Pantheism is the belief that God and the universe are equivalent (the same thing.) A pantheist believes that everything that exists is a part of God, and that God is nothing more than everything that exists. The name pantheism comes from the words theism (belief in God) and pan (all).
Any doctrine or philosophy that believes that the universe and everything in it is God is said to be pantheistic. Most pantheists believe the universe is sacred and the earth and nature are divine. Pantheists are sometimes called nature worshipers.
Most of the early Greek philosophers from Thales on to Aristotle believed in some sort of pantheism.
Pantheism is an important part of many eastern religions such as Hinduism and Taoism.
Some western philosophers such as Baruch Spinoza and scientists like Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking are pantheists. While many hold pantheistic ideas, their beliefs are hard to determine. Albert Einstein was an example: he held many pantheistic views, but did not consider himself a pantheist.
“I’m not an atheist and I don’t think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many different languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn’t know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God.” —Albert Einstein
Some Christians, Jews and Muslims are Pantheists. However, their majority believes that while God is in everything, there is more to God than just the universe. (This belief is called Panentheism)
Last updated: September 2, 2014 at 10:14 am
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