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"Monotheist" redirects here. Monotheism_sentence_0

For the death metal band, see Monotheist (band). Monotheism_sentence_1

For the album by Celtic Frost, see Monotheist (album). Monotheism_sentence_2

Monotheism is the belief in one god. Monotheism_sentence_3

A narrower definition of monotheism is the belief in the existence of only one god that created the world, is omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient, and intervenes in the world. Monotheism_sentence_4

A distinction may be made between exclusive monotheism, and both inclusive monotheism and pluriform (panentheistic) monotheism which, while recognising various distinct gods, postulate some underlying unity. Monotheism_sentence_5

Monotheism is distinguished from henotheism, a religious system in which the believer worships one god without denying that others may worship different gods with equal validity, and monolatrism, the recognition of the existence of many gods but with the consistent worship of only one deity. Monotheism_sentence_6

The term monolatry was perhaps first used by Julius Wellhausen. Monotheism_sentence_7

The broader definition of monotheism characterizes the traditions of Bábism, the Baháʼí Faith, Balinese Hinduism, Cao Dai (Caodaiism), Cheondoism (Cheondogyo), Christianity, Deism, Druze faith, Eckankar, Hindu sects such as Shaivism and Vaishnavism, Islam, Judaism, Mandaeism, Rastafari, Seicho no Ie, Sikhism, Tengrism (Tangrism), Tenrikyo (Tenriism), Yazidism, and Zoroastrianism, and elements of pre-monotheistic thought are found in early religions such as Atenism, ancient Chinese religion, and Yahwism. Monotheism_sentence_8

Etymology Monotheism_section_0

The word comes from the Greek (monos) meaning "single" and (theos) meaning "god". Monotheism_sentence_9

The English term was first used by Henry More (1614–1687). Monotheism_sentence_10

Origins Monotheism_section_1

Abrahamic religions Monotheism_section_2

Further information: Abrahamic religions Monotheism_sentence_11

While all adherents of the Abrahamic religions consider themselves to be monotheists, some in Judaism do not consider Christianity to be a pure form of monotheism (due to the Christian doctrine of the Trinity), classifying it as shituf. Monotheism_sentence_12

Islam likewise does not recognize modern-day Christianity as monotheistic, primarily due to the Christian doctrine of Trinity, which Islam categorizes as shirk and argues was a corruption of the beliefs actually held by Jesus. Monotheism_sentence_13

Christians, on the other hand, argue that the doctrine of the Trinity is a valid expression of monotheism, citing that the Trinity does not consist of three separate deities, but rather the three persons, who exist consubstantially (as one substance) within a single Godhead. Monotheism_sentence_14

Judaism Monotheism_section_3

Main article: God in Judaism Monotheism_sentence_15

Judaism is traditionally considered one of the oldest monotheistic religions in the world, although it is also believed that the earliest Israelites (pre-7th century BCE) were polytheistic, evolved into henotheistic and later monolatristic, rather than monotheistic. Monotheism_sentence_16

God in later Judaism was strictly monotheistic, an absolute one, indivisible, and incomparable being who is the ultimate cause of all existence. Monotheism_sentence_17

The Babylonian Talmud references other, "foreign gods" as non-existent entities to whom humans mistakenly ascribe reality and power. Monotheism_sentence_18

One of the best-known statements of Rabbinic Judaism on monotheism is the Second of Maimonides' 13 Principles of faith: Monotheism_sentence_19

Some in Judaism and Islam reject the Christian idea of monotheism. Monotheism_sentence_20

Judaism uses the term shituf to refer to the worship of God in a manner which Judaism deems to be neither purely monotheistic (though still permissible for non-Jews) nor polytheistic (which would be prohibited). Monotheism_sentence_21

In Ancient Israel Monotheism_section_4

See also: Yahwism, Elohim, and Baal Monotheism_sentence_22

During the 8th century BCE, the worship of Yahweh in Israel was in competition with many other cults, described by the Yahwist faction collectively as Baals. Monotheism_sentence_23

The oldest books of the Hebrew Bible reflect this competition, as in the books of Hosea and Nahum, whose authors lament the "apostasy" of the people of Israel, threatening them with the wrath of God if they do not give up their polytheistic cults. Monotheism_sentence_24

Ancient Israelite religion was originally polytheistic; the Israelites worshipped many deities, including El, Baal, Asherah, and Astarte. Monotheism_sentence_25

Yahweh was originally the national god of the Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of Judah. Monotheism_sentence_26

As time progressed, the henotheistic cult of Yahweh grew increasingly militant in its opposition to the worship of other gods. Monotheism_sentence_27

Later, the reforms of King Josiah imposed a form of strict monolatrism. Monotheism_sentence_28

After the fall of Judah and the beginning of the Babylonian captivity, a small circle of priests and scribes gathered around the exiled royal court, where they first developed the concept of Yahweh as the sole God of the world. Monotheism_sentence_29

The Shema Monotheism_section_5

Main article: Shema Yisrael Monotheism_sentence_30

Shema Yisrael ("Hear, [O] Israel") are the first two words of a section of the Torah, and is the title of a prayer that serves as a centerpiece of the morning and evening Jewish prayer services. Monotheism_sentence_31

