the same time, though, the Memphites relegate Atum and place their own patron atop. This could perhaps be interpreted as an attempt to assert supremacy over the Heliopolitan belief system.

Are the two cosmogonies competing or reconciliatory? Would a Heliopolitan priest be offended by the Memphite version? Or would they be open to accepting Ptah as a possible alternative to the self-creation story of Atum?

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    @Gibet As I've mentioned in the question, it seems to me that the Memphis and Heliopolis stories are roughly the same (Atum physically creating the world), with the notable exception that the Memphites place their own patron deity atop and credit him with the creation of Atum. This is what piqued my interest, and why the scope of this question is limited to the relationship of these two versions. The creation stories of Hermopolis and Thebes are fascinating, but outside the scope of the question.
    – yannis
    Commented Jan 29, 2018 at 17:23


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