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CallMeStorm

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PostSubject: Hmmmmmmmmm   Mon Nov 28, 2011 6:39 pm

So, I hang out a lot on Religious Education Forums, and several people have told me I should look into panendeism as a more accurate label for my beliefs. Unfortunately, none of them know much about it, so I came here to learn more.

First off, what are the theological nuances distinguishing panendeism from panentheism?

Don't worry about confusing me - I know deism, theism, and panentheism already. I'm fairly advanced in theology, though being entirely self-taught means you miss a few things. Smile
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Aaron
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PostSubject: Re: Hmmmmmmmmm   Tue Nov 29, 2011 12:35 am

Hi welcome to the forum.

To answer your question, deism is a belief in a "god", "higher power", "ground of being", "Dao", "higher order", etc that for most believers doesn't abrogate the laws of nature. Deist belief is based on reason and observation of nature. Theism is a belief in a God that can and often does abrogate the laws of nature. Theist belief is usually based on tradition, scripture, and dogma.

Panentheism is a subcategory of theism therefore panentheists believe is a theist god. Panendeism is a subcategory of deism therefore panendeists believe in a deist god (ie one that doesn't abrogate the laws of nature).

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CallMeStorm

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PostSubject: Re: Hmmmmmmmmm   Tue Nov 29, 2011 12:37 am

Panentheism isn't necessarily a subcategory of theism, no more than pantheism.
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PostSubject: Re: Hmmmmmmmmm   Tue Nov 29, 2011 9:15 am

With the way the terms are generally used I agree. I just happen to believe that the way the terms are generally used is wrong. Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Hmmmmmmmmm   Tue Nov 29, 2011 4:24 pm

Well, as far as theism is concerned, you're absolutely right... but in such a way that it makes your previous explanation wrong, as well.

Theism proper is a particular notion of God with certain attributes which I reject, most especially supernatural and separate from Creation.

General usage, otoh, means "any belief in God," but if you're going to go with that, EVERY theology (deism included) is a subcategory.

Panentheism, otoh, is "generally" so vaguely defined that where it fits on the map is up to the individual. Theistic interpretations are not uncommon, I'll grant you. That said, more naturalistic interpretations are more popular (imx), such as the belief that the cosmos is God's body.

The latter example is what I adhere to, combined with process theology. God is an organism, bound by natural law. This has nothing to do with theism proper, and I'm not convinced it's related to deism, either.
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PostSubject: Re: Hmmmmmmmmm   Tue Nov 29, 2011 9:55 pm

CallMeStorm wrote:
Well, as far as theism is concerned, you're absolutely right... but in such a way that it makes your previous explanation wrong, as well.

Theism proper is a particular notion of God with certain attributes which I reject, most especially supernatural and separate from Creation.

General usage, otoh, means "any belief in God," but if you're going to go with that, EVERY theology (deism included) is a subcategory.
Actually etymologically theism and deism have the same meaning, "belief in god". The word theism is based in Latin and the word deism is based in Greek. Originally the words were used interchangeably however during the 17th and 18th centuries deism became synonymous with "natural religion", or belief based on personal observation rather than the authority of the church (theism). For this reason I believe that theism and deism are separate categories of belief rather than deism simply being a type of theism.

The various prefixes pan-, panen-, mono-, poly-, di-, heno-, etc... are all qualifiers to the root that help to define specific types or sub-categories of belief.

CallMeStorm wrote:
Panentheism, otoh, is "generally" so vaguely defined that where it fits on the map is up to the individual.
That's why the term panendeism is helpful. It helps to clear up some of the confusion IMO.

CallMeStorm wrote:
Theistic interpretations are not uncommon, I'll grant you. That said, more naturalistic interpretations are more popular (imx), such as the belief that the cosmos is God's body.

The latter example is what I adhere to, combined with process theology. God is an organism, bound by natural law. This has nothing to do with theism proper, and I'm not convinced it's related to deism, either.
I guess that depends on how one defines the word deism. Some people define deism very narrowly... "The clockmaker god who abandon its creation." I (and many other deists) disagree with that narrow definition.

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PostSubject: Re: Hmmmmmmmmm   Wed Nov 30, 2011 2:07 pm

CallMeStorm wrote:

Panentheism, otoh, is "generally" so vaguely defined that where it fits on the map is up to the individual. Theistic interpretations are not uncommon, I'll grant you. That said, more naturalistic interpretations are more popular (imx), such as the belief that the cosmos is God's body.
I have read a few books on PanEnTheism, and my impression is that the major distinction---in practice, not theory---is that Christian PanenTheists, such as Peacocke & Polkinghorne, attempt to rationalize & reconcile their all-in-god-model with the god-above-all Biblical revelation. By contrast, most PanenDeists have rejected the Bible as an authority on both religious practice and theology. For PEDs, like most Deists in general, individual Reason has replaced ancient Revelations as the source of information upon which to build belief.

Ironically, this trend toward individual self-sufficiency probably began with Jesus' emphasis on personal faith & direct relationship with God, rather than group solidarity & racial relationship. One consequence of that trend toward a "priesthood of all believers" is a diffusion of "it is written" theology into the vague array of personal opinions that characterize modern Deism. Wink
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