The first verse encapsulates the monotheistic essence of Judaism: "Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God, the LORD is one" (Hebrew: שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל ה' אֱלֹהֵינוּ ה' אֶחָד‎), found in , sometimes alternatively translated as "The LORD is our God, the LORD alone". Monotheism_sentence_32

Observant Jews consider the Shema to be the most important part of the prayer service in Judaism, and its twice-daily recitation as a mitzvah (religious commandment). Monotheism_sentence_33

It is traditional for Jews to say the Shema as their last words, and for parents to teach their children to say it before they go to sleep at night. Monotheism_sentence_34

Christianity Monotheism_section_6

Main articles: God in Christianity and Trinity Monotheism_sentence_35

Among early Christians there was considerable debate over the nature of the Godhead, with some denying the incarnation but not the deity of Jesus (Docetism) and others later calling for an Arian conception of God. Monotheism_sentence_36

Despite at least one earlier local synod rejecting the claim of Arius, this Christological issue was to be one of the items addressed at the First Council of Nicaea. Monotheism_sentence_37

The First Council of Nicaea, held in Nicaea (in present-day Turkey), convoked by the Roman Emperor Constantine I in 325, was the first ecumenical council of bishops of the Roman Empire, and most significantly resulted in the first uniform Christian doctrine, called the Nicene Creed. Monotheism_sentence_38

With the creation of the creed, a precedent was established for subsequent general ecumenical councils of bishops (synods) to create statements of belief and canons of doctrinal orthodoxy— the intent being to define a common creed for the Church and address heretical ideas. Monotheism_sentence_39

One purpose of the council was to resolve disagreements in Alexandria over the nature of Jesus in relationship to the Father; in particular, whether Jesus was of the same substance as God the Father or merely of similar substance. Monotheism_sentence_40

All but two bishops took the first position; while Arius' argument failed. Monotheism_sentence_41

Christian orthodox traditions (Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and most Protestants) follow this decision, which was reaffirmed in 381 at the First Council of Constantinople and reached its full development through the work of the Cappadocian Fathers. Monotheism_sentence_42

They consider God to be a triune entity, called the Trinity, comprising three "persons", God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Monotheism_sentence_43

These three are described as being "of the same substance" (ὁμοούσιος). Monotheism_sentence_44

Christians overwhelmingly assert that monotheism is central to the Christian faith, as the Nicene Creed (and others), which gives the orthodox Christian definition of the Trinity, begins: "I believe in one God". Monotheism_sentence_45

From earlier than the times of the Nicene Creed, 325 CE, various Christian figures advocated the triune mystery-nature of God as a normative profession of faith. Monotheism_sentence_46

According to Roger E. Olson and Christopher Hall, through prayer, meditation, study and practice, the Christian community concluded "that God must exist as both a unity and trinity", codifying this in ecumenical council at the end of the 4th century. Monotheism_sentence_47

Most modern Christians believe the Godhead is triune, meaning that the three persons of the Trinity are in one union in which each person is also wholly God. Monotheism_sentence_48

They also hold to the doctrine of a man-god Christ Jesus as God incarnate. Monotheism_sentence_49

These Christians also do not believe that one of the three divine figures is God alone and the other two are not but that all three are mysteriously God and one. Monotheism_sentence_50

Other Christian religions, including Unitarian Universalism, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormonism and others, do not share those views on the Trinity. Monotheism_sentence_51

Some Christian faiths, such as Mormonism, argue that the Godhead is in fact three separate individuals which include God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. Monotheism_sentence_52

Each individual having a distinct purpose in the grand existence of human kind. Monotheism_sentence_53

Furthermore, Mormons believe that before the Council of Nicaea, the predominant belief among many early Christians was that the Godhead was three separate individuals. Monotheism_sentence_54

In support of this view, they cite early Christian examples of belief in subordinationism. Monotheism_sentence_55

Unitarianism is a theological movement, named for its understanding of God as one person, in direct contrast to Trinitarianism. Monotheism_sentence_56

Islam Monotheism_section_7

Main articles: God in Islam, Tawhid, and Hanif Monotheism_sentence_57

In Islam, God (Allāh) is all-powerful and all-knowing, the creator, sustainer, ordainer and judge of the universe. Monotheism_sentence_58

God in Islam is strictly singular (tawhid) unique (wahid) and inherently One (ahad), all-merciful and omnipotent. Monotheism_sentence_59

Allāh exists without place and the Quran states that "No vision can grasp Him, but His grasp is over all vision. Monotheism_sentence_60

God is above all comprehension, yet is acquainted with all things" (Quran 6:103) Allāh is the only God and the same God worshiped in Christianity and Judaism. Monotheism_sentence_61

(). Monotheism_sentence_62

Islam emerged in the 7th century CE in the context of both Christianity and Judaism, with some thematic elements similar to Gnosticism. Monotheism_sentence_63

