1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Is it possible to have monotheism without panentheism (or vice versa)?

Discussion in 'Panentheism' started by Paraprakrti, May 1, 2013.

  1. Paraprakrti

    Paraprakrti Custom User

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2004
    Messages:
    1,123
    Ratings:
    +53
    For the panentheists here,

    Do you find it difficult to view monotheism in a way that is not panentheist? Ever since I have developed my understanding of the subject matter to the point of identifying with panentheism, I am unable to see how a monotheist isn't necessarily also a panentheist. Practically, these two terms have become synonymous for me.
     
  2. John Martin

    John Martin Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2013
    Messages:
    673
    Ratings:
    +77
    Monotheism and Panentheism are not contradictory. Monotheism means that there is only one God. Vedas affirm it: ekam sat virprabhauti vadanti, ekam eva advitiyam; God is one but sages call it by many names; I, alone am;there is no second.
    there are two types of monotheisms: Prophetic Monotheism and Hindu Monotheism. Prophetic Monotheism believes in a creator God( creating out of nothing). Hindu Monotheism believes that creation is the manifestation of God.
    Panentheism means everything is in God. Isa Upnaishad says 'isavasyamidamsarvam'. Everything is permeated by God. This is panentheism. Prophetic monotheism is also believes that everything is in God, but it is substantially different from God.There is qualitative difference between believing in panentheism and experiencing panentheism. A person may believe that God is everywhere and everything in God but it may not change his life or impact in his daily life. If a person experiences the universal presence of God this will change that person's life and the way this person relates with people and with creation
     
    #2 John Martin, May 1, 2013
    Last edited: May 1, 2013
    • Like Like x 2
  3. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2011
    Messages:
    19,654
    Ratings:
    +12,613
    Religion:
    Druidry
    They can, practically speaking, be synonymous depending on how the monotheist angle is approaching the god-concept. Classical monotheism is rather staunchly transcendent, or views the god-concept as distinctly separate from the world. A classical monotheist would say that although the world may have the spark of the one-god, it is not god. Such a view is not compatible with pantheism or panentheism, both of which are distinctly immanent (the god-concept is synonymous with the world). A pantheist or panentheist is comfortable saying that the world god itself. The panentheist would also remark that although the world is god itself, god is more than the world and has transcendent aspects, but they still fundamentally recognize god as the world itself.

    Although classical monotheism is by far the most pervasive in the West, it's certainly not the only concept in town. A concept of monotheism that does not demand transcendence could be, for all practical purposes, the same as panentheism because some panentheists are indeed monotheists. However, not all pantheists and panentheists are going to be monotheists, so broadly speaking it would be incorrect to regard monotheism and panentheism as synonyms. It is very possible to have one without the other. The default panentheist/pantheist model in Neopaganism certainly isn't the monotheistic one, for example.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  4. Paraprakrti

    Paraprakrti Custom User

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2004
    Messages:
    1,123
    Ratings:
    +53
    I am unable to take so-called polytheism seriously unless it is fashioned as such to ultimately allude to a singularity. In the most superficial sense, a hindu, for instance, is polytheist. But in actuality, a hindu is monotheist. As far as I can see, a true, non-monotheistic polytheist is indistinguishable from a believer in relatively powerful alien beings. The only difference being that the former arbitrarily labels those beings as "gods."

    As far as monotheists who reject panentheism go, my problem with creatio ex nihilo is that it ignores the fact that even if we call the "space" or void that resides prior to creation as "nothing," it is necessarily true that everything is a manifestation of God's pre-existing energies. The relationship between God and His energies has been likened to the relationship between the sun globe and the rays of sunshine. We can understand that the sunshine comes from the sun globe, but for all intents and purposes, the two are inseparably part of the same entity. There is simultaneously a distinction to be made and a oneness. Strict transcendentalist theists and pantheists each have half the story, in my opinion.
     
  5. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2011
    Messages:
    19,654
    Ratings:
    +12,613
    Religion:
    Druidry
    Well now.

    You're free to your beliefs, but since you're not able to take my "so-called" polytheism seriously, why should I bother taking you seriously, hmm? But you might want to correct that ignorance you have going on there about polytheism. Although it's patently unsurprising, it's pretty unsightly.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. fallingblood

    fallingblood Agnostic Theist

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2009
    Messages:
    9,992
    Ratings:
    +505
    Panenthiesm and monotheism do not necessarily go hand in hand. One can easily be a monotheist without being a panentheist. One can also be a panentheist without being a monotheist.

    Monotheist just means that one believes in a singular divine being. Panentheism is the idea that the divine being/s is in the world but also more than the world. There is no reason for them to be synonymous as they don't even really deal with the same particular idea.
     
  7. fallingblood

    fallingblood Agnostic Theist

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2009
    Messages:
    9,992
    Ratings:
    +505
    This is a misunderstanding of the idea of creation ex nihilo. It does not ignore the "fact" that everything is a manifestation of God's pre-existing energies. That is actually accepted in at least the Christian idea of creation.

    Creation ex nihilo argues that God created everything out of nothing, as in, there was God, and nothing else. God spoke, and from nothing, creation came to being. There wasn't a previous creation, or things that preexisted creation that God was able to manipulate.

    I won't touch on the polytheism as I'm not a polytheist. I will simply say that what you're stating is not fact, but opinion, and misguided.
     
