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Pantheism is the belief that everything composes an all-encompassing, immanent God, or that the universe (or nature) is identical with divinity. Pantheists thus do not believe in a personal or anthropomorphic god.
Pantheism was popularized in the modern era as both a theology and philosophy based on the work of the 17th century philosopher Baruch Spinoza,:p.7 whose Ethics was an answer to Descartes' famous dualist theory that the body and spirit are separate. Spinoza held the monist view that the two are the same, and monism is a fundamental part of his philosophy. He was described as a "God-intoxicated man," and used the word God to describe the unity of all substance. Although the term pantheism was not coined until after his death, Spinoza is regarded as its most celebrated advocate.
Pantheism is derived from the Greek roots pan (meaning "all") and theos (meaning "God"). There are a variety of definitions of pantheism. Some consider it a theological and philosophical position concerning God.:p.8
As a religious position, pantheism has been described as the polar opposite of atheism. From this standpoint, pantheism is the view that everything is part of an all-encompassing, immanent God. All forms of reality may then be considered either modes of that Being, or identical with it. Others hold that pantheism is a non-religious philosophical position. To them, pantheism is the view that the Universe and God are identical.
The first known use of the term pantheism was by English mathematician Joseph Raphson in his work De spatio reali, written in Latin and published in 1697. In De spatio reali, Raphson begins with a distinction between atheistic ‘panhylists’ (from the Greek roots pan, "all", and hyle, "matter"), who believe everything is matter, and ‘pantheists’ who believe in “a certain universal substance, material as well as intelligent, that fashions all things that exist out of its own essence.”  Raphson found the universe to be immeasurable in respect to a human's capacity of understanding, and believed that humans would never be able to comprehend it.
The term was borrowed and first used in English by Irish writer John Toland in his 1705 work "Socinianism Truly Stated, by a pantheist". He clarified his idea of pantheism in a 1710 letter to Gottfried Leibniz when he referred to "the pantheistic opinion of those who believe in no other eternal being but the universe".
Although the term "pantheism" did not exist before the 17th century, various pre-Christian religions and philosophies can be regarded as pantheistic. Pantheism is similar to the ancient Hindu philosophy of Advaita (non-dualism) to the extent that the 19th-century German Sanskritist Theodore Goldstücker remarked that Spinoza's thought was "... a western system of philosophy which occupies a foremost rank amongst the philosophies of all nations and ages, and which is so exact a representation of the ideas of the Vedanta, that we might have suspected its founder to have borrowed the fundamental principles of his system from the Hindus."
Others include some of the Presocratics, such as Heraclitus and Anaximander. The Stoics were pantheists, beginning with Zeno of Citium and culminating in the emperor-philosopher Marcus Aurelius. During the pre-Christian Roman Empire, Stoicism was one of the three dominant schools of philosophy, along with Epicureanism and Neoplatonism. The early Taoism of Lao Zi and Zhuangzi is also sometimes considered pantheistic. Johannes Scotus Eriugena was, as much as possible, a Christian pantheist.
The Catholic church regarded pantheism as heresy. Italian monk Giordano Bruno, burned at the stake in 1600 for heresy, is considered by some to be a pantheist. Baruch Spinoza's Ethics, finished in 1675, was the major source from which pantheism spread. John Toland was influenced by both Spinoza and Bruno, and sometimes used the terms 'pantheist' and 'Spinozist' interchangeably. In 1720 he wrote the Pantheisticon: or The Form of Celebrating the Socratic-Society in Latin.
In 1785, a major controversy about Spinoza's philosophy between critic Friedrich Jacobi and defender Moses Mendelssohn, known in German as the Pantheismus-Streit, helped to spread pantheism to many German thinkers in the late 18th and in the 19th century.
For a time during the 19th century pantheism was the theological viewpoint of many leading writers and philosophers, attracting figures such as William Wordsworth and Samuel Coleridge in Britain; Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel in Germany; Walt Whitman, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau in the USA. Seen as a growing threat by the Vatican, it came under attack 1862 in the Syllabus of Errors of Pius IX.