Islamic belief states that Muhammad did not bring a new religion from God, but rather the same religion as practiced by Abraham, Moses, David, Jesus and all the other prophets of God. Monotheism_sentence_64

The assertion of Islam is that the message of God had been corrupted, distorted or lost over time and the Quran was sent to Muhammad in order to correct the lost message of the Tawrat (Torah), Injil (Gospel) and Zabur. Monotheism_sentence_65

The Quran asserts the existence of a single and absolute truth that transcends the world; a unique and indivisible being who is independent of the creation. Monotheism_sentence_66

The Quran rejects binary modes of thinking such as the idea of a duality of God by arguing that both good and evil generate from God's creative act. Monotheism_sentence_67

God is a universal god rather than a local, tribal or parochial one; an absolute who integrates all affirmative values and brooks no evil. Monotheism_sentence_68

Ash'ari theology, which dominated Sunni Islam from the tenth to the nineteenth century, insists on ultimate divine transcendence and holds that divine unity is not accessible to human reason. Monotheism_sentence_69

Ash'arism teaches that human knowledge regarding it is limited to what has been revealed through the prophets, and on such paradoxes as God's creation of evil, revelation had to accept bila kayfa (without [asking] how). Monotheism_sentence_70

Tawhid constitutes the foremost article of the Muslim profession of faith, "There is no god but God, Muhammad is the messenger of God. Monotheism_sentence_71

To attribute divinity to a created entity is the only unpardonable sin mentioned in the Quran. Monotheism_sentence_72

The entirety of the Islamic teaching rests on the principle of tawhid. Monotheism_sentence_73

Medieval Islamic philosopher Al-Ghazali offered a proof of monotheism from omnipotence, asserting there can only be one omnipotent being. Monotheism_sentence_74

For if there were two omnipotent beings, the first would either have power over the second (meaning the second is not omnipotent) or not (meaning the first is not omnipotent); thus implying that there could only be one omnipotent being. Monotheism_sentence_75

As they traditionally profess a concept of monotheism with a singular person as God, Judaism and Islam reject the Christian idea of monotheism. Monotheism_sentence_76

Judaism uses the term Shituf to refer to non-monotheistic ways of worshiping God. Monotheism_sentence_77

Although Muslims venerate Jesus (Isa in Arabic) as a prophet, they do not accept the doctrine that he was a begotten son of God. Monotheism_sentence_78

Mandaeism Monotheism_section_8

Main article: Mandaeism Monotheism_sentence_79

Mandaeism or Mandaeanism (Arabic: مندائية‎ Mandāʼīyah) is a monotheistic Gnostic religion. Monotheism_sentence_80

Its adherents, the Mandaeans, revere Adam, Abel, Seth, Enos, Noah, Shem, Aram, and especially John the Baptist. Monotheism_sentence_81

The Mandaean God is named as Hayyi Rabbi meaning The Great Life or The Great Living God. Monotheism_sentence_82

The Mandaeans are Semites and speak a dialect of Eastern Aramaic known as Mandaic. Monotheism_sentence_83

The name 'Mandaean' is said to come from the Aramaic manda meaning "knowledge", as does Greek gnosis. Monotheism_sentence_84

Within the Middle East, but outside of their community, the Mandaeans are more commonly known as the Ṣubba (singular: Ṣubbī) or Sabians. Monotheism_sentence_85

The term Ṣubba is derived from the Aramaic root related to baptism, the neo-Mandaic is Ṣabi. Monotheism_sentence_86

In Islam, the "Sabians" (Arabic: الصابئون‎ al-Ṣābiʾūn) are described several times in the Quran as People of the Book, alongside Jews and Christians. Monotheism_sentence_87

Baháʼí Faith Monotheism_section_9

Main article: God in the Baháʼí Faith Monotheism_sentence_88

God in the Baháʼí Faith is taught to be a personal god, too great for humans to fully comprehend. Monotheism_sentence_89

Human primitive understanding of God is achieved through his revelations via his divine intermediary Manifestations. Monotheism_sentence_90

In the Baháʼí faith, such Christian doctrines as the Trinity are seen as compromising the Baháʼí view that God is single and has no equal. Monotheism_sentence_91

And the very existence of the Baháʼí Faith is a challenge to the Islamic doctrine of the finality of Muhammad's revelation. Monotheism_sentence_92

God in the Baháʼí Faith communicates to humanity through divine intermediaries, known as Manifestations of God. Monotheism_sentence_93

These Manifestations establish religion in the world. Monotheism_sentence_94

It is through these divine intermediaries that humans can approach God, and through them God brings divine revelation and law. Monotheism_sentence_95

The Oneness of God is one of the core teachings of the Baháʼí Faith. Monotheism_sentence_96

The obligatory prayers in the Baháʼí Faith involve explicit monotheistic testimony. Monotheism_sentence_97

God is the imperishable, uncreated being who is the source of all existence. Monotheism_sentence_98

He is described as "a personal God, unknowable, inaccessible, the source of all Revelation, eternal, omniscient, omnipresent and almighty". Monotheism_sentence_99

