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{{distinguish|pantheism}}{{God|isms}}Panentheism (meaning "all-in-God", from the Ancient Greek pân, "all", en, "in" and Theós, "God") is the belief that the divine pervades and (wikt:interpenetration|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.John Culp (2013): “Panentheism”, in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved 18 March 2014. Unlike pantheism, which holds that the divine and the universe are identical,BOOK,weblink The Encyclopedia of Christianity, William B. Eerdmans, Erwin Fahlbusch, Geoffrey William Bromiley, David B. Barrett, 4, 2005, 978-0-8028-2416-5, 21, panentheism maintains an ontological distinction between the divine and the non-divine and the significance of both.

In philosophy

Ancient Greek philosophy

The religious beliefs of Neoplatonism can be regarded as panentheistic. Plotinus taught that there was an ineffable transcendent God ("the One", to En, τὸ Ἕν) of which subsequent realities were emanations. From "the One" emanates the Divine Mind (Nous, Νοῦς) and the Cosmic Soul (Psyche, Ψυχή). In Neoplatonism the world itself is God (according to Plato's Timaeus 37). This concept of divinity is associated with that of the Logos (Λόγος), which had originated centuries earlier with Heraclitus (c. 535–475 BC). The Logos pervades the cosmos, whereby all thoughts and all things originate, or as Heraclitus said: "He who hears not me but the Logos will say: All is one." Neoplatonists such as Iamblichus attempted to reconcile this perspective by adding another hypostasis above the original monad of force or Dunamis (Δύναμις). This new all-pervasive monad encompassed all creation and its original uncreated emanations.

Modern philosophy

Baruch Spinoza later claimed that "Whatsoever is, is in God, and without God nothing can be, or be conceived."Ethics, part I, prop. 15. "Individual things are nothing but modifications of the attributes of God, or modes by which the attributes of God are expressed in a fixed and definite manner."Ethics, part I, prop. 25S. Though Spinoza has been called the "prophet"Picton, J. Allanson, "Pantheism: Its Story and Significance", 1905. and "prince"Fraser, Alexander Campbell, "Philosophy of Theism", William Blackwood and Sons, 1895, p. 163. of pantheism, in a letter to Henry Oldenburg Spinoza states that: "as to the view of certain people that I identify god with nature (taken as a kind of mass or corporeal matter), they are quite mistaken".Correspondence of Benedict de Spinoza, Wilder Publications, 2009, {{ISBN|978-1-60459-156-9}}, letter 73. For Spinoza, our universe (cosmos) is a mode under two attributes of Thought and Extension. God has infinitely many other attributes which are not present in our world.According to German philosopher Karl Jaspers, when Spinoza wrote "Deus sive Natura" (God or Nature) Spinoza did not mean to say that God and Nature are interchangeable terms, but rather that God's transcendence was attested by his infinitely many attributes, and that two attributes known by humans, namely Thought and Extension, signified God's immanence.Karl Jaspers, Spinoza (Great Philosophers), Harvest Books, 1974, {{ISBN|978-0-15-684730-8}}, pp. 14 and 95. Furthermore, Martial Guéroult suggested the term "panentheism", rather than "pantheism" to describe Spinoza's view of the relation between God and the world. The world is not God, but it is, in a strong sense, "in" God. Yet, American philosopher and self-described panentheist Charles Hartshorne referred to Spinoza's philosophy as "classical pantheism" and distinguished Spinoza's philosophy from panentheism.Charles Hartshorne and William Reese, Philosophers Speak of God, Humanity Books, 1953, ch. 4.In 1828, the German philosopher Karl Christian Friedrich Krause (1781–1832) seeking to reconcile monotheism and pantheism, coined the term panentheism (from the Ancient Greek expression πᾶν ἐν θεῷ, pān en theṓ, literally "all in god"). This conception of God influenced New England transcendentalists such as Ralph Waldo Emerson. The term was popularized by Charles Hartshorne in his development of process theology and has also been closely identified with the New Thought.BOOK, Smith, David L., Theologies of the 21st Century: Trends in Contemporary Theology, 2014, Wipf and Stock, Eugene OR, 978-1625648648, 228,weblink 29 September 2015, The formalization of this term in the West in the 19th century was not new; philosophical treatises had been written on it in the context of Hinduism for millennia.BOOK, Southgate, Christopher, God, Humanity and the Cosmos: A Companion to the Science-Religion Debate, 2005, T&T Clark, London, 978-0567030160, 246–47,weblink 29 September 2015, Philosophers who embraced panentheism have included Thomas Hill Green (1839–1882), James Ward (1843–1925), Andrew Seth Pringle-Pattison (1856–1931) and Samuel Alexander (1859–1938).John W. Cooper Panentheism, the other God of the philosophers: from Plato to the present Baker Academic, 2006, {{ISBN|0-8010-2724-1}}. Beginning in the 1940s, Hartshorne examined numerous conceptions of God. He reviewed and discarded pantheism, deism, and pandeism in favor of panentheism, finding that such a "doctrine contains all of deism and pandeism except their arbitrary negations". Hartshorne formulated God as a being who could become "more perfect": He has absolute perfection in categories for which absolute perfection is possible, and relative perfection (i. e., is superior to all others) in categories for which perfection cannot be precisely determined.Charles Hartshorne, Man's Vision of God and the Logic of Theism (1964) {{ISBN|0-208-00498-X}} p. 348; cf. Michel Weber, Whitehead’s Pancreativism. The Basics. Foreword by Nicholas Rescher, Ontos Verlag, Frankfurt am Main and Paris, 2006.

