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Consider the two definitional statements below:

  1. Pantheism is the claim that everything in the universe is part of an all-encompassing, immanent God.

  2. Panentheism is the claim that the God who is greater than the universe and resides in every part of the universe exists.

Which of the following combinations is TRUE?

I. The definition in statement 1 uses poorly understood terms.

II. The definition in statement 1 has a narrower scope than that in statement 2.

III. The definition in statement 1 has a broader scope than that in statement 2.

IV. According to these two statements, ‘Pantheism’ and ‘Panentheism’ are different terms that express the same concept.

A: Only I

B: I , III

C: II

D: I, IV

So I did some readings and found that

Pantheism = god is all i.e god = universe

Panentheism = god is all and god > universe

But I am very confused if panentheism has a broader scope than pantheism or vice versa. Does having more requirements mean having a broader scope?

  • 3
    Imho, the answer is C II. The definition in statement 1 has a narrower scope than that in statement 2. I'm just guessing that having a broader scope means that a statement encompasses more information. – Bread Nov 4 '18 at 10:12
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    I did some readings and found that <-- don't do that when given two definitional statements. Work from the definitional statements and what they mean. – virmaior Nov 4 '18 at 12:49
  • @virmaior Understood, that is what my fellow friends told me as well. But since my command of english isnt the best, I needed some references :) – ilovewt Nov 4 '18 at 14:28
  • it's not pan- vs. pane-, it's pan-theo- vs. pan-en-theo- – guest1806 Nov 4 '18 at 15:08
  • @virmaior Good edit of the title. One has to stick with the given definitions as your earlier comment advised. – Frank Hubeny Nov 5 '18 at 0:30
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The OP found the following regarding pantheism and panentheism:

So I did some readings and found that

Pantheism = god is all i.e god = universe

Panentheism = god is all and god > universe

This seems to be a good paraphrase of the two definitional statements:

  1. Pantheism is the claim that everything in the universe is part of an all-encompassing, immanent God.

  2. Panentheism is the claim that the God who is greater than the universe and resides in every part of the universe exists.

The question is

But I am very confused if panentheism has a broader scope than pantheism or vice versa. Does having more requirements mean having a broader scope?

It would seem that panentheism includes everything immanent about the deity that pantheism has, but it also allows for a deity to be transcendent, that is, it allows the deity to go beyond the immanent universe. This by itself should make panentheism broader than pantheism.

  • I don't think The OP found the following regarding pantheism and panentheism (I could be wrong). I think they were given those definitions as part of the exercise, but other than that I think this is an excellent answer. – virmaior Nov 5 '18 at 0:27
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Basically panentheism was created as a label to distinguish it from 'god of the philosophers' type pantheism of Spinoza. That is, to preserve space for the supernatural, and divine intervention, ie. Christianity. In that sense, it is 'more broad', dodgy though that term is. But it is also a substance dualism, which comes with a host of problems. Zoroastrian thought is a surprisingly sophisticated example. Abrahamic thought gets caught between Greek idealism, Jewish thought, and Zoroastrianism, imho.

But, this use of pantheism is confounded by the fact the word is also used, especially in anthropology, to describe folk traditions, like Shinto or the beliefs of the Sami people, or Mexican shamanism. Their version of the divine is intrinsically supernatural and other-worldly, and the idea of the dominion of logic and physical laws is never accepted.

Buddhist and Hindu thought typically holds that mind is the fundamental mode of being, with matter and physical order as secondary phenomena to that. This, and Shinto/Sami/Mesoamerican is really pansychism though, not accepting implicit unity of a transcendent mind, except as a mode or strata of being (Brahman, Dharmakaya, divine realms, nagual, etc). Pansychism is more broad, and a more tenable interpretation of what people usually actual believe than either pantheism or panentheism.

  • This is an answer to the question of what's the difference between panentheism and pantheism and provides some encyclopedic information about how the distinction arose and who holds each view, but I think the question is actually specifically referred to the definitions supplied (you also aren't giving an answer to I, II, III, or IV) – virmaior Nov 5 '18 at 0:26

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