pantheism (n.)

"the belief or metaphysical doctrine that God and the universe are identical" (implying a denial of the personality of God), 1732, from pantheist (n.), which was coined 1705 by Irish deist John Toland (1670-1722), from Greek pan- "all" (see pan-) + -theism. Toland's word was borrowed into French, which from it formed panthéisme (1712) which returned to English as pantheism "the doctrine that all is god" in 1732 (there is no evidence that Toland himself used pantheism).

By 1895, the "Century Dictionary's" editors wrote that "Pantheism is essentially unchristian; and the word implies rather the reprobation of the speaker than any very definite opinion." Greek pantheios meant "common to all gods" (see pantheon). Other words used at various times for similar notions include panentheism, "philosophy founded on the notion that all things are in God" (1874), from German (1828), coined by Karl Christian Friedrich Krause (1781-1832).

updated on December 28, 2019