From RationalWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
The dreams of man
Icon religion.svg
Snooze buttons
Disturbing your sleep
Recurring dreams

Panentheism is the belief that God exists inside of everything, but is at the same time, transcendent of everything. In this type belief, God is seen as an eternal spark of all things, the Prime Mover, etc. Another possible interpretation of panentheism is that God, when creating the universe, turned into the universe itself. This makes it a slightly less metaphorical version of pantheism, and a more specific version of deism (often referred to as pandeism). Of course, there is no way of proving or disproving this case, as the only possible evidence to support it is existence itself.

In religion[edit]

There are some religions that are based around panentheism. In these, God is not creator, for all things are part of God (god), the manifest, physical parts of god. Panentheism makes a limited appearances in some sects of Christianity and other mainstream religions, but is found primarily in some Native American religions and more ancient pagan religions. Most monotheistic religions except for Sikhism reject panentheism on account of the separation between God and Creation.

Solving one particular problem[edit]

In many of the cosmological arguments, there is no mention of what God used to make the universe. This is often referred to by the Latin phrase creatio ex materia, creation from existing materials. While creation is often thought as being entirely creatio ex nihilo, or creation from nothing, the central problem is that most analogies, supporting arguments and even the very definition of "cause" itself - all used to support creation - rely exclusively on creatio ex materia examples.[1] The analogy that a painting implies a painter, for example, makes no reference to the fact that it also implies paints, pigments, brushes, solvents and a canvas, or whatever tools you wish to visualise as associated with a painting. Panentheism and the interpretation that God turned itself into the universe goes some way to providing an answer to this. "God" in this definition, forms all of or part of the raw materials for the universe, satisfying some degree of an ex materia condition.

See also[edit]

  • Pantheism - the statement that all things are god. There is no god outside of the Creation (universe), and therefore there is nothing to worship but one's self and all of the universe at the same time.


  1. Theoretical Bullshit (31 July 2011). "Scott Clifton discusses the idea at great length". YouTube. Retrieved 23 February 2014.