In the mid-eighteenth century, English theologian Daniel Waterland defined pantheism as: "It supposes God and nature, or God and the whole universe, to be one and the same substance—one universal being; insomuch that men's souls are only modifications of the divine substance." In the early nineteenth century, German theologian Julius Wegscheider defined pantheism as the belief that God and the world established by God are one and the same.
In the late 20th century, pantheism was often declared to be the underlying theology of Neopaganism, and Pantheists began forming organizations devoted specifically to Pantheism and treating it as a separate religion.
Recent developments 
In 2008, Albert Einstein's 1954 German letter in which he dismissed belief in a personal God was auctioned off for more than US$330,000. Einstein wrote, "We followers of Spinoza see our God in the wonderful order and lawfulness of all that exists and in its soul ("Beseeltheit") as it reveals itself in man and animal," in a letter to Eduard Büsching (25 October 1929) after Büsching sent Einstein a copy of his book Es gibt keinen Gott. Einstein responded that the book only dealt with the concept of a personal God and not the impersonal God of pantheism. "I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly," he wrote in another letter in 1954.
The Vatican mentioned pantheism in a 2009 Papal encyclical and a 2010 New Year's Day statement, criticizing pantheism for denying the superiority of humans over nature and "seeing the source of man's salvation in nature". Author Ross Douthat, in a review of 2009 film Avatar, described pantheism as "Hollywood’s religion of choice for a generation now".
In 2011, an 1866 letter written by William Herndon, Abraham Lincoln's law partner, was auctioned off for US$30,000. In it, Herndon writes of the U.S. President's evolving religious views, which included pantheism.
"Mr. Lincoln’s religion is too well known to me to allow of even a shadow of a doubt; he is or was a Theist & a Rationalist, denying all extraordinary – supernatural inspiration or revelation. At one time in his life, to say the least, he was an elevated Pantheist, doubting the immortality of the soul as the Christian world understands that term. He believed that the soul lost its identity and was immortal as a force. Subsequent to this he rose to the belief of a God, and this is all the change he ever underwent."
The subject is understandably controversial, but the contents of the letter is consistent with Lincoln's fairly lukewarm approach to organized religion.
There are multiple varieties of pantheism:3 which can either be placed along various spectra or in discrete categories.
Degree of determinism 
American philosopher Charles Hartshorne used the term Classical Pantheism to describe the deterministic philosophies of Baruch Spinoza, the Stoics, and other like-minded figures. Pantheism (All-is-God) is often associated with monism (All-is-One) and some have suggested that it logically implies determinism: in Einstein's words, "the past, present, and future are an 'illusion'".[improper synthesis?] This form of pantheism is sometimes referred to as "extreme monism", in which – in the words of one commentator – "God decides or determines everything, including our supposed decisions." Other examples of determinism-inclined pantheisms include those of Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel.
However, some have argued against treating every meaning of "unity" as an aspect of pantheism, and there exist versions of pantheism that exclude determinism. Examples include the beliefs of Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling and William James.
Degree of belief 
It may also be possible to distinguish two types of pantheism, one being more religious and the other being more philosophical. The Columbia Encyclopedia writes of the distinction:
- "If the pantheist starts with the belief that the one great reality, eternal and infinite, is God, he sees everything finite and temporal as but some part of God. There is nothing separate or distinct from God, for God is the universe. If, on the other hand, the conception taken as the foundation of the system is that the great inclusive unity is the world itself, or the universe, God is swallowed up in that unity, which may be designated nature."
Religious inclined pantheisms include some forms of Hinduism while philosophical inclined pantheisms include Stoicism.
In 1896, theologian J. H. Worman identified seven categories of pantheism: Mechanical or materialistic (God the mechanical unity of existence); Ontological (abstract unity, Spinoza); Dynamic; Psychical (God is the soul of the world); Ethical (God is the universal moral order, Johann Gottlieb Fichte); Logical (Hegel); and Pure (absorption of God into nature, which Worman equates with atheism).
More recently, Paul D. Feinberg, professor of biblical and systematic theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, also identified seven categories of pantheism: Hylozoistic; Immanentistic; Absolutistic monistic; Relativistic monistic; Acosmic; Identity of opposites; Neoplatonic or emanationistic.
