Pantheism Information

Pantheism is the view that the Universe and God are identical, or that the Universe is the only thing deserving the deepest kind of reverence. The word derives from the Ancient Greek: πᾶν meaning "All" and θεός meaning "God" - literally "All is God." As such Pantheism promotes the idea that God is better understood as a way of relating to nature and the Universe as a whole - all that was, is and shall be - rather than as a transcendent, mental, personal or creator entity. Pantheists thus do not believe in a personal, anthropomorphic or creator god. Although there are divergences within Pantheism, the central ideas found in almost all versions are the Cosmos as an all-encompassing unity and the "sacredness" of Nature.

The term "pantheist"—from which the word "Pantheism" is derived—was purportedly first used in English by Irish writer John Toland in his 1705 work, Socinianism Truly Stated, by a pantheist. He clarified the idea in a 1710 letter to Leibniz when he referred to "the pantheistic opinion of those who believe in no other eternal being but the universe."

Thus no-one used the term Pantheism or Pantheist before the early 18th century, because these words did not exist. However, many earlier writers, schools of philosophy, and religious movements expressed essentially pantheistic ideas.

Wikipedia, Pantheism, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pantheism (as of Apr 1, 2010)

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