Divine presence

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Divine presence, presence of God, Inner God, or simply presence is a concept in religion, spirituality, and theology that deals with the ability of a god or gods to be "present" with human beings.

According to some types of monotheism God is omnipresent.


The concept is shared by many religious traditions, is found in a number of independently derived conceptualizations, and each of these has culturally distinct terminology. Some of the various relevant concepts and terms are:

Abrahamic religions[edit]


  • Angel of the Presence–refers to an entity variously considered angelic or else identified with God himself.
  • Shekhinah–denotes the dwelling or settling of the divine presence of God and his cosmic glory.


A series of articles on


See also: Christology
  • Immanuel–"God with us," is a Biblical concept that deals with the concept of divine presence, often used by Christians as a title for Jesus
  • Incarnation (Christianity)–The belief that the second person of the Trinity, also known as God the Son or the Logos (Word), "became flesh" by being conceived in the womb of Mary.
  • Presence of God (Catholicism)–refers to the belief that God is present by his Essence everywhere and in all things by reason of his Immensity. It also refers to the belief that God is in a special manner really and substantially present in the souls of the just.

Christians generally recognize a special presence of Christ in the Eucharist, although they differ about exactly how, where, and when Christ is present. While all agree that there is no perceptible change in the elements, some believe that they actually become the body and blood of Christ, others believe the true body and blood of Christ are really present in, with, and under the bread and wine which remain physically unchanged, others believe in a real but purely spiritual presence of Christ in the Eucharist, and still others take the act to be only a symbolic reenactment of the Last Supper.

  • Consubstantiation–Lutheran concept of Christ being "infused" within the species of communion with these aspects still substantially present.
  • Transubstantiation–Catholic and Orthodox (terminology differs) concept of Christ fully, truly and substantially present in the Eucharist with the physical species being substantially absent.

Indian religions[edit]

In Hinduism, avatar refers to the appearance or incarnation of a deity on Earth.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Theophany". Encyclopædia Britannica. Archived from the original on 6 June 2012. 
  2. ^ Geoffrey Parrinder (1997). Avatar and Incarnation: The Divine in Human Form in the World's Religions. Oneworld. pp. 19–20. ISBN 978-1-85168-130-3. 


  • Borgen, Peder. Early Christianity and Hellenistic Judaism. Edinburgh: T & T Clark Publishing. 1996.
  • Brown, Raymond. An Introduction to the New Testament. New York: Doubleday. 1997.
  • Dunn, J. D. G.. Christology in the Making. London: SCM Press. 1989.
  • Dupuis, Jacques. Christianity and the Religions. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis. 2002.
  • Ferguson, Everett. Backgrounds in Early Christianity. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing. 1993.
  • Greene, Colin J. D. Christology in Cultural Perspective: Marking Out the Horizons. Grand Rapids: InterVarsity Press. Eerdmans Publishing. 2003.
  • Letham, Robert. The Work of Christ. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press. 1993.
  • Macleod, Donald. The Person of Christ. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press. 1998.
  • McGrath, Alister. Historical Theology: An Introduction to the History of Christian Thought. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing. 1998.
  • Macquarrie, J.. Jesus Christ in Modern Thought. London: SCM Press. 1990.
  • Neusner, Jacob. From Politics to Piety: The Emergence of Pharisaic Judaism. Providence, R. I.: Brown University. 1973.
  • Norris, Richard A. Jr. The Christological Controversy. Philadelphia: Fortress Press. 1980.
  • O'Collins, Gerald. Christology: A Biblical, Historical, and Systematic Study of Jesus. Oxford:Oxford University Press. 2009.
  • _______ Jesus: A Portrait. London: Darton, Longman & Todd. 2008.
  • _______ Salvation for All: God's Other Peoples. Oxford:Oxford University Press. 2008.
  • Pelikan, Jaroslav. Development of Christian Doctrine: Some Historical Prolegomena. London: Yale University Press. 1969.
  • _______ The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition (100-600). Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 1971.
  • Rahner, Karl. Foundations of Christian Faith, trans. W.V. Dych. London: Darton, Longman & Todd. 1978.
  • Tyson, John R. Invitation to Christian Spirituality: An Ecumenical Anthology. New York: Oxford University Press. 1999.