Although transcendent and inaccessible directly, his image is reflected in his creation. Monotheism_sentence_100

The purpose of creation is for the created to have the capacity to know and love its creator. Monotheism_sentence_101

God communicates his will and purpose to humanity through intermediaries, known as Manifestations of God, who are the prophets and messengers that have founded religions from prehistoric times up to the present day. Monotheism_sentence_102

Rastafari Monotheism_section_10

Rastafari, sometimes termed Rastafarianism, is classified as both a new religious movement and social movement. Monotheism_sentence_103

It developed in Jamaica during the 1930s. Monotheism_sentence_104

It lacks any centralised authority and there is much heterogeneity among practitioners, who are known as Rastafari, Rastafarians, or Rastas. Monotheism_sentence_105

Rastafari refer to their beliefs, which are based on a specific interpretation of the Bible, as "Rastalogy". Monotheism_sentence_106

Central is a monotheistic belief in a single God—referred to as Jah—who partially resides within each individual. Monotheism_sentence_107

The former emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie, is given central importance. Monotheism_sentence_108

Many Rastas regard him as an incarnation of Jah on Earth and as the Second Coming of Christ. Monotheism_sentence_109

Others regard him as a human prophet who fully recognised the inner divinity within every individual. Monotheism_sentence_110

Atenism Monotheism_section_11

Main article: Atenism Monotheism_sentence_111

Amenhotep IV initially introduced Atenism in Year 5 of his reign (1348/1346 BCE) during the 18th dynasty of the New Kingdom. Monotheism_sentence_112

He raised Aten, once a relatively obscure Egyptian solar deity representing the disk of the sun, to the status of Supreme God in the Egyptian pantheon. Monotheism_sentence_113

To emphasise the change, Aten's name was written in the cartouche form normally reserved for Pharaohs, an innovation of Atenism. Monotheism_sentence_114

This religious reformation appears to coincide with the proclamation of a Sed festival, a sort of royal jubilee intended to reinforce the Pharaoh's divine powers of kingship. Monotheism_sentence_115

Traditionally held in the thirtieth year of the Pharaoh's reign, this possibly was a festival in honour of Amenhotep III, who some Egyptologists think had a coregency with his son Amenhotep IV of two to twelve years. Monotheism_sentence_116

Year 5 is believed to mark the beginning of Amenhotep IV's construction of a new capital, Akhetaten (Horizon of the Aten), at the site known today as Amarna. Monotheism_sentence_117

Evidence of this appears on three of the boundary stelae used to mark the boundaries of this new capital. Monotheism_sentence_118

At this time, Amenhotep IV officially changed his name to Akhenaten (Agreeable to Aten) as evidence of his new worship. Monotheism_sentence_119

The date given for the event has been estimated to fall around January 2 of that year. Monotheism_sentence_120

In Year 7 of his reign (1346/1344 BCE), the capital was moved from Thebes to Akhetaten (near modern Amarna), though construction of the city seems to have continued for two more years. Monotheism_sentence_121

In shifting his court from the traditional ceremonial centres Akhenaten was signalling a dramatic transformation in the focus of religious and political power. Monotheism_sentence_122

The move separated the Pharaoh and his court from the influence of the priesthood and from the traditional centres of worship, but his decree had deeper religious significance too—taken in conjunction with his name change, it is possible that the move to Amarna was also meant as a signal of Akhenaten's symbolic death and rebirth. Monotheism_sentence_123

It may also have coincided with the death of his father and the end of the coregency. Monotheism_sentence_124

In addition to constructing a new capital in honor of Aten, Akhenaten also oversaw the construction of some of the most massive temple complexes in ancient Egypt, including one at Karnak and one at Thebes, close to the old temple of Amun. Monotheism_sentence_125

In Year 9 (1344/1342 BCE), Akhenaten declared a more radical version of his new religion, declaring Aten not merely the supreme god of the Egyptian pantheon, but the only God of Egypt, with himself as the sole intermediary between the Aten and the Egyptian people. Monotheism_sentence_126

Key features of Atenism included a ban on idols and other images of the Aten, with the exception of a rayed solar disc, in which the rays (commonly depicted ending in hands) appear to represent the unseen spirit of Aten. Monotheism_sentence_127

Akhenaten made it however clear that the image of the Aten only represented the god, but that the god transcended creation and so could not be fully understood or represented. Monotheism_sentence_128

Aten was addressed by Akhenaten in prayers, such as the Great Hymn to the Aten: "O Sole God beside whom there is none". Monotheism_sentence_129

The details of Atenist theology are still unclear. Monotheism_sentence_130

The exclusion of all but one god and the prohibition of idols was a radical departure from Egyptian tradition, but scholars see Akhenaten as a practitioner of monolatry rather than monotheism, as he did not actively deny the existence of other gods; he simply refrained from worshiping any but Aten. Monotheism_sentence_131

Akhenaten associated Aten with Ra and put forward the eminence of Aten as the renewal of the kingship of Ra. Monotheism_sentence_132

