Reference: Types of Belief

Something I wanted to do on this blog is share reference posts that I have found useful. While many of these won’t be my original work I will ALWAYS credit the author. All these posts will have the tag “reference” so that they’re easily found. Let’s share knowledge – with credit due, of course! 

Types of Belief  by ruinofeventide

Theism: The belief in one or more gods or goddesses. More specifically, it may also mean the belief in God, a god, or gods, who is/are actively involved in maintaining the Universe. (Secondary meaning is shown below.)

Four Major Views of the Role of the Divine
Deism: The view that God created the world but does not interact with it; emphasis on deities’ transcendence.
Theism: (Second definition) The view that God is immanent in the world, yet transcends it.
Panentheism: The view that the world is entirely contained within God, while at the same time God is something greater than just the world.
Pantheism: The view that the world is identical to God; emphasis on deities’ immanence.

Quantitative Definitions
(Within the primary meaning of theism.)
Polytheism: There are several gods.
Monotheism: There is only [one] God.

Within Polytheism there are “Hard” and “Soft” varieties.
Hard Polytheism: Views the gods as being distinct and separate beings.
Soft Polytheism: Views the gods as being subsumed into a greater whole.

Attitudes to the Worship of the Gods
(Within polytheism.)
Monolatry: There are several gods, but only one of them is worshipped.
Henotheism: Several gods are worshipped, but one is seen as supreme.
Kathenotheism: Worship of one god at a time, seeing each as supreme in turn.

(Within monotheism.)
Monistic: One single being, principle, or force.
Dualistic: Two beings, principles, or forces.
Pluralistic: Multiple/numerous, distinct beings, principles, or forces are present and tolerated.

Assertions about Benevolence or Morality
Eutheism: The belief that God exists and is good.
Dystheism: The belief that God exists but is not good.

Existence of Gods
Atheism: Being without theistic beliefs and alternatively the disbelief in the existence of deities.
Agnosticism: The philosophical and theological view that the existence of God, gods or deities is either unknown or inherently unknowable.


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