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derSrik Offline OP
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The interesting word henotheism stands for "the worship of one God without denying the existence of other Gods", and is obviously distinct from polytheism ("belief in or worship of more than one God"), monotheism ("belief that there is but one God"), kathenotheism ("worship of several gods successively"), atheism ("belief that God does not exist") , agnosticism ("belief that nothing can be known concerning the existence of God"), theism ("belief in the existence of a God or Gods, specifically of a creator who intervenes in the universe"), deism ("belief in the existence of a supreme being, specifically of a creator who does not intervene in the universe") and pantheism ("belief that God can be identified with the universe, or worship that tolerates all Gods").

Whilst there are further distinctions, like hard polytheism (e.g. the ancient Hellenic Gods) and soft polytheism (e.g most forms of Hinduism), and inclusive monotheism (e.g. some Hindu creeds) and exclusive monotheism (e.g. Judaism, Christianity and Islam), I believe that there is a case for a new word extended in meaning from henotheism.

"The worship of many Gods without denying the existence of other Gods" - notice the substitution of "many" for "one", that distinguishes it from henotheism (and, of course, the clause following the "without", that separates it from polytheism).

This theology refers to a belief in a specific pantheon of Gods, whilst recognizing the existence of other pantheons and standalone Gods, but not worshipping them.

I believe this would fit most Hindu creeds (especially belief in contemporary urban India, where unprecedented cultural exchanges have taken place within the last half century), and hence will not denote a small minority of humanity.

What shall this new word be? It probably should have a "theism" towards the end, but the beginning (and the middle?) require some further thought. Here we need the etymological services of a classical philologist - perhaps someone familiar with ancient Greek (and Latin, Hebrew and Sanskrit?). I only have the barest acquaintance with these tongues, but will venture to suggest a candidate or two:

metahenotheism?
suprahenotheism?
polytolerartheism?

My friend EW suggests:

multitheism
kaleidotheism

What think you?

Sincerely,
SM

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the Kal(i)/eido of kaleidotheism is clearly from kaleidoscope but the roots (kal(i) and eido mean 'beautiful" and "way to/of(process)" (as in "(a) beautiful way to (way of) seeing".. (scope as in telescope, to see)

is this view of theology?
(a border line subject here.. since like proper dinner table talk, we tend to avoid religion and politics!) a beautiful way of seeing god/gods?
i dunno.

In fact i don't even really understand what idea it is you are trying to express!

how about a list
1--belief in multiple gods =Polytheism
2--belief in single god= Monotheism
3-belief that god does not exist =atheism
.
.
.
end with
X--belief in ..... (idea you want a word for =_______)
(fill in blank with ideas for the best word to express this idea..)
rather than talking about hinduism or other religions specifically!

since you are looking for a word, not a discussion of different belief systems (which could quickly become one about the relgions)and this is a word board, i think the subject would be OK--
--but since i don't know the concept you are looking to express in a single word.. i can't help you!

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derSrik Offline OP
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of_troy wrote:

> In fact i don't even really understand what idea it is you are trying to express!

Allow me to restate it: "A theology that involves the worship of many Gods without denying the existence of other Gods"

The reason I've put henotheism in the subject of this thread is that it is the only term (of all the -theisms) which allows foreign Gods. However, it allows for the worship of a single God, and this thread was started to describe a system wherein multiple Gods are worshipped (like polytheism), without repudiating the existince of other Gods (unlike polytheism).

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derSrik Offline OP
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A second degree acquaintance (H) has kindly submitted the following very interesting candidate:

"eniotheism" - The Greek word enioi, existing only in the plural,
means "some" and is used to hint at just a part of beings of a more
comprehensive group. Therefore, enioi ton theon means "some of
the gods", and this is just the object of the theism to be
denominated.

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I believe that the concept you want a word for is pretty much a standard feature of polytheism. One must always be careful not to aggravate gods other than one's chosen gods, but they need not be worshipped.

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secondary definition of:

Quick definitions (pantheism)


noun: the doctrine or belief that God is the universe and its phenomena (taken or conceived of as a whole) or the doctrine that regards the universe as a manifestation of God
noun: (rare) worship that admits or tolerates all gods


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Welcome aBoard, ...augh, I want to call you Cedric! Have you tried contacting any universities? Ones that offer studies of religions, I mean? I'm thinking there might already be a word in place for the concept you're looking for. I did find a site for the U. of Hertfordshire, but no indication that it offers this.

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Have a Webster New World that defines polytheism as the belief in more than one god. It does not seem to make the distinctions of worshiping a particular set and rejecting any others.


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Code:
"The worship of many Gods without denying the existence of other Gods" -

What if one changed the word "Gods" to "Hummingbirds"?

" The worship of many Hummingbirds without denying the existence of other Hummingbirds" -

What would that really say? Can you really call that a definition? It seems limp somehow.
(Like derSrik's original, could you give a word to such a definition at all?) The second part of it seems to be irrelevant.

c.5 . (This is about language, not religion)

Last edited by BranShea; 06/19/07 08:20 AM.
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Originally Posted By: BranShea
Code:
"The worship of many Gods without denying the existence of other Gods" -

What if one changed the word "Gods" to "Hummingbirds"?

" The worship of many Hummingbirds without denying the existence of other Hummingbirds" -

What would that really say? Can you really call that a definition? It seems limp somehow.


Right, BranShea, I was going to say that myself.
Like, take the word "hummingbird" for example, now there's an apt and logical name; not like "God", a contrived word bended by usage to fit it's own referent.

But maybe derSrik wanted just such a word. A word which underscores a great tolerance for the stupid, wild, and crazy beliefs of other people's gods. A word like...

________ poly- (or) mono -munificentheism _______

I like it.



Last edited by themilum; 06/19/07 02:35 PM.
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