Pandeism (Greek πάν, 'pan' = 'all' and Latin deus = God, in the sense of deism), is a term used at various times to describe religious beliefs. Since at least as early as 1859, it has delineated syncretist concepts incorporating or mixing elements of pantheism (that God is identical to the universe) and deism (that the creator-god who designed the universe no longer exists in a status where he can be reached, and can instead be confirmed only by reason). It is therefore most particularly "the belief that God precedes the universe and is the universe's creator, [and] that the universe is currently the entirety of God",[1] with some adding the contention that "the universe will one day coalesce back into a single being, God".[1]

A pantheistic form of deism

Pandeism falls within the traditional hierarchy of philosophies addressing the nature of God. This use of the term is a blend of the Greek root πάν ( 'pan' ), meaning 'all', and the Latin deus meaning God. These differing roots make pandeism a hybrid word, like automobile, hyperactivity, neonatal, sociology, and television. Pan is used in this same way in pantheism and panentheism, while deism is derived from deus. Pandeism shares these roots as a variation of the term "pantheism", and of "deism".

In fact, the words deism and theism are both derived from words for god. While the root of the word deism is the Latin word deus, which means "god", the root of the word theism is the Greek word θεóς (theos), which also means "god".

Prior to the 17th century the terms ["deism" and "deist"] were used interchangeably with the terms "theism" and "theist", respectively. ... Theologians and philosophers of the seventeenth century began to give a different signification to the words.... Both [theists and deists] asserted belief in one supreme God, the Creator.... and agreed that God is personal and distinct from the world. But the theist taught that god remained actively interested in and operative in the world which he had made, whereas the deist maintained that God endowed the world at creation with self-sustaining and self-acting powers and then abandoned it to the operation of these powers acting as second causes.[2]

The deist movement adopted that name to refer to a God not knowable by revelation, but who could only be found by rational thought. Perhaps the first use of the term deist is in Pierre Viret's Instruction Chrestienne (1564), reprinted in Bayle's Dictionnaire entry Viret. Viret, a Calvinist, regarded deism as a new form of Italian heresy.[3] Viret wrote:

There are many who confess that while they believe like the Turks and the Jews that there is some sort of God and some sort of deity, yet with regard to Jesus Christ and to all that to which the doctrine of the Evangelists and the Apostles testify, they take all that to be fables and dreams.... I have heard that there are of this band those who call themselves Deists, an entirely new word, which they want to oppose to Atheist. For in that atheist signifies a person who is without God, they want to make it understood that they are not at all without God, since they certainly believe there is some sort of God, whom they even recognize as creator of heaven and earth...

Pantheism, in turn, came from the term "pantheist" purportedly first referenced by Irish writer John Toland in his 1705 work, Socinianism Truly Stated, by a pantheist. The word "pantheism" was first used by Toland's opponent Jacques de la Faye in de la Faye's Defensio Religionis ('"Defense of Religion') a 251-page critique of Toland published at Utrecht in 1709.[4]

The earliest known usage of a variation of "Pandeism" to identify a pantheistic deism was in the 1859 German work, Zeitschrift für Völkerpsychologie und Sprachwissenschaft by philosophers and frequent collaborators Moritz Lazarus and Heymann Steinthal. Discussing religious philosophy, they wrote:

Man stelle es also den Denkern frei, ob sie Theisten, Pan-theisten, Atheisten, Deisten (und warum nicht auch Pandeisten?)[5]

This is translated as:
Man leaves it to the philosophers, whether they are Theists, Pan-theists, Atheists, Deists (and why not also Pandeists?)

The concepts of pantheism and deism can each be used to cover a wide variety of positions on a wide variety of religious issues. Thus, pandeism may theoretically cover a wide variety of positions, so long as these logically fall at the same time within some form of pantheism and some form of deism.