Pantheism in religion 
||This section may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. The specific problem is: Written in a way unclear to anyone not familiar with Hindu texts. (April 2013)|
It is generally asserted that Hindu religious texts are the oldest known literature containing pantheistic ideas.
In Hindu Sanatana Dharma theology, as per the divine revelations i.e.the Vedas, Brahm/Parabrahma is the one unchanging, infinite, immanent, and transcendent reality which is the Divine Ground of all things in this Universe. If one adds two whole parts the result is one whole and if one whole is subtracted from another whole the result is another whole – it means there is one whole universe and it is all pervaded by "Thee". Since the universe has come forth from the Divine, all things and beings are sacred and must be treated so in human thought and action. The Divine sleeps in minerals, awakens in plants, walks in animals and thinks in humans.
"That is an aggregate; this is an aggregate. The aggregate come out of the aggregate. Removing the aggregate from the aggregate, the aggregate still remains".
Just as all rivers lead to the one ocean, Hindus believe that all religious pathways lead to the same eternal truth. Sanatan Dharma therefore teaches religious tolerance. Even within Hinduism, there are different approaches to reaching the Divine based on an individual’s own characteristics. This idea of pantheism is traceable from the Puranas which are the nearest allegorical representations created for the masses whereas Vedas were for the highly literate. All Mahāvākyas (Great Sayings) of the Upanishads, in one way or another, seem to indicate the unity of the world with the Brahman. It further says, "This whole universe is Brahman, from Brahman to a clod of earth." Pantheism is a key component of Advaita philosophy. Other subdivisions of Vedanta do not strictly hold this tenet.
In the tradition of its leading thinkers Lao Tzu and Zhuangzi, Taoism is comparable with pantheism, as The Tao is always spoken of with profound religious reverence and respect, similar to the way that pantheism discusses the "divinity" of the Universe. The Tao te Ching never speaks of a transcendent God, but of a mysterious and numinous ground of being underlying all things. Moreover Taoism stresses the importance of living in harmony with Nature. Zhuangzi emphasized the pantheistic content of Taoism even more clearly: "Heaven and I were created together, and all things and I are one." When Tung Kuo Tzu asked Zhuangzi where the Tao was, he replied that it was in the ant, the grass, the clay tile, even in excrement: "There is nowhere where it is not… There is not a single thing without Tao."
Other religions 
There are elements of pantheism in some forms of Christianity, Buddhism, Sufism, Judaism, Gnosticism, Neopaganism, and Theosophy as well as in several tendencies in the major theistic religions. See also the Neopagan section of Gaia, Eckankar, and the Church of All Worlds. The Islamic religious tradition, in particular Sufism and Alevism has a strong belief in the unitary nature of the universe and the concept that everything in it is an aspect of God itself, although this perspective leans closer to panentheism and may also be termed Theopanism. Many traditional and folk religions including African traditional religions and Native American religions:p.67 can be seen as pantheistic, or a mixture of pantheism and other doctrines such as polytheism and animism.
Two organizations that specify the word pantheism in their title formed in the last quarter of the 20th century. The Universal Pantheist Society, open to all varieties of pantheists and supportive of environmental causes, was founded in 1975. It has seen decreased activity in recent years. The World Pantheist Movement is headed by environmentalist and writer Paul Harrison, a former vice president of the Universal Pantheist Society, from which he resigned in 1996. The World Pantheist Movement was incorporated in 1999 to focus exclusively on promoting a naturalistic version of pantheism, considered by some a form of religious naturalism. It has been described as an example of "dark green religion" with a focus on environmental ethics.
Related concepts 
The term panentheism (from Greek πᾶν (pân) "all"; ἐν (en) "in"; and θεός (theós) "God"; "all-in-God") was formally coined in Germany in the 19th century in an attempt to offer a philosophical synthesis between traditional theism and pantheism, stating that God is substantially omnipresent in the physical universe but also exists "apart from" or "beyond" it as its Creator and Sustainer.:p.27 Thus panentheism separates itself from pantheism, positing the extra claim that God exists above and beyond the world as we know it.:p.11 The line between pantheism and panentheism can be blurred depending on varying definitions of God, so there have been disagreements when assigning particular notable figures to pantheism or panentheism.:pp. 71–72, 87–88, 105
Pandeism is another word derived from pantheism and is characterized as a combination of reconcilable elements of pantheism and deism. It assumes a Creator-deity which is at some point distinct from the universe and then merges with it, resulting in a universe similar to the pantheistic one in present essence, but differing in origin.
