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Panendeism is simply Deism together with the belief that the universe is a part of God, but not all of God. Some panendeists have established numerous additional beliefs, some of which are quite detailed, and use more specialized terminology to describe their beliefs. However, any deist who believes that the universe is a part (but not the whole) of God, can be considered a panendeist.
Origin of the term
Traditionally, monotheism refers to belief in a god that is a separate entity within the universe, whereas pantheism (all is God) refers to the belief that God and the universe are identical. The German philosopher Karl Christian Friedrich Krause (1781-1832) sought to reconcile the two beliefs and coined the term panentheism (all in God). This conception of God influenced New England Transcendentalists such as Ralph Waldo Emerson. The term is best known for its use by Charles Hartshorne in his discussions of Process Theology and has also been adopted by proponents of various New Thought beliefs.
Around the beginning of the 21st century, self-described Deists who shared this belief in God sought to distinguish themselves from their theist counterparts. Several such individuals independently coined the term panendeism to emphasize the Deistic characteristics of their beliefs. These individuals have since expanded the familiarity of the term in online communities. Today, panendeism is acquiring increasing acceptance and respect in the Deist community.
Is Panendeism monotheistic?
Panendeism is monotheistic simply because it is not polytheistic. However, many panentheists consider panentheism as transcending the one vs. many dichotomy. They regard panentheism as wholly distinct from monotheism, pantheism, and polytheism. Accordingly, the classical forms of Deism may be regarded as monodeistic to distinguish them from newer forms of pandeism and panendeism, reserving the term Deism to describe all such belief systems that rely on reason and reject revealed religion.
How does the Panendeistic God step away from his creation?
While this "watchmaker" conception of God was prevalent among many early Deists, it is not a requirement of modern Deism. (In fact, even early Deists disagreed on God's role in the universe; compare English Deism with French Deism .) In panendeism, there may even arise doubts that the universe was "created". Deism is a dynamic category of beliefs that can change with time. What is most important in Deism is the belief in God through reason and experience, and the rejection of revealed religion. Since Panendeists agree with these underlying principles, they are Deists, even if their conception of God differs with that of Classical Deists.
- Cosmological argument
- Philosophical theism
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