In mythology

Karen Armstrong writes:

In the beginning, human beings created a God who was the First Cause of all things and Ruler of heaven and earth. He was not represented by images and had no temple or priests in his service. He was too exalted for an inadequate human cult. Gradually he faded from the consciousness of his people. He had become so remote that they decided that they did not want him anymore. Eventually he was said to have disappeared.[6]

Armstrong attributes this idea to Father Wilhelm Schmidt in his 1912 book, The Origin of the Idea of God.[7] She notes that this God "is strangely absent from their daily lives; he has no special cult and is never depicted in effigy. The tribesmen say that he is inexpressible and cannot be contaminated by the world of men."[8] This original God, she theorizes, was so distant and incomprehensible a concept that "Schmidt’s theory goes, in ancient times, the High God was replaced by the more attractive gods of the pagan pantheons".[9]

Many of those ancient mythologies retain the suggestion that the world was created from the physical substance of a dead deity or a being of similar power. In Sumerian mythology, the young god Marduk slew Tiamat and created the known world from her body. Similarly, Norse mythology posited that Odin and his brothers, and Vili defeated a frost giant, Ymir and then created the world from his. Later Chinese mythology recounts the creation of elements of the physical world (mountains, rivers, the sun and moon, etc.) from the body of a creator called Pángǔ (盤古). Because these myths were developed by people unaware of the true scope of the universe, they can fairly be said to describe the creation of the "entire world" from the body of one being. However, such stories generally did not go so far as to identify the designer of the world as being one as having used his or her own body to provide the material.

The 2006 film, The Fountain, depicts Mayan mythology as incorporating similar elements of pandeism, describing a world made from the body of the "First Father", who sacrificed his own life to become the world. However, the film-makers took some liberties with the mythology, which is in fact more polytheistic than pandeistic.

Ancient philosophy

Religious studies professor, F. E. Peters traced the idea of pandeism to the philosophy of the Milesians, who had also pioneered knowledge of pantheism, in his 1967 Greek Philosophical Terms: A Historical Lexicon, noting that "[w]hat appeared... at the center of the Pythagorean tradition in philosophy, is another view of psyche that seems to owe little or nothing to the pan-vitalism or pan-deism (see theion) that is the legacy of the Milesians.[10]

Milesian philosopher Anaximander in particular favored the use of rational principles to contend that everything in the world was formed of variations of a single substance (apeiron), which had been temporarily liberated from the primal state of the world. Friedrich Nietzsche, in his Philosophy in the Tragic Age of the Greeks, stated that Anaximander viewed "...all coming-to-be as though it were an illegitimate emancipation from eternal being, a wrong for which destruction is the only penance."[11] Anaximander was among the material monists, along with Thales, who believed that everything was composed of water, Anaximenes, who believed it was air, and Heraclitus, who believed it to be fire.

Although the rise of Christianity displaced nontheological discourse for many centuries, some pandeist concepts are conveyed in the New Testament. Particularly in the Gospel of Matthew, 25:31-46, popularly known as the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats. There Jesus tells of how those who do good things for their fellow men will be blessed, and those who fail to will be cursed, saying to the blessed:

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Template:Bibleverse-nb.

Jesus then also says to the cursed:

Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. Template:Bibleverse-nb.

This conforms to the pandeist view that, God having become the universe and all things (including people) being part of God, everything that one person does for the benefit of another is experienced by God, and whatever one person fails to do for another (or even whatever harm one person does to another) is experienced by God.

Origin of modern pandeism

In the 9th Century, Johannes Scotus Eriugena proposed in his great work, De divisione naturae (also called Periphyseon, probably completed around 867 AD), that the nature of the universe is divisible into four distinct classes:


Johannes Scotus Eriugena was among the first to propose that God became the Universe, and did this to learn something about itself.

  1. that which creates and is not created;
  2. that which is created and creates;
  3. that which is created and does not create;
  4. that which neither is created nor creates.

The first is God as the ground or origin of all things, the last is God as the final end or goal of all things, that into which the world of created things ultimately returns. One particularly controversial point made by Eriugena was that God was "nothing", in that God could not fall into any earthly classification. Eriugena followed the argument of Pseudo-Dionysius and from neo-Platonists such as Gaius Marius Victorinus that because God was above Being, God was not a being: "So supremely perfect is the essence of the Divinity that God is incomprehensible not only to us but also to Himself. For if He knew Himself in any adequate sense He should place Himself in some category of thought, which would be to limit Himself."[12] A more contemporary statement of this idea is that: "Since God is not a being, he is therefore not intelligible... This means not only that we cannot understand him, but also that he cannot understand himself. Creation is a kind of divine effort by God to understand himself, to see himself in a mirror."[13]