See also 
- Encyclopedia of Philosophy ed. Paul Edwards. New York: Macmillan and Free Press. 1967. p. 34.
- The New Oxford Dictionary Of English. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1998. p. 1341. ISBN 0-19-861263-X.
- Picton, James Allanson (1905). Pantheism: its story and significance. Chicago: Archibald Constable & CO LTD. ISBN 978-1419140082.
- Plumptre, Constance (1879). General sketch of the history of pantheism, Volume 2. London: Samuel Deacon and Co. pp. 3–5, 8, 29. ISBN 9780766155022.
- Shoham, Schlomo Giora (2010). To Test the Limits of Our Endurance. Cambridge Scholars. p. 111. ISBN 1443820687.
- Owen, H. P. Concepts of Deity. London: Macmillan, 1971, p. 65.
- The New Oxford Dictionary Of English. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1998. p. 1341. ISBN 0-19-861263-X.
- Ann Thomson; Bodies of Thought: Science, Religion, and the Soul in the Early Enlightenment, 2008, page 54.
- Raphson, Joseph (1697). De spatio reali (in Latin). Londini. p. 2.
- Suttle, Gary. "Joseph Raphson: 1648–1715". Pantheist Association for Nature. Retrieved 7 September 2012.
- Koyré, Alexander (1957). From the Closed World to the Infinite Universe. Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins Press. pp. 190–204. ISBN 0801803470.
- Honderich, Ted, The Oxford Companion to Philosophy, Oxford University Press, 1995, p.641: "First used by John Toland in 1705, the term 'pantheist' designates one who holds both that everything there is constitutes a unity and that this unity is divine."
- Thompson, Ann, Bodies of Thought: Science, Religion, and the Soul in the Early Enlightenment, Oxford University Press, 2008, p 133, ISBN 9780199236190
- Paul Harrison, Elements of Pantheism, 1999.
- Literary Remains of the Late Professor Theodore Goldstucker, W. H. Allen, 1879. p32.
- Thilly, Frank, "Pantheism", in Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, Part 18, Hastings, James (Ed.), Kessinger Publishing, 2003 (reprint, originally published 1908), p 614, ISBN 9780766136953.
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- McLynn, Frank (2010). Marcus Aurelius: A Life. Da Capo Press. p. 232. ISBN 9780306819162.
- *Fraser, Alexander Campbell "Philosophy of Theism", William Blackwood and Sons, 1895, p 163.
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- Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi, in Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (plato.stanford.edu).
- Syllabus of Errors 1.1 (papalencyclicals.net).
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- Worman cites Wegscheider, Inst 57, p 250.
- Margot Adler, Drawing Down the Moon, Beacon Press, 1986.
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- Charles Hartshorne and William Reese, ed. (1953). Philosophers Speak of God. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. pp. 165–210.
- Isaacson, Walter (2007). Einstein: His Life and Universe. Simon and Schuster. p. 391. p. 391 "I am a determinist"
- Goldsmith, Donald; Marcia Bartusiak (2006). E = Einstein: His Life, His Thought, and His Influence on Our Culture. New York: Stirling Publishing. p. 187.
- F.C. Copleston, "Pantheism in Spinoza and the German Idealists," Philosophy 21, 1946, p. 48
- Literary and Philosophical Society of Liverpool, "Proceedings of the Liverpool Literary & Philosophical Society, Volumes 43–44", 1889, p 285
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- *Dependence and Freedom: The Moral Thought of Horace Bushnell By David Wayne Haddorff  Emerson's belief was "monistic determinism".
- Creatures of Prometheus: Gender and the Politics of Technology By Timothy Vance Kaufman-Osborn, Prometheus ((Writer))  "Things are in a saddle, and ride mankind."
