What is Pantheism? All Theism, Public Theism

What is Pantheism? All Theism, Public Theism

June 29, 2021 Off By Felso

Pantheism is the understanding that makes God and the universe one, the same and identical and accepts them. Pantheism is also known by the names of all theism and public theism.

Pantheism identifies God with nature. In this context, the English thinker Toland, who wanted to give a name to the philosophical approach that equates nature and god, proposed the term ‘pantheism’ in 1705 and this term was translated into Turkish with the words public theism or nature theism, always godism and all theism.

John Toland

According to the pantheist understanding, God does not have a separate and independent existence from the universe. On the contrary, God exists in nature, in objects and in everything. Everything is God. God is the universe itself. Everything that exists in the universe actually constitutes God as a whole. That is, God is the sum of all beings in the universe.


The intellectual roots of pantheism go back to the Ancient Greek Stoic understanding. What the various teachings in this understanding have in common is that they regard nature and God as one and the same. Philosophers with different perspectives in the history of philosophy arrive at this oneness and sameness in various ways.

For example, there are teachings that assert public theism with a materialistic understanding. According to these teachings gathered under the name of naturalist public theism or materialist public theism, the real is the universe; God is the sum of all beings in the universe. As such, God is composed of a material substance.

Pantheism, which reduced metaphysics to physics until the 19th century, is trying to reduce physics to metaphysics today.

Some scholars trace the origin of pantheism to Xenophanes and Parmenides. If pantheism is taken in the sense of a universal monism, its roots can be traced back to much more ancient times (for example, Indian mythology). In this sense, a wide area from Heraclitus, who claims that the universe is governed by logos, to Islamic mysticism, is considered pantheist. In particular, the understanding of unity of existence (unity of existence) of Islamic mysticism gives a pure pantheism.

Parmenides is the systematic founder of the Elea School.

According to the Alexandrian pantheism rooted in Plato, the real is God and everything is derived from him. As such, the material universe is composed of a spiritual substance.

This understanding is also of two forms: The view that asserts the thesis that the universe is divine manifestation is called genealogy, and the view that asserts the thesis that the universe is immanent in God is called immanent pantheism. Hegelianism, which claims that a universal spirit is coming into being by naturalization, is also in this camp, and from this point of view, it is called generative pantheism.

Pantheism was rejected by dogmatic Christian theologians on the grounds that it destroyed the distinction between the creator and the creature, obscured God, put forward a completely immanent concept of god instead of love, and excluded the idea of ​​the freedom of man and god.

Note: Pantheism should not be confused with the understanding of panentheism. Unlike panentheism, in the idea of ​​pantheism, God does not have a separate and independent existence from the universe.

Compiled by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Atatürk University Department of Sociology Lecture Notes for Year 1 “Introduction to Philosophy” and Year 3 “History of Contemporary Philosophy” (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook