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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ This is not a plea for New Age pantheism by the back door.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Pantheism \Pan"the*ism\, n. [Pan- + theism.] The doctrine that the universe, taken or conceived of as a whole, is God; the doctrine that there is no God but the combined force and natural laws which are manifested in the existing universe; cosmotheism. The doctrine denies that God is a rational personality.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"belief that God and the universe are identical," from pantheist (n.), which was coined (1705) by Irish deist John Toland (1670-1722), from Greek pan- "all" (see pan-) + theos "god" (see theo-).\n

\nToland's word was borrowed into French, which from it formed panthéisme (1712) which returned to English as pantheism "the doctrine that all is god" in 1732 (no evidence that Toland used pantheism).\n

\nGreek pantheios meant "common to all gods" (see pantheon). Other words used at various times for similar notions include panentheism, "philosophy founded on the notion that all things are in God" (1874), from German (1828), coined by Karl Christian Friedrich Krause (1781-1832).


alt. 1 The belief that the universe is in some sense divine and should be revered. Pantheism identifies the universe with God but denies any personality or transcendence of such a God. 2 (context rare English) The belief in all gods; omnitheism. n. 1 The belief that the universe is in some sense divine and should be revered. Pantheism identifies the universe with God but denies any personality or transcendence of such a God. 2 (context rare English) The belief in all gods; omnitheism.

  1. n. (rare) worship that admits or tolerates all gods

  2. the doctrine or belief that God is the universe and its phenomena (taken or conceived of as a whole) or the doctrine that regards the universe as a manifestation of God


Pantheism is the belief that all of reality is identical with divinity, or that everything composes an all-encompassing, immanent god.

In the West, pantheism was formalized as a separate theology and philosophy based on the work of the 17th-century philosopher Baruch Spinoza (also known as Benedict Spinoza), whose book Ethics was an answer to Descartes' famous dualist theory that the body and spirit are separate. Although the term pantheism was not coined until after his death, Spinoza is regarded as its most celebrated advocate. His work, Ethics was the major source from which Western pantheism spread.

Pantheistic concepts may date back thousands of years, and some religions in the East continue to contain pantheistic elements.

Usage examples of "pantheism".

The author will then describe the impulse imparted by the Spiritualistic Philosophy, and the opposition it met with in Materialism, Pantheism, and Skepticism.

It is not to be disguised that Pantheism is the most formidable opponent which truth has to encounter in the cultivated and reflecting classes.

The authors of these exciting and flattering appeals do not surround their theory with proper safeguards, nor do they tell the world that they have served up a delectable dish of Pantheism for popular deglutition.

On the contrary we find his prophets and lawgivers battling with all their force against such aspects of Pantheism as they found about them.

The flow of waters, the growth of things, the drift of clouds across the sky are all, for Pantheism, simply the revelation of the action of some indwelling spirit or other, without which they could neither exist nor go on.

At its best Pantheism issues in a kind of mystic poetry and creates a devotee sensitive as Tagore to the fugitive gleams of beauty through the murk of things, voicing his prayers and insights in rare phrases which are, on the whole, in arresting contrast to the actuality of life about him.

Western devotion has been caught by the mystic and poetical character of Pantheism and is, on the whole, strangely blind to its actual outcome in the life of its devotees.

If we should take out of much of our finest poetry suggestions akin to the suggestions of Pantheism at its best, we should leave even Western poetry strangely poor, and we have beside, particularly in the contemplation of rare natural beauty, a feeling of kinship with the spirit which clothes itself in dawn and twilight, or speaks through the rhythmic beat of sea waves, or lifts itself against the skyline in far blue mountain summits, which helps us to understand this old, old faith.

And if modern cults had done nothing more than appropriate the poetry of Pantheism they would have lent only a touch of oriental colour to the somberness of Western life.

Theosophy and kindred cults have gone farther, since Pantheism itself must go farther.

Directly you have identified creation and the creative power so intimately as Pantheism does, then you are under bonds, if you have any curiosity at all or any speculative force, to try to explain the ways in which a God, who is just to begin with all that there is, has managed to reveal Himself in such an infinitude of minute and sometimes ungodlike ways.

So Pantheism has its own scheme, not of creation, for there is no place in Pantheism for creation, but rather of emanation.

Indian student, has in it a wealth of insight and an understanding of the balanced conduct of life which is wanting in a good many of the Western interpretations of life, but none the less, things must be judged by their massed outcome and the massed outcome of Eastern Pantheism does not commend itself.

If the East is to return upon the West in substituting a refined and more or less mystic Pantheism for the sterner forms of Western faith, we ought at least to understand what it is which, with all its implications, is beginning to set up its altars amongst us.

These depraved societies were foreign grafts from the sensual pantheism ever nourished in the voluptuous climes of the remote East.