In religion


Earliest reference to panentheistic thought in Hindu philosophy is in a creation myth contained in the later section of Rig Veda called the Purusha Sukta,BOOK, Nigal, Sahebrao Genu, Vedic Philosophy of Values, 2009, Northern Book Centre, New Delhi, 978-8172112806, 81,weblink 1 October 2015, which was compiled before 1100 BCE.Oberlies (1998:155) gives an estimate of 1100 BC for the youngest hymns in book 10. Estimates for a terminus post quem of the earliest hymns are more uncertain. Oberlies (p. 158) based on 'cumulative evidence' sets wide range of 1700–1100 The Purusha Sukta gives a description of the spiritual unity of the cosmos. It presents the nature of Purusha or the cosmic being as both immanent in the manifested world and yet transcendent to it.The Purusha Sukta in Daily Invocations by Swami Krishnananda From this being the sukta holds, the original creative will proceeds, by which this vast universe is projected in space and time.Krishnananda, Swami. A Short History of Religious and Philosophic Thought in India. Divine Life Society. P. 19The most influential"Consciousness in Advaita Vedānta ," By William M. Indich, Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, 1995, {{ISBN|81-208-1251-4}}. and dominantWEB,weblink Gandhi And Mahayana Buddhism,, 2011-06-10, school of Indian philosophy, Advaita Vedanta, rejects theism and dualism by insisting that "Brahman [ultimate reality] is without parts or without a second."WEB, Wainwright, William, Concepts of God,weblink Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1 October 2015, Since Brahman has no properties, contains no internal diversity and is identical with the whole reality it cannot be understood as an anthropomorphic personal God.Wainwright, William, "Concepts of God", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2010 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.) The relationship between Brahman and the creation is often thought to be panentheistic.Southgate, Christopher. God, Humanity, and the Cosmos. T&T Clark Int'l, New York. P. 246. {{ISBN|0567030164}}.Panentheism is also expressed in the Bhagavad Gita. In verse IX.4, Krishna states: Many schools of Hindu thought espouse monistic theism, which is thought to be similar to a panentheistic viewpoint. Nimbarka's school of differential monism (Dvaitadvaita), Ramanuja's school of qualified monism (Vishistadvaita) and Saiva Siddhanta and Kashmir Shaivism are all considered to be panentheistic.Sherma, Rita DasGupta; Sharma Arvind. Hermeneutics and Hindu Thought: Toward a Fusion of Horizons. Springer, 2008 edition (December 1, 2010). P. 192. {{ISBN|9048178002}}. Caitanya's Gaudiya Vaishnavism, which elucidates the doctrine of Acintya Bheda Abheda (inconceivable oneness and difference), is also thought to be panentheistic.Caitanya Caritamrita, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Bhaktivedanta Book Trust In Kashmir Shaivism, all things are believed to be a manifestation of Universal Consciousness (Cit or Brahman).The Doctrine of Vibration: An Analysis of Doctrines and Practices of Kashmir Shaivism, By Mark S. G. Dyczkowski, p.44 So from the point of view of this school, the phenomenal world (Śakti) is real, and it exists and has its being in Consciousness (Cit).Ksemaraja, trans. by Jaidev Singh, Spanda Karikas: The Divine Creative Pulsation, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, p.119 Thus, Kashmir Shaivism is also propounding of theistic monism or panentheism.The Trika Śaivism of Kashmir, Moti Lal PanditShaktism, or Tantra, is regarded as an Indian prototype of Panentheism.Vitsaxis, Vassilis. Thought and Faith: The concept of divinity. Somerset Hall Press. P. 167. {{ISBN|978-1-935244-03-5}}. Shakti is considered to be the cosmos itself – she is the embodiment of energy and dynamism, and the motivating force behind all action and existence in the material universe. Shiva is her transcendent masculine aspect, providing the divine ground of all being. "There is no Shiva without Shakti, or Shakti without Shiva. The two ... in themselves are One."Subramanian, V. K., Saundaryalahari of Sankaracarya: Sanskrit Text in Devanagari with Roman Transliteration, English Translation, Explanatory Notes, Yantric Diagrams and Index. Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Pvt. Ltd. (Delhi, 1977; 6th ed. 1998). P. ix. Thus, it is She who becomes the time and space, the cosmos, it is She who becomes the five elements, and thus all animate life and inanimate forms. She is the primordial energy that holds all creation and destruction, all cycles of birth and death, all laws of cause and effect within Herself, and yet is greater than the sum total of all these. She is transcendent, but becomes immanent as the cosmos (Mula Prakriti). She, the Primordial Energy, directly becomes Matter.


