Omnism

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An artistic mandala with symbols associated with six world religions expressing love as a common value.

Omnism is the recognition and respect of all religions and their gods[1] or lack thereof. Those who hold this belief are called omnists, sometimes written as omniest. In recent years, the term has been resurfacing due to the interest of modern-day self-described omnists who have rediscovered and begun to redefine the term. Omnism is similar to syncretism, the belief in a fusion of faiths in harmony.[2] However, it can also be seen as a way to accept the existence of various religions without believing in all that they profess to teach. Many omnists say that all religions contain truths, but that no one religion offers all that is truth.

Contemporary usage[edit]

Contemporary usage has modified "belief in all religions" to refer more to an acceptance of the legitimacy of all religions. The Oxford English Dictionary elaborates that an omnist believes "in a single transcendent purpose or cause uniting all things or people". That is not necessarily the conclusion of those who describe themselves as omnists. Some omnists interpret this to mean that all religions contain varying elements of a common truth, or place omnism in opposition to dogmatism, in that omnists are open to potential truths from all religions. However, as with modern physics, this does not mean that there is a single transcendent purpose or cause that unites. There may indeed be an infinite number of possibilities, or a deeper form of uncertainty in reality. There may be an influence more akin to existentialism in which consciousness is a power or force that helps determine the reality, yet is not a divine influence.[citation needed]

The Oxford dictionary defines an omnist as "a person who believes in all faiths or creeds; a person who believes in a single transcendent purpose or cause uniting all things or people, or the members of a particular group of people".[3]

In this regard, omnism does not appear to be a form of theology, as it neither espouses nor opposes particular beliefs about God. Instead, it affirms the necessity of one arriving at an understanding of reality based on personal experience, engagement, and inquiry, and an acceptance of the validity and legitimacy of the differing understandings of others. In this, there is, however, an implied system of values or ethics.

Notable omnists[edit]

  • Philip James Bailey, who first coined the term.[4]
  • Ellen Burstyn, who affiliates herself with all religions, having stated that she is "a spirit opening to the truth that lives in all of these religions".[5]
  • John Coltrane, after a self-described religious experience which helped him kick his heroin and alcohol addictions, he became more deeply spiritual, later saying "I believe in all religions."[6]
  • Chris Martin, who referred to himself as an "all-theist", a term of his own coining referring to omnism.[7]
  • Kyrie Irving, who stated that he is an omnist in response to condemnation of his promotion of the documentary Hebrews to Negroes:Wake Up Black America.[8][9]

See also[edit]

Literature[edit]

  • Thomas P. Power (February 20, 2017). "6 Omnism". Confronting the Idols of Our Age. Wycliffe Studies in Gospel, Church, and Culture. Wipf and Stock. p. 30. ISBN 978-1532604331.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "I Omnist". 15 May 2017.
  2. ^ "Syncretism: Concept, Types, Characteristics, Features And Examples". Collaborative Research Group. Archived from the original on 7 October 2022. Retrieved 7 October 2022.
  3. ^ "omnist". Oxford dictionaries. Archived from the original on July 5, 2018.
  4. ^ Herbert F. Tucker (17 April 2008). Epic : Britain's Heroic Muse 1790-1910: Britain's Heroic Muse 1790-1910. OUP Oxford. p. 344. ISBN 978-0-19-923298-7.
  5. ^ "Ellen Burstyn's True Face". Beliefnet. 2006. Retrieved December 4, 2013.
  6. ^ "Jazz - AllAboutJazz.com". 2009-01-03. Archived from the original on 2009-01-03. Retrieved 2018-03-12.
  7. ^ "What is Chris Martin's problem?". independent.ie. 22 June 2008. Retrieved 20 March 2019. At 12.54am, Martin texts back. It's a word I made up. ALLTHEISTIC. Means you believe in everything
  8. ^ Hélà [@KyrieIrving] (29 October 2022). "I am an OMNIST and I meant no disrespect to anyone's religious beliefs. The "Anti-Semitic" label that is being pushed on me is not justified and does not reflect the reality or truth I live in everyday. I embrace and want to learn from all walks of life and religions. Hélà🤞🏾♾" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 29 November 2022. Retrieved 1 December 2022 – via Twitter.
  9. ^ Tsai, Joe [@joetsai1999] (29 October 2022). "I'm disappointed that Kyrie appears to support a film based on a book full of anti-semitic disinformation. I want to sit down and make sure he understands this is hurtful to all of us, and as a man of faith, it is wrong to promote hate based on race, ethnicity or religion" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 27 November 2022. Retrieved 1 December 2022 – via Twitter.

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