Eriugena depicts God as an evolving being, developing through the four stages that he outlines. The second and third classes together compose the created universe, which is the manifestation of God, God in process, Theophania; the second being the world of Platonic ideas or forms. The third is the physical manifestation of God, having evolved through the realm of ideas and made those ideas seem to be matter, and may be pantheistic or pandeistic, depending on the interference of God in the universe:

[God] enters... the realm of space and time, where the ideas become subject to multiplicity, change, imperfection, and decay. In this last stage they are no longer pure ideas but only the appearances of reality, that is phenomena. ... In the realm of space and time the ideas take on the burden of matter, which is the source of suffering, sickness, and sin. The material world, therefore, of our experience is composed of ideas clothed in matter — here Eriugena attempts a reconciliation of Platonism with Aristotelean notions. Man, too, is composed of idea and matter, soul and body. He is the culmination of the process of things from God, and with him, as we shall see, begins the process of return of all things to God.[14]

The divine system is thus distinguished by beginning, middle and end; but these are in essence one; the difference is only the consequence of man's temporal limitations. This eternal process is viewed with finite comprehension through the form of time, forcing the application of temporal distinctions to that which is extra- or supra-temporal. Eriugena concludes this work with another controversial argument, and one that had already been scathingly rejected by Augustine of Hippo, that "[n]ot only man, however, but everything else in nature is destined to return to God."[15] Eriugena's work was condemned by a council at Sens by Honorius III (1225), who described it as "swarming with worms of heretical perversity," and by Pope Gregory XIII in 1585. Such theories were thus suppressed for hundreds of years thence.

Pandeism from the 16th Century on


The ideas of Spinoza lay the foundations for pandeism.

Giordano Bruno conceived of a God who was immanent in nature, and for this very purpose was uninterested in human affairs (all such events being equally part of God). However, it was Baruch Spinoza in the 17th Century who appears to have been the earliest to use deistic reason to arrive at the conception of a pantheistic God. Spinoza's God was deistic in the sense that it could only be proved by appeal to reason, but it was also one with the Universe. As one critic states:

The labeling of Spinoza's philosophy as "pantheism" by the Church was meant more as an invective and indictment than a true analysis of his writings. It was really a variant of Deism -- a "pandeism,"... Theism, however, posits something very different. Theism believes that nature was not God, but created BY God. That God is a completely independent sentient and cognitive Being, and that God interacts with his "children" on a personal level (e.g., The Bible).[16]

Unlike Eriugena, Spinoza's pantheistic focus on the Universe as it already existed did not address the possible creation of the Universe from the substance of God, for Spinoza rejected the very possibility of changes in the form of matter required as a premise for such a belief.


Franz Wilhelm Junghuhn was the first to articulate a pantheistic deism.

18th Century British philosopher Thomas Paine also approached this territory in his great philosophical treatise, The Age of Reason, although Paine was concentrated on the deistic aspects of his inquiry.[17] It was Dutch naturalist Franz Wilhelm Junghuhn who first specifically detailed a religious philosophy incorporating deism and pantheism, in his four volume treatise, Java, seine Gestalt, Pflanzendecke, und sein innerer Bau (Images of Light and Shadow from Java's interior) released anonymously between 1850 and 1854. Junghuhn's book was banned for a time in Austria and parts of Germany as an attack on Christianity. In 1884, theologian Sabine Baring-Gould contended that Christianity itself demanded that the seemingly irreconcilable elements of pantheism and deism must be combined:

This world is either the idea or it is the workmanship of God. If we say that it is the idea,--then we are Pantheists, if we say that it is the work, then we are Deists... But how, it may be asked, can two such opposite theories as Pantheism and Deism be reconciled,--they mutually exclude one another? I may not be able to explain how they are conciliable, but I boldly affirm that each is simultaneously true, and that each must be true, for each is an inexorably logical conclusion, and each is a positive conclusion, and all positive conclusions must be true if Christ be the Ideal and the focus of all truths.[18]

Within a decade after that, Andrew Martin Fairbairn similarly wrote that "both Deism and Pantheism err because they are partial; they are right in what they affirm, wrong in what they deny. It is as antitheses that they are false; but by synthesis they may be combined or dissolved into truth".[19] Ironically, Fairbairn's criticism concluded that it was the presence of an active God that was missing from both concepts, rather than the rational explanation of God's motives and appearance of absence.