Taoism says that all is part of the eternal tao, and that all interact through qi. Chapter 6 describes the Tao thus: "The heart of Tao is immortal, the mysterious fertile mother of us all, of heaven and earth, of every thing and not-thing."WEB,weblink Tao Te Ching (Daodejing) (translated Brian Browne Walker), 2018-12-12,


The Reverend Zen Master Soyen Shaku was the first Zen Buddhist Abbot to tour the United States in 1905–6. He wrote a series of essays collected into the book Zen For Americans. In the essay titled "The God Conception of Buddhism" he attempts to explain how a Buddhist looks at the ultimate without an anthropomorphic God figure while still being able to relate to the term God in a Buddhist sense:At the outset, let me state that Buddhism is not atheistic as the term is ordinarily understood. It has certainly a God, the highest reality and truth, through which and in which this universe exists. However, the followers of Buddhism usually avoid the term God, for it savors so much of Christianity, whose spirit is not always exactly in accord with the Buddhist interpretation of religious experience. Again, Buddhism is not pantheistic in the sense that it identifies the universe with God. On the other hand, the Buddhist God is absolute and transcendent; this world, being merely its manifestation, is necessarily fragmental and imperfect. To define more exactly the Buddhist notion of the highest being, it may be convenient to borrow the term very happily coined by a modern German scholar, "panentheism," according to which God is πᾶν καὶ ἕν (all and one) and more than the totality of existence.Zen For Americans by Soyen Shaku, translated by Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki, 1906, pages 25–26.weblink The essay then goes on to explain first utilizing the term "God" for the American audience to get an initial understanding of what he means by "panentheism," and then discusses the terms that Buddhism uses in place of "God" such as Dharmakaya, Buddha or AdiBuddha, and Tathagata.