Under Akhenaten's successors, Egypt reverted to its traditional religion, and Akhenaten himself came to be reviled as a heretic. Monotheism_sentence_133

Chinese religions Monotheism_section_12

Main articles: Shangdi, Tian, and Mohism Monotheism_sentence_134

The orthodox faith system held by most dynasties of China since at least the Shang Dynasty (1766 BCE) until the modern period centered on the worship of Shangdi (literally "Above Sovereign", generally translated as "God") or Heaven as an omnipotent force. Monotheism_sentence_135

This faith system pre-dated the development of Confucianism and Taoism and the introduction of Buddhism and Christianity. Monotheism_sentence_136

It has features of monotheism in that Heaven is seen as an omnipotent entity, a noncorporeal force with a personality transcending the world. Monotheism_sentence_137

From the writings of Confucius in the Analects, it is known Confucius believed that Heaven cannot be deceived, Heaven guides people's lives and maintains a personal relationship with them, and that Heaven gives tasks for people to fulfill in order to teach them of virtues and morality. Monotheism_sentence_138

However, this faith system was not truly monotheistic since other lesser gods and spirits, which varied with locality, were also worshiped along with Shangdi. Monotheism_sentence_139

Still, later variants such as Mohism (470 BCE–c.391 BCE) approached true monotheism, teaching that the function of lesser gods and ancestral spirits is merely to carry out the will of Shangdi, akin to the angels in Abrahamic religions which in turn counts as only one god. Monotheism_sentence_140

In Mozi's Will of Heaven (天志), he writes: Monotheism_sentence_141

Worship of Shangdi and Heaven in ancient China includes the erection of shrines, the last and greatest being the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, and the offering of prayers. Monotheism_sentence_142

The ruler of China in every Chinese dynasty would perform annual sacrificial rituals to Shangdi, usually by slaughtering a completely healthy bull as sacrifice. Monotheism_sentence_143

Although its popularity gradually diminished after the advent of Taoism and Buddhism, among other religions, its concepts remained in use throughout the pre-modern period and have been incorporated in later religions in China, including terminology used by early Christians in China. Monotheism_sentence_144

Despite the rising of non-theistic and pantheistic spirituality contributed by Taoism and Buddhism, Shangdi was still praised up until the end of the Qing Dynasty as the last ruler of the Qing declared himself son of heaven. Monotheism_sentence_145

Indigenous African religions Monotheism_section_13

The Himba people of Namibia practice a form of monotheistic panentheism, and worship the god Mukuru. Monotheism_sentence_146

The deceased ancestors of the Himba and Herero are subservient to him, acting as intermediaries. Monotheism_sentence_147

The Igbo people practice a form of monotheism called Odinani. Monotheism_sentence_148

Odinani has monotheistic and panentheistic attributes, having a single God as the source of all things. Monotheism_sentence_149

Although a pantheon of spirits exists, these are lesser spirits prevalent in Odinani expressly serving as elements of Chineke (or Chukwu), the supreme being or high god. Monotheism_sentence_150

Waaq is the name of a singular God in the traditional religion of many Cushitic people in the Horn of Africa, denoting an early monotheistic religion. Monotheism_sentence_151

However this religion was mostly replaced with the Abrahamic religions. Monotheism_sentence_152

Some (approximately 3%) of Oromo still follow this traditional monotheistic religion called Waaqeffannaa in Oromo. Monotheism_sentence_153

Indo-European religions Monotheism_section_14

Proto-Indo-European religion Monotheism_section_15

Main article: Proto-Indo-European religion Monotheism_sentence_154

The supreme god of the Proto-Indo-European religion was the god *Dyḗus Pḥatḗr . Monotheism_sentence_155

A number of words derived from the name of this supreme deity are used in various Indo-European languages to denote a monotheistic God. Monotheism_sentence_156

Nonetheless, in spite of this, Proto-Indo-European religion itself was not monotheistic. Monotheism_sentence_157

In western Eurasia, the ancient traditions of the Slavic religion contained elements of monotheism. Monotheism_sentence_158

In the sixth century AD, the Byzantine chronicler Procopius recorded that the Slavs "acknowledge that one god, creator of lightning, is the only lord of all: to him do they sacrifice an ox and all sacrificial animals." Monotheism_sentence_159

The deity to whom Procopius is referring is the storm god Perún, whose name is derived from *Perkunos, the Proto-Indo-European god of lightning. Monotheism_sentence_160

The ancient Slavs syncretized him with the Germanic god Thor and the Biblical prophet Elijah. Monotheism_sentence_161

Indo-Iranian religions Monotheism_section_16

Main articles: Proto-Indo-Iranian religion, Indian religions, and Iranian religions Monotheism_sentence_162

Hinduism Monotheism_section_17

Main articles: Hindu views on monotheism and God in Hinduism Monotheism_sentence_163

See also: Hindu denominations Monotheism_sentence_164

As an old religion, Hinduism inherits religious concepts spanning monotheism, polytheism, panentheism, pantheism, monism, and atheism among others; and its concept of God is complex and depends upon each individual and the tradition and philosophy followed. Monotheism_sentence_165