In the 19th Century, poet Alfred Tennyson revealed that his "religious beliefs also defied convention, leaning towards agnosticism and pandeism",[20] integrating deism with the pantheism of Spinoza, and Spinoza's predecessor, Giordano Bruno.[21]

Developments from the 20th Century to today

An early 19th c. German philosopher was a skeptic. He wrote:

Pantheismus und Pandeismus, Monismus und Dualismus: alles dies sind in Wirklichkeit nur verschiedene Formen des Gottschauens, verschiedene Beleuchtungsarten des Grundbegriffes, nämlich des Höchsten, von dem aus die verschiedenen Strahlungen in die Menschenseele sich hineinsenken und hier ein Spiegelbild projizieren, dessen Wahrnehmung die charakteriologische Eigenart des Einzelindividuums, die durch zeitliches, familiäres und soziologisches Milieu bedingte Auffassungsgabe vermittelt.[22]

Understanding of pandeism was much advanced in the 1940s by the process theology of Charles Hartshorne. Hartshorne identified pandeism as one of his many models of the possible nature of God, acknowledging that a God capable of change (as Hartshorne insisted God must be) is consistent with pandeism. Hartshorne preferred pandeism to pantheism, explaining that "it is not really the theos that is described".[23] However, he specifically rejected pandeism early on in favor of a God whose characteristics included "absolute perfection in some respects, relative perfection in all others" or "AR", writing that this theory "is able consistently to embrace all that is positive in either deism or pandeism."[24] Hartshorne accepted the label of panentheism for his beliefs, declaring that "panentheistic doctrine contains all of deism and pandeism except their arbitrary negations".[25]

File:God's Debris.jpg

In 2001, Scott Adams published God's Debris: A Thought Experiment, in which he explicitly set down his own variation of pandeism, a radical form of kenosis. Adams surmised that an omnipotent God annihilated himself in the Big Bang, because God would already know everything possible except his own lack of existence, and would have to end that existence in order to complete his knowledge. Adams asks about God, "would his omnipotence include knowing what happens after he loses his omnipotence, or would his knowledge of the future end at that point?"[26] He proceeds from this question to the following analysis:

A God who knew the answer to that question would indeed know everything and have everything. For that reason he would be unmotivated to do anything or create anything. There would be no purpose to act in any way whatsoever. But a God who had one nagging question—what happens if I cease to exist?—might be motivated to find the answer in order to complete his knowledge. ... The fact that we exist is proof that God is motivated to act in some way. And since only the challenge of self-destruction could interest an omnipotent God, it stands to reason that we... are God's debris.[27]

Adams' God exists now as a combination of the smallest units of energy of which the universe is made (many levels smaller than quarks), which Adams called "God Dust", and the law of probability, or "God's debris", hence the title. An unconventional twist introduced by Adams proposes that God is in the process of being restored not through some process such as the Big Crunch, but because humankind itself is becoming God.

Adams is hardly the first author to incorporate pandeistic doctrines into fiction. Dan Schneider, in his review of Stranger in a Strange Land, a 1967 novel, by Robert A. Heinlein, so identifies a character who appears to other characters as identifying humanity as God:

Jubal... is a devout and fierce individualist in a world filled with cults and bureaucracies, and by novel's end it is he, not Jill nor Mike, that is still a stranger, still tilting against the windmills. He honestly believes in his own free will, which Mike, Jill, and the Fosterites misinterpret as a pandeistic urge, 'Thou art God!' Mike, by contrast, readily abandons his Martian beliefs for human ones, even as he claims to merely find a congress between them.[28]

Heinlein's pandeistic bent in that novel is encapsulated in his use of the phrase "Thou Art God", and in key passages in which the protagonist of the story, Michael Valentine Smith, explains how, "Thou art God, and I am God and all that groks is God," God being that which is in all things (even the "happy blades of grass") and having no choice but to experience all things. Smith sets humankind on the course to releasing itself from its physical limitations, and thus truly becoming God. The idea of humankind becoming God is also fundamental to the 1950s Isaac Asimov short story, "The Last Question", in which human and computer knowledge is merged before the heat death of the universe. The computer, which continued to exist in hyperspace, had been asked how to stop entropy. It finally figured out the answer and implemented it, saying "Let there be light!" This is not a necessary element of pandeism, but correlates with it well.