Panentheism is also a feature of some Christian philosophical theologies and resonates strongly within the theological tradition of the Orthodox Church.BOOK, Nesteruk, Alexei V., "The Universe as Hypostaic Inherence in the logos of God: Panentheism in the Eastern Orthodox Perspective", in In Whom We Live and Move and Have Our Being: Panentheistic Reflections on God's Presence in a Scientific World, edited by Philip Clayton and Arthur Robert Peacocke, 2004, Wm. B. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, MI, 978-0802809780, 169–83,weblink 23 March 2018, It also appears in process theology. Process theological thinkers are generally regarded in the Christian West as unorthodox. Furthermore, process philosophical thought is widely believed to have paved the way for open theism, a movement that tends to associate itself primarily with the Evangelical branch of Protestantism, but is also generally considered unorthodox by most Evangelicals.

Eastern Orthodoxy

{{See also|Omnipresence}}In Christianity, creation is not considered a literal "part of" God, and divinity is essentially distinct from creation (i.e., transcendent). There is, in other words, an irradicable difference between the uncreated (i.e., God) and the created (i.e., everything else). This does not mean, however, that the creation is wholly separated from God, because the creation exists in and from the divine energies. In Eastern Orthodoxy, these energies or operations are the natural activity of God and are in some sense identifiable with God, but at the same time the creation is wholly distinct from the divine essence.{{citation needed|date=November 2015}} God creates the universe by His will and from His energies. It is, however, not an imprint or emanation of God's own essence (ousia), the essence He shares pre-eternally with His Word and Holy Spirit. Neither is it a directly literal outworking or effulgence of the divine, nor any other process which implies that creation is essentially God or a necessary part of God. The use of the term "panentheism" to describe the divine concept in Orthodox Christian theology is problematic for those who would insist that panentheism requires creation to be "part of" God.God is not merely Creator of the universe, as His dynamic presence is necessary to sustain the existence of every created thing, small and great, visible and invisible.St. Symeon in Practical & Theological Discourses, 1.1: “When men search for God with their bodily eyes they find Him nowhere, for He is invisible. But for those who ponder in the Spirit He is present everywhere. He is in all, yet beyond all.” That is, God's energies maintain the existence of the created order and all created beings, even if those agencies have explicitly rejected him. His love for creation is such that He will not withdraw His presence, which would be the ultimate form of annihilation, not merely imposing death, but ending existence altogether. By this token, the entirety of creation is fundamentally "good" in its very being, and is not innately evil either in whole or in part. This does not deny the existence of spiritual or moral evil in a fallen universe, only the claim that it is an intrinsic property of creation. Sin results from the essential freedom of creatures to operate outside the divine order, not as a necessary consequence of having inherited human nature.

