Theism is the religious belief that at least one god exists while rejecting the existence or importance of polytheistic gods or goddesses. In a broader definition it can also be the belief in God or gods in general, including all types of god-belief. Polytheism is the belief in several gods, while monotheism is the belief in just one god. For example, a theistic religion is Christianity. The opposite to a theist is an atheist. An atheist is a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings.
Different theisms[change | change source]
All of these are rough definitions of the theisms; they are almost always different. We can split them all into different groups:
- atheism — the opposite of theism; not believing in any gods or deities
- agnosticism — believing we cannot know whether god(s) exist
- ignosticism - it does not matter whether God exists or not and there is no point in considering it until we understand how to understand God.
- gnosticism — believing that we can know for certain whether a god(s) exist.
Gnosticism and agnosticism can be combined with other forms of theism. For example, it is possible to be an agnostic atheist, or a gnostic theist. In common usage, some people group atheism and agnosticism together under the group of nontheism — absence of clear belief in any deity.
The main types of theism are:
- polytheism — believing that many gods or goddesses exist (sometimes known as paganism)
- monotheism — belief that only one god exists (Christians, Muslims and Jews believe in monotheism.)
- ditheism — belief that two gods exist and they are both equal.
This is another way to group different theisms, based on the nature of the gods.
- classical theism - God/gods are separate from the world and created it and influence it. This always occurs in traditional Abrahamic monotheistic and also polytheistic religions
- pantheism — god and the universe are the same
- panentheism — the universe is part of god
- dystheism or maltheism — that god or the gods are evil.
- Irreligious theism— is the belief that there is a higher being, pray and believe in one God(or sometimes many gods), but doesn't follow organized religion. It is theism as the belief in God who created the world and influences it without religion, its principles, dogmas and doctrines and following it.
- deism — believing that god(s) exist, but that they do not take part in our lives.
There are also these types:
- Animism: believing that everything is alive and spirits are in all things, and that all things have souls.
- Monolatry: there is (or may be) more than one god, but they are all expressions of the supreme god.
- Henotheism: there is (or may be) more than one god, but only one is the supreme.
- Kathenotheism: there is more than one god, but only one at a time should be worshipped. Each is supreme in turn.