• Martin Bollacher (Author)

Identifiers (Article)


Pantheism, from the Greek πα̃ν (pan), “all”, and ϑεός (theos), “God”, is a religious-philosophical doctrine in which God and the world, God and nature are equated. The concept of pantheism arose out of controversies in the philosophy of religion in the early 18th century and first appeared with the rationalist philosopher John Toland. As a doctrine of All-Oneness, pantheism asserts the immanence of God and the indistinguishability of the workings of divine and natural law in contrast to dualistic ways of thinking, especially the Judeo-Christian theology of creation. As a collective name for a multitude of ideas, it is fuzzy both in historical and systematic terms, and, depending on its manifestation, it intersects with atheism and materialism (primacy of the secular), acosmism (doctrine of God as the only reality) and mysticism (spiritual union with God), panentheism (doctrine of all-in-God), panpsychism (doctrine of all-soulness) or monism (doctrine of oneness). While pantheism’s emergence points to the modern interface between philosophy, theology and natural science, pantheistic ideas can also be found in the early history of European and non-European thought. In the course of the Spinoza-renaissance, pantheism experienced an unprecedented revaluation, especially in Germany in the 18th and 19th centuries, which gave it a cultural and historical significance far beyond its specific origins.


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