Panentheism in other Christian confessions

Many Christians who believe in universalism â€“ mainly expressed in the Universalist Church of America, originating, as a fusion of Pietist and Anabaptist influences, from the American colonies of the 18th century â€“ hold panentheistic views of God in conjunction with their belief in apocatastasis, also called universal reconciliation.{{citation needed|date=July 2017}} Panentheistic Christian Universalists often believe that all creation's subsistence in God renders untenable the notion of final and permanent alienation from Him, citing Scriptural passages such as Ephesians 4:6 ("[God] is over all and through all and in all") and Romans 11:36 ("from [God] and through him and to him are all things") to justify both panentheism and universalism.{{citation needed|date=July 2017}} Panentheism was also a major force in the Unitarian church for a long time, based in part on Ralph Waldo Emerson's concept of the Over-soul (from the synonymous essay of 1841).{{citation needed|date=July 2017}}Panentheistic conceptions of God occur amongst some modern theologians. Process theology and Creation Spirituality, two recent developments in Christian theology, contain panentheistic ideas. Charles Hartshorne (1897–2000), who conjoined process theology with panentheism, maintained a lifelong membership in the Methodist church but was also a Unitarian. In later years he joined the Austin, Texas, Unitarian Universalist congregation and was an active participant in that church.About Charles Hartshorne {{webarchive|url= |date=2007-11-14 }}. Referring to the ideas such as Thomas Oord's ‘theocosmocentrism’ (2010), the soft panentheism of open theism, Keith Ward's comparative theology and John Polkinghorne's critical realism (2009), Raymond Potgieter observes distinctions such as dipolar and bipolar:The former suggests two poles separated such as God influencing creation and it in turn its creator (Bangert 2006:168), whereas bipolarity completes God’s being implying interdependence between temporal and eternal poles. (Marbaniang 2011:133), in dealing with Whitehead’s approach, does not make this distinction. I use the term bipolar as a generic term to include suggestions of the structural definition of God’s transcendence and immanence; to for instance accommodate a present and future reality into which deity must reasonably fit and function, and yet maintain separation from this world and evil whilst remaining within it.Potgieter, R., 2013, ‘Keith Ward’s soft panentheism’, In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi 47(1), Art. #581, 9 pages.weblink ids.v47i1.581Some argue that panentheism should also include the notion that God has always been related to some world or another, which denies the idea of creation out of nothing (creatio ex nihilo). Nazarene Methodist theologian Thomas Jay Oord (* 1965) advocates panentheism, but he uses the word "theocosmocentrism" to highlight the notion that God and some world or another are the primary conceptual starting blocks for eminently fruitful theology. This form of panentheism helps in overcoming the problem of evil and in proposing that God's love for the world is essential to who God is.BOOK, Baker, Vaughn W., Evangelism and the Openness of God: The Implications of Relational Theism, 2013, Wipf and Stock, Eugene OR, 9781620320471, 242–43,weblink 1 October 2015, The Christian Church International also holds to a panentheist doctrine.


"Gnosticism" is a modern name for a variety of ancient religious ideas and systems prevalent in the first and second century AD. The teachings of the various gnostic groups were very diverse. In his Dictionary of Gnosticism, Andrew Phillip Smith has written that some branches of Gnosticism taught a panentheistic view of reality,BOOK, Smith, Andrew Phillip, A Dictionary of Gnosticism, 2014, Quest Books, Wheaton IL, 9780835608695, 186,weblink 1 October 2015, and held to the belief that God exists in the visible world only as sparks of spiritual "light". The goal of human existence is to know the sparks within oneself in order to return to God, who is in the Fullness (or Pleroma).Gnosticism was panentheistic, believing that the true God is simultaneously both separate from the physical universe and present within it.{{citation needed|date=October 2012}} As Jesus states in the Gospel of Thomas, "I am the light that is over all things. I am all ... . Split a piece of wood; I am there. Lift up the stone, and you will find me there."Gospel of Thomas, saying 77. This seemingly contradictory interpretation of gnostic theology is not without controversy, since one interpretation of dualistic theology holds that a perfect God of pure spirit would not manifest himself through the fallen world of matter.Manichaeism, being another gnostic sect, preached a very different doctrine in positioning the true Manichaean God against matter as well as other deities, that it described as enmeshed with the world, namely the gods of Jews, Christians and pagans.“Now, he who spoke with Moses, the Jews, and the priests he says is the archont of Darkness, and the Christians, Jews, and pagans (ethnic) are one and the same, as they revere the same god. For in his aspirations he seduces them, as he is not the god of truth. And so therefore all those who put their hope in the god who spoke with Moses and the prophets have (this in store for themselves, namely) to be bound with him, because they did not put their hope in the god of truth. For that one spoke with them (only) according to their own aspirations.” And elsewhere: “Now God has no part in this cosmos nor does he rejoice over it.” Classical Texts: Acta Archelai, p. 76 ([ pdf online]). Cf. The Mystica an Dualism. Nevertheless, this dualistic teaching included an elaborate cosmological myth that narrates the defeat of primal man by the powers of darkness that devoured and imprisoned the particles of light."But the blessed One [...] sent, through his beneficent Spirit and his great mercy, a helper to Adam, luminous Epinoia which comes out of him, who is called Life. [...] And the luminous Epinoia was hidden in Adam, in order that the archons might not know her, but that the Epinoia might be a correction of the deficiency of the mother. And the man came forth because of the shadow of the light which is in him. [...] And they took counsel with the whole array of archons and angels. [...] And they brought him (Adam) into the shadow of death, in order that they might form (him) again from earth [...] This is the tomb of the newly-formed body with which the robbers had clothed the man, the bond of forgetfulness; and he became a mortal man. [...] But the Epinoia of the light which was in him, she is the one who was to awaken his thinking. (weblink) Valentinian Gnosticism taught that matter came about through emanations of the supreme being, even if to some this event is held to be more accidental than intentional.{{Citation needed|date=September 2008}} To other gnostics, these emanations were akin to the Sephirot of the Kabbalists and deliberate manifestations of a transcendent God through a complex system of intermediaries.{{Citation needed|date=July 2017}}