Hindu views are broad and range from monism, through pantheism and panentheism (alternatively called monistic theism by some scholars) to monotheism and even atheism. Monotheism_sentence_166

Hinduism cannot be said to be purely polytheistic. Monotheism_sentence_167

Hindu religious leaders have repeatedly stressed that while God's forms are many and the ways to communicate with him are many, God is one. Monotheism_sentence_168

The puja of the murti is a way to communicate with the abstract one god (Brahman) which creates, sustains and dissolves creation. Monotheism_sentence_169

Rig Veda 1.164.46, Monotheism_sentence_170


  • Indraṃ mitraṃ varuṇamaghnimāhuratho divyaḥ sa suparṇo gharutmān,Monotheism_item_0_0
  • ekaṃ sad viprā bahudhā vadantyaghniṃ yamaṃ mātariśvānamāhuḥMonotheism_item_0_1
  • "They call him Indra, Mitra, Varuṇa, Agni, and he is heavenly nobly-winged Garuda.Monotheism_item_0_2
  • To what is One, sages give many a title they call it Agni, Yama, Mātariśvan." (trans. Griffith)Monotheism_item_0_3

Traditions of Gaudiya Vaishnavas, the Nimbarka Sampradaya and followers of Swaminarayan and Vallabha consider Krishna to be the source of all avatars, and the source of Vishnu himself, or to be the same as Narayana. Monotheism_sentence_171

As such, he is therefore regarded as Svayam Bhagavan. Monotheism_sentence_172

When Krishna is recognized to be Svayam Bhagavan, it can be understood that this is the belief of Gaudiya Vaishnavism, the Vallabha Sampradaya, and the Nimbarka Sampradaya, where Krishna is accepted to be the source of all other avatars, and the source of Vishnu himself. Monotheism_sentence_173

This belief is drawn primarily "from the famous statement of the Bhagavatam" (1.3.28). Monotheism_sentence_174

A viewpoint differing from this theological concept is the concept of Krishna as an avatar of Narayana or Vishnu. Monotheism_sentence_175

It should be however noted that although it is usual to speak of Vishnu as the source of the avataras, this is only one of the names of the God of Vaishnavism, who is also known as Narayana, Vasudeva and Krishna and behind each of those names there is a divine figure with attributed supremacy in Vaishnavism. Monotheism_sentence_176

The Rig Veda discusses monotheistic thought, as do the Atharva Veda and Yajur Veda: "Devas are always looking to the supreme abode of Vishnu" (tad viṣṇoḥ paramaṁ padaṁ sadā paśyanti sṻrayaḥ Rig Veda 1.22.20) Monotheism_sentence_177

"The One Truth, sages know by many names" (Rig Veda 1.164.46) Monotheism_sentence_178

"When at first the unborn sprung into being, He won His own dominion beyond which nothing higher has been in existence" (Atharva Veda 10.7.31) Monotheism_sentence_179

"There is none to compare with Him. Monotheism_sentence_180

There is no parallel to Him, whose glory, verily, is great." Monotheism_sentence_181

(Yajur Veda 32.3) Monotheism_sentence_182

The number of auspicious qualities of God are countless, with the following six qualities (bhaga) being the most important: Monotheism_sentence_183


  • Jñāna (omniscience), defined as the power to know about all beings simultaneouslyMonotheism_item_1_4
  • Aishvarya (sovereignty, derived from the word Ishvara), which consists in unchallenged rule over allMonotheism_item_1_5
  • Shakti (energy), or power, which is the capacity to make the impossible possibleMonotheism_item_1_6
  • Bala (strength), which is the capacity to support everything by will and without any fatigueMonotheism_item_1_7
  • Vīrya (vigor), which indicates the power to retain immateriality as the supreme being in spite of being the material cause of mutable creationsMonotheism_item_1_8
  • Tejas (splendor), which expresses His self-sufficiency and the capacity to overpower everything by His spiritual effulgenceMonotheism_item_1_9

In the Shaivite tradition, the Shri Rudram (Sanskrit श्रि रुद्रम्), to which the Chamakam (चमकम्) is added by scriptural tradition, is a Hindu stotra dedicated to Rudra (an epithet of Shiva), taken from the Yajurveda (TS 4.5, 4.7). Monotheism_sentence_184

Shri Rudram is also known as Sri Rudraprasna, Śatarudrīya, and Rudradhyaya. Monotheism_sentence_185

The text is important in Vedanta where Shiva is equated to the Universal supreme God. Monotheism_sentence_186

The hymn is an early example of enumerating the names of a deity, a tradition developed extensively in the sahasranama literature of Hinduism. Monotheism_sentence_187

The Nyaya school of Hinduism has made several arguments regarding a monotheistic view. Monotheism_sentence_188

The Naiyanikas have given an argument that such a god can only be one. Monotheism_sentence_189

In the Nyaya Kusumanjali, this is discussed against the proposition of the Mimamsa school that let us assume there were many demigods (devas) and sages (rishis) in the beginning, who wrote the Vedas and created the world. Monotheism_sentence_190