  8. Paraprakrti

    Paraprakrti Custom User

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2004
    Messages:
    1,123
    Ratings:
    +53
    I figured I'd be ruffling some feathers here. You too are free to your beliefs. And at the end of the day, you believe what you believe regardless of what you call it. To be clear, I'm not saying that one cannot or should not believe in the way typically entailed by polytheism. I'm just not sure how we can define polytheism in a way that doesn't seem arbitrary. Moreover, because of this, I don't view polytheism as an alternative theistic view in contrast with monotheism. Rather, I see it as a subcategory of or clarification on monotheism.
     
  9. Gjallarhorn

    Gjallarhorn N'yog-Sothep

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2011
    Messages:
    9,779
    Ratings:
    +970
    And you'd be wrong.
     
  10. Paraprakrti

    Paraprakrti Custom User

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2004
    Messages:
    1,123
    Ratings:
    +53
    I don't see the difference between "everything is a manifestation of God's pre-existing energies" and panentheism. God's energies are simultaneously an extension of Him and non-different from Him, thus making the ontology entail that God is both immanent and transcendent.


    God's energies do not qualify as "nothing else."


    OK. You're free to set me straight.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Paraprakrti

    Paraprakrti Custom User

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2004
    Messages:
    1,123
    Ratings:
    +53
    OK. Any further thoughts?
     
  12. Gjallarhorn

    Gjallarhorn N'yog-Sothep

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2011
    Messages:
    9,779
    Ratings:
    +970
    Aside for the repeatedly stated fact that monotheism and panentheism are independent concepts and one does not need the other, no not really. But by all means continue to dictate how millennia of religious ideas are impossible.
     
  13. Paraprakrti

    Paraprakrti Custom User

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2004
    Messages:
    1,123
    Ratings:
    +53
    Well then. Thanks for your contribution.
     
  14. fallingblood

    fallingblood Agnostic Theist

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2009
    Messages:
    9,992
    Ratings:
    +505
    Just because you don't see a difference, doesn't mean there isn't one.

    You are assuming that everything is a manifestation of God's pre-existing energies, and that these energies are somehow distinct from God. God's pre-existing energies could be nothing more than God.

    Your understanding is based on a preconceived idea, in which you are forcing on everything else.

    God's energies qualify as God. Thus, there was nothing else.

    Like I said, I'm not a polytheist, thus, I don't feel comfortable with delving into the matter.
     
  15. idav

    idav Being
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2011
    Messages:
    18,969
    Ratings:
    +3,287
    Religion:
    Pantheist
    What you described is pantheism with god being the preexisting energies. Pantheism shows a oneness beyond that of panentheism. Panentheism makes creation separate from the creator when it is more of a continuation of what you call preexistence.
     
  16. Me Myself

    Me Myself Back to my username

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2011
    Messages:
    18,858
    Ratings:
    +961
    It is ssible as long as the god is not all powerful. Understanding knowledge to also be power.
     
  17. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2011
    Messages:
    19,654
    Ratings:
    +12,613
    Religion:
    Druidry
    If you are genuinely interested in understanding a different perspective, you could ask the actual polytheist ya know. But probably not in this thread. It'd derail its intended purpose. :D

    Honestly though, I think the numbers game is a false dichotomy to begin with. It is like saying you can either have a hand or five fingers. Silly.
     
  18. Talinn

    Talinn New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2012
    Messages:
    8
    Ratings:
    +0
    Yes. I believe monotheism and panentheism are distinguishable.

    In monotheism, there was a point when the Creator decided to change the fundamental nature of the universe; he decided to increase the energy and movement of the universe. Furthermore he made a division between the energy the universe; things were to be divided between Himself/Herself and between Him/His Creations. In Panentheism there is no overall increase in the energy of the universe; a God in panentheism can simultaenously extend himself to all creation and be a seperate entity. In Abrahamic religions, we are entitled to become one with Him (in differing levels), or we are entitled to be just another creation. Here there is a divide between the Creator and Creation, and we can either be on one side of the Universe or the other. In panentheism (at least in my view of it) we are given slightly more freedom. Panentheism and monotheism assumes different levels of powers; in one case God creates the universe through extending himself; in another case, God creates the universe through the increased amount of energy in the universe.

    Furthermore, I believe that a monotheistic outlook would say that God decided to create the universe as a testament of his power, whereas in Panentheism God created the universe to become involved with it even further. Being related to pantheism, panentheism still conceives nature as being divine.

    I think practically most panentheists and monotheists do not see a similarity or equivalence between the two.
     
    #18 Talinn, May 5, 2013
    Last edited: May 5, 2013
  19. Paraprakrti

    Paraprakrti Custom User

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2004
    Messages:
    1,123
    Ratings:
    +53
    Nothing exists or can exist beyond God and His energies. So, yes, everything is a manifestation of God's pre-existing energies. Furthermore, you can't say that God and God's energies are one and the same and then turn around and claim that God is completely and utterly transcendent to the material creation, which is necessarily also God's energies.


    Then there still isn't anything else, and there never will be since all that exists necessarily consists of God's energies. How can you avoid this without suggesting that there can possibly exist something outside of God's complete being (and thus imply that God is incomplete)?


    OK.
     
  20. Paraprakrti

    Paraprakrti Custom User

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2004
    Messages:
    1,123
    Ratings:
    +53
    I am describing a simultaneous oneness and distinction between God and God's energies. Panentheism doesn't entail that creation is utterly separate from creator. It is basically pantheism with a further clarification on the relationship between creator and creation.
     
Loading...