While mainstream Rabbinic Judaism is classically monotheistic, and follows in the footsteps of Maimonides (c. 1135–1204), the panentheistic conception of God can be found among certain mystical Jewish traditions. A leading scholar of Kabbalah, Moshe IdelHasidism: Between Ecstacy and Magic, SUNY, 1995, p. 17 f. ascribes this doctrine to the kabbalistic system of Moses ben Jacob Cordovero (1522–1570) and in the eighteenth century to the Baal Shem Tov (c. 1700–1760), founder of the Hasidic movement, as well as his contemporaries, Rabbi Dov Ber, the Maggid of Mezeritch (died 1772), and Menahem Mendel, the Maggid of Bar. This may be said of many, if not most, subsequent Hasidic masters. There is some debate as to whether Isaac Luria (1534–1572) and Lurianic Kabbalah, with its doctrine of tzimtzum, can be regarded as panentheistic.According to Hasidism, the infinite Ein Sof is incorporeal and exists in a state that is both transcendent and immanent. This appears to be the view of non-Hasidic Rabbi Chaim of Volozhin, as well. Hasidic Judaism merges the elite ideal of nullification to a transcendent God, via the intellectual articulation of inner dimensions through Kabbalah and with emphasis on the panentheistic divine immanence in everything.BOOK, Ariel, David S., Kabbalah: The Mystic Quest in Judaism, 2006, Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham, MD, 978-0742545649, 184–85,weblink 17 August 2015, Many scholars would argue that "panentheism" is the best single-word description of the philosophical theology of Baruch Spinoza.BOOK, Diller, Jeanine and Asa Kasher, Models of God and Alternative Ultimate Realities, 2013, Springer Science & Business Media, Dordrecht, 978-94-007-5218-4, 425–26,weblink 1 October 2015, It is therefore no surprise, that aspects of panentheism are also evident in the theology of Reconstructionist Judaism as presented in the writings of Mordecai Kaplan (1881–1983), who was strongly influenced by Spinoza.BOOK, Scult, Mel, The Radical American Judaism of Mordecai M. Kaplan, 2013, Indiana University Press, Bloomington, 978-0-253-01075-9, 7–8,weblink 1 October 2015,


{{further|Tawheed}}Several Sufi saints and thinkers, primarily Ibn Arabi, held beliefs that have been considered panentheistic.BOOK, Minai, Asghar Talaye, Mysticism, aesthetics, and cosmic consciousness: a post-modern worldview of unity of being, 2003, Global Academic Pub., N.Y., 978-1586842499, 250, These notions later took shape in the theory of wahdat ul-wujud (the Unity of All Things). Some Sufi Orders, notably the BektashisWEB, Abiva, Huseyin, Bektashi Thought & Practice,weblink Bektashi Order of Dervishes, 1 October 2015, and the Universal Sufi movement, continue to espouse panentheistic beliefs. Nizari Ismaili follow panentheism according to Ismaili doctrine. Nevertheless, some Shia Muslims also do believe in different degrees of Panentheism.Al-Qayyuum is a Name of God in the Qur'an which translates to "The Self-Existing by Whom all subsist". In Islam the universe can not exist if Allah doesn't exist, and it is only by His power which encompasses everything and which is everywhere that the universe can exist. In Ayaẗ al-Kursii God's throne is described as "extending over the heavens and the earth" and "He feels no fatigue in guarding and preserving them". This does not mean though that the universe is God, or that a creature (like a tree or an animal) is God, because those would be respectively pantheism, which is a heresy in traditional Islam, and the worst heresy in Islam, shirk (polytheism). God is separated by His creation but His creation can not survive without Him.