Nyaya says that: Monotheism_sentence_191

In other words, Nyaya says that the polytheist would have to give elaborate proofs for the existence and origin of his several celestial spirits, none of which would be logical, and that it is more logical to assume one eternal, omniscient god. Monotheism_sentence_192

Zoroastrianism Monotheism_section_18

Main article: Zoroastrianism Monotheism_sentence_193

Zoroastrianism combines cosmogonic dualism and eschatological monotheism which makes it unique among the religions of the world. Monotheism_sentence_194

Zoroastrianism proclaims an evolution through time from dualism to monotheism. Monotheism_sentence_195

Zoroastrianism is a monotheistic religion, although Zoroastrianism is often regarded as dualistic, duotheistic or bitheistic, for its belief in the hypostatis of the ultimately good Ahura Mazda (creative spirit) and the ultimately evil Angra Mainyu (destructive spirit). Monotheism_sentence_196

Zoroastrianism was once one of the largest religions on Earth, as the official religion of the Persian Empire. Monotheism_sentence_197

By some scholars, the Zoroastrians ("Parsis" or "Zartoshtis") are credited with being some of the first monotheists and having had influence on other world religions. Monotheism_sentence_198

Gathered statistics shows the number of adherents at as many as 3.5 million, with adherents living in many regions, including South Asia. Monotheism_sentence_199

Sikhism Monotheism_section_19

Main article: Sikhism Monotheism_sentence_200

Sikhi is a monotheistic and a revealed religion. Monotheism_sentence_201

God in Sikhi is called by many names like Ram, Allah and Vāhigurū etc. but refer to same god, and is shapeless, timeless, and sightless: niraṅkār, akaal, and alakh. Monotheism_sentence_202

God is present (sarav viāpak) in all of creation. Monotheism_sentence_203

God must be seen from "the inward eye", or the "heart". Monotheism_sentence_204

Sikhi devotees must meditate to progress towards enlightenment, as its rigorous application permits the existence of communication between God and human beings. Monotheism_sentence_205

Sikhism is a monotheistic faith that arose in northern India during the 16th and 17th centuries. Monotheism_sentence_206

Sikhs believe in one, timeless, omnipresent, supreme creator. Monotheism_sentence_207

The opening verse of the Guru Granth Sahib, known as the Mul Mantra, signifies this: Monotheism_sentence_208


  • Punjabi: ੴ ਸਤਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਕਰਤਾ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਨਿਰਭਉ ਨਿਰਵੈਰੁ ਅਕਾਲ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਅਜੂਨੀ ਸੈਭੰ ਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ॥Monotheism_item_2_10
  • Transliteration: ikk ōankār sat(i)-nām(u) karatā purakh(u) nirabha'u niravair(u) akāla mūrat(i) ajūnī saibhan(g) gur(a) prasād(i).Monotheism_item_2_11
  • One Universal creator God, The supreme Unchangeable Truth, The Creator of the Universe, Beyond Fear, Beyond Hatred, Beyond Death, Beyond Birth, Self-Existent, by Guru's Grace.Monotheism_item_2_12

The word "ੴ" ("Ik ōaṅkār") has two components. Monotheism_sentence_209

The first is ੧, the digit "1" in Gurmukhi signifying the singularity of the creator. Monotheism_sentence_210

Together the word means: "One Universal creator God". Monotheism_sentence_211

It is often said that the 1430 pages of the Guru Granth Sahib are all expansions on the Mul Mantra. Monotheism_sentence_212

Although the Sikhs have many names for God, some derived from Islam and Hinduism, they all refer to the same Supreme Being. Monotheism_sentence_213

The Sikh holy scriptures refer to the One God who pervades the whole of space and is the creator of all beings in the universe. Monotheism_sentence_214

The following quotation from the Guru Granth Sahib highlights this point: Monotheism_sentence_215

However, there is a strong case for arguing that the Guru Granth Sahib teaches monism due to its non-dualistic tendencies: Monotheism_sentence_216

Sikhs believe that God has been given many names, but they all refer to the One God, VāhiGurū. Monotheism_sentence_217

Sikhs believe that members of other religions such as Islam, Hinduism and Christianity all worship the same God, and the names Allah, Rahim, Karim, Hari, Raam and Paarbrahm are frequently mentioned in the Sikh holy scriptures. Monotheism_sentence_218

Although there is no set reference to God in Sikhism, the most commonly used Sikh reference to God is Akal Purakh (which means "the true immortal") or Waheguru, the Primal Being. Monotheism_sentence_219

Ancient Greek religion Monotheism_section_20

Main article: Ancient Greek religion Monotheism_sentence_220

Classical Greece Monotheism_section_21

The surviving fragments of the poems of the classical Greek philosopher Xenophanes of Colophon suggest that he held views very similar to those of modern monotheists. Monotheism_sentence_221

His poems harshly criticize the traditional notion of anthropomorphic gods, commenting that "...if cattle and horses and lions had hands or could paint with their hands and create works such as men do,... [they] also would depict the gods' shapes and make their bodies of such a sort as the form they themselves have." Monotheism_sentence_222

