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Thread: Categories Of Belief In Deities

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    Categories Of Belief In Deities

    Polytheism (from Greek πολυθεϊσμός, polytheismos) is the worship of or belief in multiple deities, which are usually assembled into a pantheon of gods and goddesses, along with their own religions and rituals. In most religions which accept polytheism, the different gods and goddesses are representations of forces of nature or ancestral principles, and can be viewed either as autonomous or as aspects or emanations of a creator deity or transcendental absolute principle (monistic theologies), which manifests immanently in nature (panentheistic and pantheistic theologies).[1] Most of the polytheistic deities of ancient religions, with the notable exceptions of the Ancient Egyptian[2] and Hindu deities, were conceived as having physical bodies.
    Polytheism is a type of theism. Within theism, it contrasts with monotheism, the belief in a singular God, in most cases transcendent. Polytheists do not always worship all the gods equally, but they can be henotheists, specializing in the worship of one particular deity. Other polytheists can be kathenotheists, worshiping different deities at different times.
    Polytheism was the typical form of religion during the Bronze Age and Iron Age up to the Axial Age and the development of Abrahamic religions, the latter of which enforced strict monotheism. It is well documented in historical religions of Classical antiquity, especially ancient Greek religion and ancient Roman religion, and after the decline of Greco-Roman polytheism in tribal religions such as Germanic, Slavic and Baltic paganism.
    Important polytheistic religions practiced today include Taoism, Shenism, Hinduism, Japanese Shinto, Santeria, and various neopagan faiths.

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    Panentheism (meaning "all-in-God", from the Greek πᾶν pân, "all", ἐν en, "in" and Θεός Theós, "God")[1] is the belief that the divine pervades and interpenetrates every part of the universe and also extends beyond space and time. The term was coined by the German philosopher Karl Krause in 1828 to distinguish the ideas of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770–1831) and Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling (1775–1854) about the relation of God and the universe from the supposed pantheism of Baruch Spinoza.[1] Unlike pantheism, which holds that the divine and the universe are identical,[2] panentheism maintains an ontological distinction between the divine and the non-divine and the significance of both.
    In panentheism, God is viewed as the soul of the universe, the universal spirit present everywhere, which at the same time "transcends" all things created.
    While pantheism asserts that "all is God", panentheism claims that God is greater than the universe. Some versions of panentheism suggest that the universe is nothing more than the manifestation of God. In addition, some forms indicate that the universe is contained within God,[2] like in the Kabbalah concept of tzimtzum. Also much Hindu thought is highly characterized by panentheism and pantheism.[3][4] The basic tradition however, on which Krause's concept was built, seems to have been Neoplatonic philosophy and its successors in Western philosophy and Orthodox theology.

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    Pantheism is the belief that reality is identical with divinity,[1] or that all-things compose an all-encompassing, transcendent god.[2] Pantheist belief does not recognize a distinct personal god[3], anthropomorphic or otherwise, and instead characterizes a broad range of doctrines differing in forms of relationships between reality and divinity.[4] Pantheistic concepts date back thousands of years, and pantheistic elements have been identified in various religious traditions. The term "pantheism" was coined by mathematician Joseph Raphson in 1697[5][6] and has since been used to describe the beliefs of a variety of people and organizations.
    Pantheism was popularized in Western culture as a theology and philosophy based on the work of the 17th-century philosopher Baruch Spinoza, particularly his book Ethics.[7] A pantheistic stance was also taken in the 16th century by philosopher and cosmologist Giordano Bruno.[8]

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    Pandeism (or pan-deism), a theological doctrine first delineated in the 18th century, combines aspects of pantheism with aspects of deism. It holds that a creator deity became the universe (pantheism) and ceased to exist as a separate and conscious entity (deism holding that God does not interfere with the universe after its creation).[2][3][4][5] Pandeism is proposed to explain (as it relates to deism) why God would create a universe and then appear to abandon it, and (as it relates to pantheism) an origin and purpose of the universe.
    Various theories suggest the coining of the word "pandeism" as early as the 1780s, but one of the earliest unequivocal uses of the word with its present meaning came in 1859 with Moritz Lazarus and Heymann Steinthal.[6]

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    Monism attributes oneness or singleness (Greek: μόνος) to a concept e.g., existence. Various kinds of monism can be distinguished:
    Priority monism states that all existing things go back to a source that is distinct from them; e.g., in Neoplatonism everything is derived from The One.[1] In this view only one thing is ontologically basic or prior to everything else.
    Existence monism posits that, strictly speaking, there exists only a single thing, the Universe, which can only be artificially and arbitrarily divided into many things.[2]
    Substance monism asserts that a variety of existing things can be explained in terms of a single reality or substance.[3] Substance monism posits that only one kind of stuff exists, although many things may be made up of this stuff, e.g., matter or mind.

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    Monotheism is the belief in one god.[1][2][3][4] A narrower definition of monotheism is the belief in the existence of only one god that created the world, is all-powerful and intervenes in the world.[5][6][7]
    A distinction may be made between exclusive monotheism, and both inclusive monotheism and pluriform (panentheistic) monotheism which, while recognising various distinct gods, postulate some underlying unity.[1]
    Monotheism is distinguished from henotheism, a religious system in which the believer worships one god without denying that others may worship different gods with equal validity, and monolatrism, the recognition of the existence of many gods but with the consistent worship of only one deity.[8] The term "monolatry" was perhaps first used by Julius Wellhausen.[9]
    The broader definition of monotheism characterizes the traditions of Bábism, the Baháʼí Faith, Balinese Hinduism, Cao Dai (Caodaiism), Cheondoism (Cheondogyo), Christianity, Deism, Eckankar, Hindu sects such as Shaivism and Vaishnavism, Islam, Judaism, Mandaeism, Rastafari, Seicho no Ie, Sikhism, Tengrism (Tangrism), Tenrikyo (Tenriism), Yazidism, and Zoroastrianism, and elements of pre-monotheistic thought are found in early religions such as Atenism, ancient Chinese religion, and Yahwism.[1][10]

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    Henotheism (from Greek ἑνός θεοῦ (henos theou), meaning 'of one god') is the worship of a single god while not denying the existence or possible existence of other deities.[1][2] Friedrich Schelling (1775–1854) coined the word, and Friedrich Welcker (1784–1868) used it to depict primitive monotheism among ancient Greeks.[3]
    Max Müller (1823–1900), a German philologist and orientalist, brought the term into wider usage in his scholarship on the Indian religions,[4][5] particularly Hinduism whose scriptures mention and praise numerous deities as if they are one ultimate unitary divine essence.[2] Müller made the term central to his criticism of Western theological and religious exceptionalism (relative to Eastern religions), focusing on a cultural dogma which held "monotheism" to be both fundamentally well-defined and inherently superior to differing conceptions of God.

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    Ye gods! What a complicated mess. The ancient Hebrews certainly made religion a lot more simple.

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    In my extended family, there have been exactly two formats for orthodoxy:
    1) Go With the Flow: just mouth the words and accept the Bible stories; it would be gauche and needy to make any claim of disbelief; besides, the preacher talks pretty.
    2) Rabid Zealotry: everyone at this table will spend eternity in hell if he or she isn't saved; pass the cranberry sauce.

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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    Ye gods! What a complicated mess. The ancient Hebrews certainly made religion a lot more simple.
    Is religion losing its biodiversity? Maybe monoculturalism will help it become extinct.

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