In Pre-Columbian America

The Mesoamerican empires of the Mayas, Aztecs as well as the South American Incas (Tahuatinsuyu) have typically been characterized as polytheistic, with strong male and female deities.BOOK, Murphy, John, Gods & Goddesses of the Inca, Maya, and Aztec Civilizations, 2014, Rosen Education Service, New York, 978-1622753963,weblink 17 August 2015, According to Charles C. Mann's history book (1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus), only the lower classes of Aztec society were polytheistic. Philosopher James Maffie has argued that Aztec metaphysics was pantheistic rather than panentheistic, since Teotl was considered by Aztec philosophers to be the ultimate all-encompassing yet all-transcending force defined by its inherit duality.BOOK, Maffie, James, Aztec Philosophy: Understanding a World in Motion, 2013, University Press of Colorado, Boulder, 9781607322238,weblink 17 August 2015, Native American beliefs in North America have been characterized as panentheistic in that there is an emphasis on a single, unified divine spirit that is manifest in each individual entity.BOOK, Solomon, Robert C. and Kathleen M. Higgins, From Africa to Zen: An Invitation to World Philosophy, 2003, Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham, MD, 978-0742513495, 51–54,weblink 17 August 2015, (North American Native writers have also translated the word for God as the Great MysteryRussell Means, Where White Men Fear To Tread (Macmillan, 1993), pp. 3–4, 15, 17. or as the Sacred OtherGeorge Tinker, Spirit and Resistance: Political Theology and American Indian Liberation, 2004, p. 89. He defines the Sacred Other as "the Deep Mystery which creates and sustains all Creation".) This concept is referred to by many as the Great Spirit. Philosopher J. Baird Callicott has described Lakota theology as panentheistic, in that the divine both transcends and is immanent in everything.BOOK, Earth's Insights: A Multicultural Survey of Ecological Ethics from the Mediterranean Basin to the Australian Outback, 1994, University of California Press, Berkeley, 9780520085602, 122,weblink 17 August 2015, One exception can be modern Cherokee who are predominantly monotheistic but apparently not panentheistic;The Peoples of the World Foundation. Education for and about Indigenous Peoples: The Cherokee People, retrieved 2008-03-24. yet in older Cherokee traditions many observe both aspects of pantheism and panentheism, and are often not beholden to exclusivity, encompassing other spiritual traditions without contradiction, a common trait among some tribes in the Americas. In the stories of Keetoowah storytellers Sequoyah Guess and Dennis Sixkiller, God is known as ᎤᏁᎳᏅᎯ, commonly pronounced "unehlanv," and visited earth in prehistoric times, but then left earth and her people to rely on themselves. This shows a parallel to Vaishnava cosmology.