Compatibility with scientific and philosophical proofs


Arguments for the existence of God (other than those premised on the truth of a particular religious text) tend to support a pandeistic universe as readily as a theistic universe. Both the cosmological argument (that there must be a first cause) and the teleological argument (that the existence of complex patterns in the universe show intentional design) point to a pandeistic universe as readily as one with an active God. Pandeism is particularly compatible with evolutionary creationism in that it posits the creation of the universe by intelligent design. Pandeism differs from theistic creation theories by suggesting that the designer has ceased to have an independent existence. The Big Bang may be seen as the event signifying the transformation of God into the universe.

Scientific plausibility for this theory was introduced to pandeism through a paper written by Italian astrophysicist Paola Zizzi. Notable for her work in the field of Loop quantum gravity theory that regards the early universe as a kind of quantum computer, Zizzi proposed that the universe could have achieved the threshold of computational complexity sufficient for the emergence of consciousness during the period of cosmic inflation, in a paper entitled "Emergent Consciousness: From the Early Universe to Our Mind",[29] which has become known as the "Big Wow" theory. Zizzi states that the universe reached a level of quantum computational complexity, during the period of cosmic inflation, to undergo Orchestrated Objective Reduction, or Orch-OR, allowing the emergence of consciousness. Zizzi’s paper is fundamentally a theory of Loop quantum gravity which derives some of its power from the Holographic Principle. It suggests that the universe’s conscious moment, or ‘occasion of experience’ came at the end of the inflationary period in physical cosmology, and was the event that allowed the universe’s quantum state vector to reduce, thus selecting the conditions for our specific universe, out of a superposed multitude of possibilities. This, too, has been reflected in fiction, in the Star Trek novel, "Corona" which featured sentient proto-stars seeking to induce a new Big Bang.

The pandeistic universe is just as the universe described in naturalistic pantheism, with the distinction that the belief necessarily encompasses a sentient God that existed before the formation of the universe. Panentheism also suggests a universe designed by a sentient deity, and composed of matter derived from that deity. The belief systems part on the point that panentheism asserts that God is greater than the universe, and therefore continues a separate existence alongside it, while pandeism asserts that everything that was God became incorporated into the universe.

Because "Pandeists believe all consciousness, in all life, to be fragments of God's awareness"[30] Such a God may not consciously interact with the material universe, but might still exert a latent influence over the development of the physical universe and the evolution of things within it. Because man is part of the material universe, and therefore composed of remnants of God, it could then be possible for God's energy to be tapped by an individual.

As with man's ability to release the power of the atom in an atomic bomb or nuclear reactor, every human mind could conceivably access and release some portion of the power or the knowledge of God, perhaps by simply realizing their connection with the universe through meditation. If this is valid, religious figures such as Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, the Buddha, and others may have been able to perform those miracles attributed to them by tapping into this infinite source of energy.

Comparison to Eastern philosophy

The ideas described by pandeism in the West have resonance with certain Eastern philosophies, particularly with some expressions of Hinduism. Warren Sharpe wrote:

To the Hindu, for example, God didn't create the universe, but God became the universe. Then he forgot that he became the universe. Why would God do this? Basically, for entertainment. You create a universe, and that in itself is very exciting. But then what? Should you sit back and watch this universe of yours having all the fun? No, you should have all the fun yourself. To accomplish this, God transformed into the whole universe. God is the Universe, and everything in it. But the universe doesn't know that because that would ruin the suspense. The universe is God's great drama, and God is the stage, the actors, and the audience all at once. The title of this epic drama is "The Great Unknown Outcome." Throw in potent elements like passion, love, hate, good, evil, free will; and who knows what will happen? No one knows, and that is what keeps the universe interesting. But everyone will have a good time. And there is never really any danger, because everyone is really God, and God is really just playing around.[31]

