AskDefine | Define theistic

Dictionary Definition

theistic adj : of or relating to theism [syn: theist, theistical]

User Contributed Dictionary



From Greek Θεϊσμός


  • /thi'ĭs'tĭk


  1. of or relating to theism

Extensive Definition

Theism is the belief in the existence of one or more divinities or deities. There is also a narrower sense in which theism refers to the belief that one or more divinities are immanent in the world, yet transcend it, along with the idea that divinity(s) is/are omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent. Theism contrasts with nontheism, the state of not believing in deities.
The term is attested in English from 1678, and was probably coined to contrast with atheism, a term that is attested from ca. 1587 (see the etymology section of atheism for details).

Divisions by numbers of deities


Monotheism is the belief that there is only one deity.
  • Inclusive monotheism: The belief that there is only one deity, and that all other claimed deities are just different names for it. The Hindu denomination of Smartism is an example of inclusive monotheism.
  • Exclusive monotheism: The belief that there is only one deity, and that all other claimed deities are distinct from it and false — either invented, demonic, or simply incorrect. Most Abrahamic religions, and the Hindu denomination of Vaishnavism (which regards the worship of anyone other than Vishnu as incorrect) are examples of exclusive monotheism.


Polytheism is the belief that there is more than one deity. In practice, polytheism is not just the belief that there are multiple gods; it usually includes belief in the existence of a specific pantheon of distinct deities.
Within polytheism there are hard and soft varieties:
Polytheism is also divided according to how the individual deities are regarded:
  • Henotheism: The belief that there may be more than one deity, but one is supreme.
  • Monolatry: The belief that there may be more than one deity, but only one should be worshiped.
  • Kathenotheism: The belief that there is more than one deity, but only one deity at a time should be worshiped. Each is supreme in turn.

Divisions by natures of deities

  • Misotheism: the belief that some god or gods are evil.
  • Pantheism: The belief that the physical universe is equivalent to God, and that there is no 'division'.
  • Panentheism: Like Pantheism, the belief that the physical universe is joined to God. However, it also believes that God is greater than the universe.
  • Cosmotheism: The belief that man is The Creator. Man and the cosmos are one, thus the will of man is the will of the cosmos and the will of the cosmos is the will of man.
  • Deism is the belief that a god or gods exists, but does not interact with the known universe.. It typically rejects supernatural events (prophecy, miracles) and divine revelation prominent in organized religion, along with holy books and revealed religions that assert the existence of such things. Instead, Deism holds that religious beliefs must be founded on human reason and observed features of the natural world, and that these sources reveal the existence of a supreme being as creator.
    • Pandeism: The belief that God preceded the universe and created it, but is now equivalent with it.
    • Polydeism: The belief that multiple gods existed, but do not intervene with the universe.


See also

theistic in Catalan: Teisme
theistic in Danish: Teisme
theistic in German: Theismus
theistic in Estonian: Teism
theistic in Modern Greek (1453-): Θεϊσμός
theistic in Spanish: Teísmo
theistic in French: Théisme
theistic in Interlingua (International Auxiliary Language Association): Theismo
theistic in Italian: Teismo
theistic in Latvian: Teisms
theistic in Luxembourgish: Theismus
theistic in Lithuanian: Teizmas
theistic in Dutch: Theïsme
theistic in Norwegian: Teisme
theistic in Uzbek: Teizm
theistic in Polish: Teizm
theistic in Portuguese: Teísmo
theistic in Russian: Теизм
theistic in Simple English: Theism
theistic in Slovak: Teizmus
theistic in Finnish: Teismi
theistic in Swedish: Teism
theistic in Turkish: Teizm
theistic in Ukrainian: Теїзм
theistic in Yiddish: טאאיזם
theistic in Chinese: 有神论

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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