The Sikh gurus have described God in numerous ways in their hymns included in the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy scripture of Sikhism, but the oneness of the deity is consistently emphasized throughout. God is described in the Mool Mantar, the first passage in the Guru Granth Sahib, and the basic formula of the faith is:(Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 1)— ੴ ਸਤਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਕਰਤਾ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਨਿਰਭਉ ਨਿਰਵੈਰੁ ਅਕਾਲ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਅਜੂਨੀ ਸੈਭੰ ਗੁਰਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ॥Ik Oankar Satnaam KartaaPurakh Nirbhau Nirvair AkaalMoorat Ajooni Saibhan GurPrasadOne primal being who made the sound (oan) that expanded and created the world. Truth is the name. Creative being personified. Without fear, without hate. Image of the undying. Beyond birth, self existent. By Guru's grace~Guru Arjan, the fifth guru of Sikhs, says, "God is beyond colour and form, yet His/Her presence is clearly visible" (Sri Guru Granth Sahib, Ang 74), and "Nanak's Lord transcends the world as well as the scriptures of the east and the west, and yet He/She is clearly manifest" (Sri Guru Granth Sahib, Ang 397).Knowledge of the ultimate Reality is not a matter for reason; it comes by revelation of the ultimate reality through nadar (grace) and by anubhava (mystical experience). Says Guru Nanak; "budhi pathi na paiai bahu chaturaiai bhai milai mani bhane." This translates to "He/She is not accessible through intellect, or through mere scholarship or cleverness at argument; He/She is met, when He/She pleases, through devotion" (GG, 436).Guru Nanak prefixed the numeral one (ik) to it, making it Ik Oankar or Ek Oankar to stress God's oneness. God is named and known only through his Own immanent nature. The only name which can be said to truly fit God's transcendent state is SatNam ( Sat Sanskrit, Truth), the changeless and timeless Reality. God is transcendent and all-pervasive at the same time. Transcendence and immanence are two aspects of the same single Supreme Reality. The Reality is immanent in the entire creation, but the creation as a whole fails to contain God fully. As says Guru Tegh Bahadur, Nanak IX, "He has himself spread out His/Her Own “maya” (worldly illusion) which He oversees; many different forms He assumes in many colours, yet He stays independent of all" (GG, 537).

Bahá'í Faith

{{further|God in the Bahá'í Faith}}In the Bahá'í Faith, God is described as a single, imperishable God, the creator of all things, including all the creatures and forces in the universe. The connection between God and the world is that of the creator to his creation.ENCYCLOPEDIA, Smith, Peter, A concise encyclopedia of the Bahá'í Faith, God, 2000, Oneworld Publications, Oxford, 978-1-85168-184-6, 116, God is understood to be independent of his creation, and that creation is dependent and contingent on God. Accordingly, the Bahá'í Faith is much more closely aligned with traditions of monotheism than panentheism. God is not seen to be part of creation as he cannot be divided and does not descend to the condition of his creatures. Instead, in the Bahá'í understanding, the world of creation (wiktionary:emanate|emanates) from God, in that all things have been realized by him and have attained to existence.BOOK, `Abdu'l-Bahá, `Abdu'l-Bahá, 1981, Some Answered Questions, Bahá'í Publishing Trust, Wilmette, Illinois, USA, 978-0-87743-190-9,weblink 202–203, 1904–06, Creation is seen as the expression of God's will in the contingent world,ENCYCLOPEDIA, Smith, Peter, A concise encyclopedia of the Bahá'í Faith, creation, 2000, Oneworld Publications, Oxford, 978-1-85168-184-6, 164–165, and every created thing is seen as a sign of God's sovereignty, and leading to knowledge of him; the signs of God are most particularly revealed in human beings.


In Konkōkyō, God is named “Tenchi Kane no Kami-Sama” which can mean “Golden spirit of the universe.” Kami(God) is also seen as infinitely loving and powerful.

See also

People associated with panentheism:




  • Ankur Barua, "God’s Body at Work: Rāmānuja and Panentheism," in: International Journal of Hindu Studies, 14,1 (2010), pp. 1–30.
  • Philip Clayton and Arthur Peacock (eds.), In Whom We Live and Move and Have Our Being; Panentheistic Reflections on God's Presence in a Scientific World, Eerdmans (2004)
  • Bangert, B.C., 2006, Consenting to God and nature: Toward a theocentric, naturalistic, theological ethics, Princeton theological monograph ser. 55, Pickwick Publications, Eugene.
{{EB1911 poster|Panentheism}}
  • Thomas Jay Oord, The Nature of Love: A Theology, 2010. {{ISBN|978-0-8272-0828-5}}.
  • Joseph Bracken, "Panentheism in the context of the theology and science dialogue", in: Open Theology, 1 (2014), 1–11 (online).
  • BOOK, Marbaniang, Domenic, Epistemics of Divine Reality, 2011, POD, 9781105160776, Marbaniang2011

External links

  • SEP, panentheism, Panentheism, Culp, John,
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