History of use of the term

The earliest known usage of a variation of "Pandeism" to identify a pantheistic deism was in an 1859 German work, Zeitschrift für Völkerpsychologie und Sprachwissenschaft by philosophers and frequent collaborators Moritz Lazarus and Heymann Steinthal. Discussing religious philosophy, they wrote:

Man stelle es also den Denkern frei, ob sie Theisten, Pan-theisten, Atheisten, Deisten (und warum nicht auch Pandeisten?)[32]

This is translated as:
Man leaves it to the philosophers, whether they are Theists, Pan-theists, Atheists, Deists (and why not also Pandeists?)

Some inconsistent uses of this nuanced term has been made over time. It has occasionally been used to refer dismissively to pantheism alone, from the presumption that pantheism is deistic. It has been used to mean simultaneous belief in all religions (omnitheism), or some elements thereof.

Earlier in the 19th century, some figures (particularly religionist Godfrey Higgins, later echoed by occult figure John Ballou Newbrough) used an etymologically distinct variation of the term to describe the beliefs that they attributed to a particular cult or sect (see Pandeism (Godfrey Higgins) for this use). Higgins, in particular, used the term "Pandeism" as early as 1833 to describe his theorized cult of Pandu and the Pandavas.[33][34]

The term was used to describe a synthesis of pantheism and deism appears to be by William Harbutt Dawson, in his 1904 biographical work, Matthew Arnold and His Relation to the Thought of Our Time. Dawson used the term "Pan-Deism" as a comparative reference point, writing:

... whatever the deity which satisfied Arnold's personal experience may have been, the religion which he gives us in Literature and Dogma and God and the Bible is neither Deism nor bare Pan-Deism, but a diluted Positivism. As an ethical system it is in theory admirable, but its positive value is in the highest degree questionable. Pascal's judgment upon the God who emerged from the philosophical investigations of René Descartes was that He was a God who was unnecessary.[35]

Early in the 20th century, Pandeism, with its sweeping reinterpretation of the nature of God and the purpose of mankind, was viewed as a threat to Christianity and possibly a force for the positive reorganization of human civilization. Towards the end of World War I, the Yale Sheffield Monthly published by the Yale University Sheffield Scientific School commented:

Are we virtuous merely because we are restrained by the fetters of the law? We hear men prophecy that this war means the death of Christianity and an era of Pandeism or perhaps even the destruction of all which we call modern civilization and culture. We hear men predict that the ultimate result of the war will be a blessing to humanity.[36]

In 1997, Pastor Bob Burridge[37][38] of the Genevan Institute for Reformed Studies[39] wrote an essay titled God Is Not the Author of Sin, identifying pandeism as a deistic refinement or subset of pantheism:

All the actions of created intelligences are not merely the actions of God. He has created a universe of beings which are said to act freely and responsibly as the proximate causes of their own moral actions. When individuals do evil things it is not God the Creator and Preserver acting. If God was the proximate cause of every act it would make all events to be "God in motion". That is nothing less than pantheism, or more exactly, pandeism.[40]

Burridge disagrees that such is the case, decrying that "The Creator is distinct from his creation. The reality of secondary causes is what separates Christian theism from pandeism."[41]

Burridge concludes by challenging his reader to determine why "calling God the author of sin demand[s] a pandeistic understanding of the universe effectively removing the reality of sin and moral law."[42]

Similarly, a 1995 news article quotes this use of the term by Jim Garvin a Vietnam vet who became a Trappist monk in the Holy Cross Abbey of Berryville, Virginia, and went on to lead the economic development of Phoenix, Arizona. Garvin described his spiritual position as "'pandeism' or 'pan-en-deism,' something very close to the Native American concept of the all- pervading Great Spirit..."[43]

Usage as a restatement of another concept

Some uses to which the term has been put are etymologically disjunctive, as they ascribe a meaning to the term that does not reflect the roots of what is an obvious portmanteau within a well defined family of similar terms. Conversely, the term may describe a deistic pantheism, in which a God that has always been pantheistic has ceased a previously active interection with the universe. The term has been used in some instances as a restatement of pantheism (the concept that God and the universe are one) or panendeism (the concept that God both is the universe, and transcends the universe). Others have specified that it is a concept distinct from pantheism, and have used it instead to describe a universe which combines elements of pantheism (for example, that God and the universe are one) and deism (for example, that a creator God created a self-regulating universe, but subsequently ceased to actively intervene in its operations).