- Emerson's position is "soft determinism" (a variant of determinism) 
- "The 'fate' Emerson identifies is an underlying determinism." (Fate is one of Emerson's essays) 
- *"Hegel was a determinist" (also called a combatibilist a.k.a. soft determinist) 
- "Hegel and Marx are usually cited as the greatest proponents of historical determinism" 
- Levine, Michael P.. (August 1992). "Pantheism, substance and unity". International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 32: 1–23. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
- Theories of the will in the history of philosophy By Archibald Alexander p 307 Schelling holds "that the will is not determined but self-determined." 
- The Dynamic Individualism of William James By James O. Pawelski p 17 "[His] fight against determinism" "My first act of free will shall be to believe in free will." 
- "Pantheism". The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. Columbia University Press. 2012. Retrieved 13 June 2012.
- Evangelical Dictionary of Theology edited by Walter A. Elwell, p. 887
- Chuang Tzu – The butterfly philosopher (pantheism.net).
- Harrison, Paul. "The origins of Christian pantheism". Pantheist history. World Pantheists Movement. Retrieved 20 September 2012.
- Fox, Michael W. "Christianity and Pantheism". Universal Pantheist Society. Retrieved 20 September 2012.
- Zaleha, Bernard. "Recovering Christian Pantheism as the Lost Gospel of Creation". Fund for Christian Ecology, Inc. Retrieved 20 September 2012.
- Cornish, Rick (2005). 5 Minute Apologist: Maximum Truth in Minimum Time (1st ed. ed.). Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress. ISBN 1576835057.
- "Church of All Worlds: A Brief History". The Pagan Library. Retrieved 15 November 2012.
- Parrinder, EG (1970). "Monotheism and Pantheism in Africa". Journal of Religion in Africa 3: 81–88. Retrieved 26 September 2012.
- Harrison, Paul. "North American Indians: the spirituality of nature". World Pantheist Movement. Retrieved 7 September 2012.
- Levine, Michael Philip (1994). Pantheism: A Non-Theistic Concept of Deity.
- "Home page". Universal Pantheist Society. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
- Bron Raymond Taylor, "Dark Green Religion: Nature Spirituality and the Planetary Future", University of California Press 2010, pp 159–160.
- World Pantheist Movement. "Naturalism and Religion: can there be a naturalistic & scientific spirituality?". Retrieved 4 September 2012.
- Stone, Jerome Arthur (2008). Religious Naturalism Today: The Rebirth of a Forgotten Alternative. Albany: State University of New York Press. p. 10. ISBN 0791475379.
- John W. Cooper, The Other God of the Philosophers, Baker Academic, 2006
- Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Genealogy to Iqbal edited by Edward Craig, pg 100 .
- Sean F. Johnston (2009). The History of Science: A Beginner's Guide. p. 90. ISBN 1-85168-681-9.
Further reading 
- Amryc, C. Pantheism: The Light and Hope of Modern Reason, 1898. online
- Harrison, Paul, Elements of Pantheism, Element Press, 1999. preview
- Hunt, John, Pantheism and Christianity, William Isbister Limited, 1884. online
- Levine, Michael, Pantheism: A Non-Theistic Concept of Deity, Psychology Press, 1994, ISBN 9780415070645
- Picton, James Allanson, Pantheism: Its story and significance, Archibald Constable & Co., 1905. online.
- Plumptre, Constance E., General Sketch of the History of Pantheism, Cambridge University Press, 2011 (reprint, originally published 1879), ISBN 9781108028028 online
- Russell, Sharman Apt, Standing in the Light: My Life as a Pantheist, Basic Books, 2008, ISBN 0465005179
- Urquhart, W. S. Pantheism and the Value of Life, 1919. online
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Pantheism|
|Look up pantheism in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
- Pantheism entry by William Mander in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
- Pantheism entry by Michael Levine (earlier article on pantheism in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
- Pantheism at the Open Directory Project
- The Pantheist Index, pantheist-index.net
- An Introduction to Pantheism (wku.edu)
- "Pantheism". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.
- The World Pantheist Movement (pantheism.net)
- Pantheism and Judaism (chabad.org)