A Universal Question


Panentheism is the belief that God intersects every part of the universe and also extends beyond space and time. The term was coined by the German philosopher Karl Krause in 1828 to distinguish the ideas of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770–1831) and Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling (1775–1854) about the relation of God and the universe from the supposed pantheism of Baruch Spinoza. Unlike pantheism, which holds that the divine and the universe are identical, panentheism maintains an ontological distinction between the divine and the non-divine and the significance of both.

In panentheism, the universal spirit is present everywhere, which at the same time "transcends" all things created.

While pantheism asserts that "all is God", panentheism claims that God is greater than the universe. Some versions of panentheism suggest that the universe is nothing more than the manifestation of God.

In addition, some forms indicate that the universe is contained within God, like in the Kabbalah concept of tzimtzum. Also much Hindu thought is highly characterized by panentheism and pantheism. The basic tradition on which Krause's concept was built seems to have been Neoplatonic philosophy and its successors in Western philosophy and Orthodox theology.

The Details

''Panentheism in the Light of Mathematical Understandings of Infinity and Connectedness''

''This paper investigates some consequences of a mathematical understanding of infinity and connectedness for a panentheistic conception of God. Given the existence of God and an understanding of the world in terms of the finite, countable infinity, or uncountable infinity I argue, (a) that a panentheistic conception of God is supported given a mathematical understanding of the infinite, (b) that by applying the notion of uncountable infinity and the mathematical concept of connectedness a panentheistic God can be seen as unifying irrespective of whether the world includes a finite, countably infinite or an uncountably infinite number of entities.''

The Multiverse Theory

Multiverse, a hypothetical collection of potentially diverse observable universes, each of which would comprise everything that is experimentally accessible by a connected community of observers. The observable known universe, which is accessible to telescopes, is about 90 billion light-years across. However, this universe would constitute just a small or even infinitesimal subset of the multiverse. The multiverse idea has arisen in many versions, primarily in cosmology, quantum mechanics, and philosophy, and often asserts the actual physical existence of different potential configurations or histories of the known observable universe. The term multiverse was coined by American philosopher William James in 1895 to refer to the confusing moral meaning of natural phenomena and not to other possible universes.