Reverend Natalia Kita,[44] classifies her beliefs as "transcendental pandeism," a phrase to which she assigns the following meaning:

God not only is, always was, and always will be the universe, but that the Universe is contained within God, and God transcends that which we know as the Universe. I also believe that all living beings contain the knowledge/wisdom of God/the Universe within them, if only they open their minds to it. I view God not so much as a being, but as a force of pure spirit and energy, containing all the knowledge/wisdom there is, and sharing it with all.

This use of the term appears to be most consonant with panentheism, but with some minor variations with respect to the relationship between God and the individual.

This assertion is echoed by "Cristorly" (the pseudonym of Dominican poet and theologian) Orlando Alcántara, who also characterizes the pantheistic God as transcendent, while the pandeistic God is merely continuous with Creation:

God is inmanent, trascendent and holistic. That is Pantheism, not Pandeism. Pantheism is right, because we are speaking about a personal, individual, trascendent God. Pandeism (like Spinoza's) is not right, due to the fact that is not a trascendent God, a God beyond Creation.[45]

Cristorly developed a "Theognosis" of Omnientheism, which integrates six concepts - theism, deism, panentheism, panendeism, pandeism, and pantheism - into a coherent corpus or canon. Cristorly describes his definitions as "discretional," meaning that each can only be understood in the context of all the rest. Cristorly asserts:

The terms Theism, Pantheism, and Panentheism have their root in Greek, which is a Biblical language, and therefore it is correct. In a discretionary way we assume that these terms present the idea of a personal, individual God. However, the terms Deism, Pandeism, and Panendeism have their root in Latin, which is not a Biblical language, and therefore it is not correct. These terms present the idea of God like synonymous of Energy or Cosmic Force, because God is not personal here, He is not individual.

Within this grouping, the meanings of the terms hinge on their categorization of the "transcendence, immanence, and holism of God". With respect to pandeism, he notes, "we see that Energy or Cosmic Force in Pandeism is immanent and holistic, but it is not transcendent."[46]

The following excerpt from a discussion of a painting by Spanish artist Orlando Cordero illustrates the same conceptual distinction between pantheism and pandeism. The author used the words "pandeísta" and "pandeísmo" in the Spanish version, which were translated by the author into "pandeist" and "pandeism", respectively. The comparison suggests that pandeism is a system with a cold, impersonal God, while pantheism presents a warm and experiential God:

His vision is pandeist, and it had to be pantheist. In order to get a pantheist painting, it is necessary to have Christ as pennant, footpath, and lighthouse. Pandeism is impersonal like in the present canvas, in which man, nature and word integrate themselves; whereas pantheism is a personal Christ-like experience of every day. Here there is signal-like materiality for the making of other paintings.[47]

Pandeism as omnitheism

A different use of the term is typified in the usage ascribed by J. Sidlow Baxter, who wrote in his 1991 master work, The Most Critical Issue:

If the Bible is only human lore, and not divine truth, then we have no real answer to those who say, "Let's pick the best out of all religions and blend it all into Pan-Deism - one world religion with one god made out of many".[48]

This use of the word is synonymous with omnitheism, which supposes a kernal of truth in all religions, rather than all being simultaneously true in their entirety. In a variation on this theme, the Vatican has been accused of having a pandeism conspiracy with respect to other religions:

