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What is PANTHEISM and its characteristics

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What is pantheism and its characteristics

In this lesson from a TEACHER, you will learn what is pantheism and you will meet its main representatives. According to this doctrine, God and Nature they are one and the same thing. This deity is not identified with an entity, but is understood as a law of nature. The term comes from the Greek πᾶν (bread), 'everything', and θεός (theos), 'God' and appears for the first time in Latin in 1697, in the work of Joseph Raphson, By Spatio Reali seu Ente Infinito. Pantheism is a philosophical doctrine, but also a way of understanding the world and therefore, there are different types. If you want to know more about what pantheism is and its characteristics, keep reading.

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  1. What is pantheism in philosophy
  2. Main characteristics of philosophical pantheism
  3. Representatives of philosophical pantheism

What is pantheism in philosophy.

The pantheism is the doctrine philosophical that identifies the world, the universe, the nature, with the divinity

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and although the different aspects are usually monotheistic, a certain polytheism can also be appreciated. Non-creationist religions are, in a way pantheists, although they are presented as a conciliatory element between all of them.

Variants of pantheism

As for the variants of the pantheism, it is possible to speak of a pantheism religious and other atheist. The first is monistic, and the second polytheistic.

  • Religious pantheism. He who regards the world as a manifestation of God, the only divinity that exists and that is identified with the universe.
  • Atheist or naturalistic pantheism. According to this variant, the divinity, God, identifies with the Nature, reducing to a law of nature, a kind of self awareness. The God of religions, understood as a separate entity from the world, does not exist.

In neither case, God is understood as a transcendent being, but immanent, the beginning of everything there is.

What is pantheism and its characteristics - What is pantheism in philosophy

Main characteristics of philosophical pantheism.

Although there are different types of pantheism, it is possible to speak of certain aspects that all have in common. Here is a list of the main features of pantheism philosophical.

  1. Pantheistic doctrine conceives the universe in a way holistic, that is, as a whole. God and the universe are identified.
  2. Nature is a manifestation of God, which is not understood as an abstract between in the manner of creationist religions.
  3. Philosophical pantheism identifies God with world: “God is everything and that everything is God”. God is a being immanent Y not transcendent.
  4. God is not the creator of the world, nor does He control it. He is a impersonal and without will.
  5. The pantheistic God is in everything the universe, enveloping everything.
  6. This philosophical doctrine extols the value of nature, considering it worthy of admiration.
  7. According to philosophical pantheism, God is one, he is nature itself, although he can Express oneself from different ways.

You should not confuse this term with another very similar one: Panantheism, which affirms that God envelops the entire universe even though he is apart from it. Therefore, he is an immanent God, like the pantheist, but also transcendent, Conversely.

What is pantheism and its characteristics - Main characteristics of philosophical pantheism

Representatives of philosophical pantheism.

Among the main representatives of philosophical pantheism are Heraclitus of Ephesus, Plotinus, Giordano Bruno, Baruch Espinosa, Philo of Alexandria, Ammonius Sacas, Scotus Eriugena, Bernardo de Tours, Eckhart de Hochheim, Antonio Rosmini, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin ...

  • The pantheism of Heraclitus: in the few fragments that remain of that of Ephesus, God identifies himself with the becoming that encompasses the whole of the universe. God is nature, the first principle of all that there is and that the pre-Socratic conceives as the fire generator, the one that gives unity to the opposites.
  • Plotinus: in the case of this thinker it would be more accurate to speak of panentheism, since the God of Plotinus has an immanent character and transcendent. God encompasses everything there is, but he is superior to nature itself. Thus he maintains that, One, "as the beginning of the whole, it is not the whole".
  • Giordano Bruno: his atheistic pantheism is combined with a "pan-psychism", well appreciated in his work Of the cause, the beginning and the One, where the philosopher exposes his main ideas about nature. He understands, this thinker, that there is a soul of nature that is entelechy pure and universal and encompasses the entire universe. A second principle would be the matter of which all things are formed, and it remains unchanged, despite the modifications that entities undergo.
  • Baruch de Spinoza: Spinoza's world view is closer to the panentheism than pantheism, because God is in everything there is, but he is separated from the world. This earned him criticism from Schelling, which ensures that the Dutch “nullifies the freedom and personality of God reducing him to a mere object incapable of relating to the world”.

In his ethics, Spinoza states that “All that is, is in God, and without God nothing can be or be conceived”, Although it distinguishes betweennatura naturans, or God as the first principle of all there is, and natura naturata, which would be the different modes. Of all the attributes of God, only two are known, the res Amplia and the res cogitans, so that, despite Being often cited as the main representative of pantheism, the truth is that for many it is an imprecision.

If you want to read more articles similar to What is pantheism and its characteristics, we recommend that you enter our category of Philosophy.


Harrison, P. Elements of Pantheism: A Spirituality of Nature and the Universe.Ed. Llumina Press. 2011)

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