We explain what pantheism is, what it consists of, and how it is classified. Also, what are its characteristics and why is it important.
Pantheism is called a philosophical doctrine and a way of conceiving the world. He maintains that the idea of God understood as religions do, is the same as the universe and nature.
This position makes a philosophical critique of the religious concept of God. He explains that it is just a way of calling natural law, existence itself: the sum of what was, what is and what will be.
Pantheists think that the divine entity (God) and the work he created (the world) are one. This type of thinking is known as monoism , and it is distinguished from the usual theism of most religions.
The nature of this association between God and the world can occur in different ways, according to the different currents of pantheism. What they always have in common is the conception of reality as something immanent (closed in on itself), which is the only thing that exists.
The word pantheism comes from the union of two Greek words .
On the one hand, the neuter adjective Pan is translatable as “everything”. On the other hand, the noun théos means "god."
Hence "pantheism" means something like "God in everything. "
The term pantheism first appeared in Latin, in the work De Spatio Reali Su Ente Infinito by the English mathematician Joseph Ralson, published in 1697. However, this model of thought is attributed to previous philosophers, such as Juan Escoto Erígena (815-877 AD) and Nicolás de Cusa (1401-1464).
Part of its principles can also be found in the work of Giordano Bruno (1548-1600). These previous studies allowed him to be born in the 16th century and serve as a prelude to materialism and atheism.
The fundamental claim of pantheism is that God and nature are one and the same. It is not a form of polytheism, in which every aspect of nature is assigned a deity.
On the contrary, everything that exists forms a unit, which can be called God. This includes objects, natural laws, astronomical bodies, and the human being himself.
Thus, pantheism does not propose a God as a specific knowable entity, achievable by some kind of method. Instead, he proposes the idea of a kind of spirit of nature, invisible and omnipresent.
Two variants of pantheism are often identified:
Pantheism should not be confused with panentheism, even if they are more or less similar. The difference between one and the other is that the view of panentheism proposes a god that encompasses the universe but is not limited to it.
This means that this deity is also the creator of the universe, its vital energy, the source of all-natural law. This idea of God is transcendent, different from the immanent one proposed by pantheism.
Pandeism is a philosophical model that results from the union of pantheism and deism. He maintains that the creator of the universe merged with his creation and ceased to exist as a separate entity. Pandeism tries to answer why God would create the universe and then abandon it.
Pantheism as a philosophical doctrine played an important role in the formation of Western culture. He participated in the difficult transition between the religious mentality that reigned for 15 centuries in the Christian Middle Ages, and the modern, rationalist, and scientistic mentality, which prevailed from the 18th century.
As a prelude to the possibility of atheism and agnosticism, pantheism was important because unifying God with nature reduces the need for structured worship. A church can be dispensed with because God would not have a specific entity, recognizable through some religious practice.
Most monotheistic religions, whose body of belief advocates the cult of a one and only true God, reject any pantheistic position. They consider it pagan or close to idolatry, that is, to replace the cult of the true God with the cult of objects.
In other cases, such as Hindu polytheism, the views on the relationship between the world and the gods that rule it can become similar to pantheism. These religions have an almost infinite pantheon of gods, which identifies not only external aspects of the human being but also internal ones.
However, it is important to note that even in these cases the gods have their own entity. In other words, they are still separate from the real world.
In contemporary times, pantheism has undergone a resignation at the hands of more idealistic and reactionary religious and philosophical currents. They try to use it to reconcile scientific discourse with religion since God encompasses everything, even any scientific discovery.
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