The church of Rome uses the term "pandeism", to describe her current program of bringing under her wing the non-Christian religions of the world. In this, Rome will finally succeed, because the prediction says, "all the world wondered after the beast". (Revelation 13:3)[49]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Christian Forums: Pandeism". Retrieved 2008-02-16.
  2. Orr, John (1934). English Deism: Its Roots and Its Fruits. Eerdmans. pp. p. 13. 
  3. See the article on the history of deism in the online Dictionary of the History of Ideas.
  4. Jonathan Irvine Israel, Radical Enlightenment: Philosophy and the Making of Modernity, 1650-1750 (2001) p. 611.
  5. Moritz Lazarus and Heymann Steinthal, Zeitschrift für Völkerpsychologie und Sprachwissenschaft (1859), p. 262.
  6. Karen Armstrong, A History of God: The 4,000 Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (1993) p.3.
  7. Armstrong, A History of God, p.3.
  8. Armstrong, A History of God, p.3.
  9. Armstrong, A History of God, p.3.
  10. Francis E. Peters, Greek Philosophical Terms: A Historical Lexicon, p. 169 (NYU Press 1967).
  11. Friedrich Nietzsche, Philosophy in the Tragic Age of the Greeks (1873) § 4.
  12. William Turner, The Catholic Encyclopedia: John Scotus Eriugena.
  13. Jeremiah Genest, John Scottus Eriugena: Life and Works (1998)
  14. William Turner, The Catholic Encyclopedia: John Scotus Eriugena.
  15. William Turner, The Catholic Encyclopedia: John Scotus Eriugena.
  16. Roncelin de Fos, Christian Origins of U.S., 2004:
  17. Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason.
  18. Sabine Baring-Gould, The Origin and Development of Religious Belief Part II (1884) Page 157
  19. Andrew Martin Fairbairn, The Place of Christ in Modern Theology (1893) p. 416.
  20. Cambridge Book and Print Gallery.
  21. Freethought of the Day, August 6, 2006, Alfred Tennyson.
  22. Paul Friedrich Köhler, Kulturwege und Erkenntnisse: Eine kritische Umschau in den Problemen des religiösen und geistigen Lebens (1916), p. 193.
  23. Charles Hartshorne, Man's Vision of God and the Logic of Theism (1941, republished in 1964) p. 347 ISBN 0-208-00498-X.
  24. Man's Vision of God and the Logic of Theism, p. 348.
  25. Man's Vision of God and the Logic of Theism, p. 348.
  26. Scott Adams, God's Debris (2001) p.43 ISBN 0-7407-2190-9.
  27. God's Debris, p. 43-44.
  28. Dan Schneider, Review of Stranger in a Strange Land (The Uncut Version), by Robert A. Heinlein.
  29. gr-qc/0007006.
  30. [1].
  31. Warren B. Sharpe, Philosophy for the Serious Heretic: The Limitations of Belief and the Derivation of Natural Moral Principles (2002) p. 396 ISBN 0-595-21596-3.
  32. Moritz Lazarus and Heymann Steinthal, Zeitschrift für Völkerpsychologie und Sprachwissenschaft (1859), p. 262.
  33. Godfrey Higgins, Anacalypsis: An Attempt to Draw Aside the Veil of the Saitic Isis: Or an Inquiry into the Origin of Languages, Nations and Religions (1833), p. 439, ISBN 1-56459-273-1.
  34. Suzanne Olsson, Jesus in Kashmir: The Lost Tomb (2006), p. 32. ISBN 1419611755.
  35. William Harbutt Dawson, Matthew Arnold and His Relation to the Thought of Our Time, (1904, republished 1977), p. 256. The editor of the 1977 edition suggests without explanation that Dawson intended to reference "Pan-Theism" rather than "Pan-Deism", possibly out of mere familiarity with the former term.
  36. Yale University Sheffield Scientific School, Yale Sheffield Monthly (1918) p. 463.
  37. Genevan Institute for Reformed Studies.
  38. Homepage of Bob Burridge.
  39. Genevan Institute for Reformed Studies.
  40. Genevan Institute for Reformed Studies.
  41. Genevan Institute for Reformed Studies.
  42. [2].
  43. Albuquerque Journal, Saturday, November 11, 1995, B-10.
  44. [3].
  45. [4].
  46. Orlando Alcántara Fernández (Cristorly), Omnientheism: GOD According to Biblical Universalist Unitarianism (available in Spanish at Omnienteísmo: DIOS Según El Unitarismo Universalista Bíblico).
  47. Meta-Pintores Uno.
  48. J. Sidlow Baxter, The Most Critical Issue.
  49. Conrad Baker, The Three Powers Of Armageddon: An Exposition of Revelation 16:13-16, August 12, 2005.

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