Panentheism (Latin for "All in God") posits the view that there is a God who encompasses the Universe but was not completely identical with that said Universe: in other words, that God encompasses the physical Universe, but also transcends it. First coined as a formal name and organized philosophy by German philosopher Karl Christian Friedrich Krause in 1828, Panentheism was partly constructed to reconcile traditional Theism (God being a separate and distinct being from the Universe) and Pantheism (the idea that God is directly identical with Reality and/or Universe), in an attempt to adopt the strengths of both paradigms while avoiding their weaknesses. Possibly unbeknownst to Krause, panentheistic views of Universe-Creator relationships were far from new. Aside from being used by various humanists on a purely philosophical level, some interpretations of Hinduism, Platonic thought, and a host of other sects of traditional Monotheistic religions can be interpreted as panentheistic in nature.
[...] This puts God as within normal linear time, unable to exist as a future being. But what makes Hartshorne's panenthiestic view fairly unique is the idea of omnibenevolence: that not literally all experiences, but the pathos, or feelings, of all experiences of all creations is experienced by God. This means that God suffers when beings suffers. Since these feeling- experiences are constantly ‘becoming', there is a part of God that is also constantly ‘becoming'. It is therefore the duty of both God and creations to create ‘good', or a tendency toward building organization, benevolence, and perfection, and to avoid ‘evil', or a tendency toward creating chaos, cruelty, and confusion in the universe. [...]
[...] In terms of practical concerns, Platonic panentheism is not very useful. Some sects of traditional monotheistic religions take on semi-panentheistic viewpoints. However, they define the unity of God and Universe in such a way that it still indicates separateness, and so can fall back on the monotheistic explanations of evil being the result of sin and free will. And finally, the Humanistic pantheists, specifically Hartshorne, make perhaps the best attempt to resolve the problem of evil. Hartshorne describes the Universe and beings in it as having partial free will, a partially free future, an ever-changing God that shares our experiences, through feeling, and having the responsibility to help God create good in the world through creating order and compassion while avoiding disorder and cruelty. [...]
[...] The Eastern Orthodox Church interprets the word Panentheism not as Pan-en-theism in but as Pan-entheism (approximately in Instead of all creations dwelling within God, God indwells in all things. With this view, one could make the point that the ‘good' in every creation is a manifestation of where God indwells, and the ‘evil' in every creation is a manifestation of where God does not indwell. One could argue that if God had His way, He would indwell each creation fully, but since Existence has experienced traditional Christian Fall, cannot, and so can only indwell partially. [...]
[...] even Trinitarian God in three persons: Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva). Within the monotheistic and monistic model of understanding Hinduism, some readings of both Vedas and Upanishads can be interpreted as suggesting a panentheistic relationship between God and the Universe. The Bhaghavagita in particular is seemingly ambiguous in its description of the relationship between Krishna and the world, hovering somewhere between acosmism (describing the unreality of the cosmos, capitalizing on the concept of Maya) and pantheism or panentheism. Some scholars have interpreted this relationship to be a panentheistic one, particular if the words support the universe by a very small fraction of my divine power” are to be taken literally. [...]
[...] Pierce, and quite significantly Alfred North Whitehead with his doctrine of process theology, all contributed to the modern formalization of panentheism as an organized philosophical system. However, of all modern philosophers to adopt and contribute to panentheistic thought, Charles Hartshore has probably made one of the clearest and most useful. Hartshorne claims that the omnipotent God posited by most Theists has logical problems for three reasons: there is disorder in nature, it invites the problems of theodicy, and it denies the dynamic, ‘becoming' power of a ‘becoming' being. [...]
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