Instead, Xenophanes declares that there is " god, greatest among gods and humans, like mortals neither in form nor in thought." Monotheism_sentence_223

Xenophanes's theology appears to have been monist, but not truly monotheistic in the strictest sense. Monotheism_sentence_224

Although some later philosophers, such as Antisthenes, believed in doctrines similar to those expounded by Xenophanes, his ideas do not appear to have become widely popular. Monotheism_sentence_225

Although Plato himself was a polytheist, in his writings, he often presents Socrates as speaking of "the god" in the singular form. Monotheism_sentence_226

He does, however, often speak of the gods in the plural form as well. Monotheism_sentence_227

The Euthyphro dilemma, for example, is formulated as "Is that which is holy loved by the gods because it is holy, or is it holy because it is loved by the gods?" Monotheism_sentence_228

Hellenistic religion Monotheism_section_22

Main article: Hellenistic religion Monotheism_sentence_229

The development of pure (philosophical) monotheism is a product of the Late Antiquity. Monotheism_sentence_230

During the 2nd to 3rd centuries, early Christianity was just one of several competing religious movements advocating monotheism. Monotheism_sentence_231

"The One" (Τὸ Ἕν) is a concept that is prominent in the writings of the Neoplatonists, especially those of the philosopher Plotinus. Monotheism_sentence_232

In the writings of Plotinus, "The One" is described as an inconceivable, transcendent, all-embodying, permanent, eternal, causative entity that permeates throughout all of existence. Monotheism_sentence_233

A number of oracles of Apollo from Didyma and Clarus, the so-called "theological oracles", dated to the 2nd and 3rd century CE, proclaim that there is only one highest god, of whom the gods of polytheistic religions are mere manifestations or servants. Monotheism_sentence_234

4th century CE Cyprus had, besides Christianity, an apparently monotheistic cult of Dionysus. Monotheism_sentence_235

The Hypsistarians were a religious group who believed in a most high god, according to Greek documents. Monotheism_sentence_236

Later revisions of this Hellenic religion were adjusted towards monotheism as it gained consideration among a wider populace. Monotheism_sentence_237

The worship of Zeus as the head-god signaled a trend in the direction of monotheism, with less honour paid to the fragmented powers of the lesser gods. Monotheism_sentence_238

Native American religion Monotheism_section_23

Native American religions may be monotheistic, polytheistic, henotheistic, animistic, or some combination thereof. Monotheism_sentence_239

Cherokee religion, for example, is monotheist as well as pantheist. Monotheism_sentence_240

The Great Spirit, called Wakan Tanka among the Sioux, and Gitche Manitou in Algonquian, is a conception of universal spiritual force, or supreme being prevalent among some Native American and First Nation cultures. Monotheism_sentence_241

According to Lakota activist Russell Means a better translation of Wakan Tanka is the Great Mystery. Monotheism_sentence_242

Some researchers have interpreted Aztec philosophy as fundamentally monotheistic or panentheistic. Monotheism_sentence_243

While the populace at large believed in a polytheistic pantheon, Aztec priests and nobles might have come to an interpretation of Teotl as a single universal force with many facets. Monotheism_sentence_244

There has been criticism to this idea, however, most notably that many assertions of this supposed monotheism might actually come from post-Conquistador bias, imposing an Antiquity pagan model unto the Aztec. Monotheism_sentence_245

Tengrism Monotheism_section_24

See also: Tengrism Monotheism_sentence_246

Tengrism or Tangrism (sometimes stylized as Tengriism), occasionally referred to as Tengrianism, is a modern term for a Central Asian religion characterized by features of shamanism, animism, totemism, both polytheism and monotheism, and ancestor worship. Monotheism_sentence_247

Historically, it was the prevailing religion of the Bulgars, Turks, Mongols, and Hungarians, as well as the Xiongnu and the Huns. Monotheism_sentence_248

It was the state religion of the six ancient Turkic states: Avar Khaganate, Old Great Bulgaria, First Bulgarian Empire, Göktürks Khaganate, Eastern Tourkia and Western Turkic Khaganate. Monotheism_sentence_249

In Irk Bitig, Tengri is mentioned as Türük Tängrisi (God of Turks). Monotheism_sentence_250

The term is perceived among Turkic peoples as a national religion. Monotheism_sentence_251

In Chinese and Turco-Mongol traditions, the Supreme God is commonly referred to as the ruler of Heaven, or the Sky Lord granted with omnipotent powers, but it has largely diminished in those regions due to ancestor worship, Taoism's pantheistic views and Buddhism's rejection of a creator God. Monotheism_sentence_252

On some occasions in the mythology, the Sky Lord as identified as a male has been associated to mate with an Earth Mother, while some traditions kept the omnipotence of the Sky Lord unshared. Monotheism_sentence_253

New religious movements Monotheism_section_25

Various New religious movements, such as Rastafari, Cao Đài, Tenrikyo, Seicho no Ie and Cheondoism are monotheistic. Monotheism_sentence_254

See also Monotheism_section_26


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