Sunday, January 11, 2015

Kinds of Theism

Here are some terms that might be helpful to know. I have taken these thirteen words and their respective definitions from The Divine Attributes (written by Joshua Hoffman and Gary S. Rosenkrantz). See pp. 9-13:

1. Hecastotheistic-Pertaining to the belief that every sort of object has supernatural powers.

2. Ditheism-Refers to a belief in two gods. For instance, Hippolytus of Rome was called a "ditheist" by "Pope" Callistus.

3. Myriotheism-The belief in a countless number of gods.

4. Zootheism-Also known as theriotheism. Refers to the belief in animal gods.

5. Anthropotheism-The belief that the gods originated as men or that they are men with respect to their essence (nature).

6. Herotheism-The worship of deified humans.

7. Autotheism-The worship (deification) of oneself.

8. Monotheism-The belief in one God.

9. Henotheism-Worshiping one god without rejecting the belief that other gods exist.

10. Kathenotheism-The worship of one god at a time as supreme. It allows for a succession of "supreme gods."

11. Psychotheism-The belief in a wholly spiritual God or gods.

12. Physitheism-The belief in a God or gods that is/are physical in nature.

13. Hylotheism-Identifies God with matter.


JimSpace said...

So Trinitarian theism would be categorized as Anthropotheism and Physitheism due to its position that the divine person of Jesus (the second person of the Trinitarian godhead) is in hypostatic union with his human nature, fully or truly divine and fully or truly human per Chalcedonian Dyophysitism. (Anthropotheism specifically in regards to the human nature of its second person of the Trinitarian godhead.)

Whereas the theism of the Bible (and Jehovah’s Witnesses) is monolatristic Monotheism and Psychotheism. (Incidentally, Jesus is only human by experience as he surrendered his physical body in death and left it behind as portrayed by the High Priest on Atonement Day as identified in Hebrews 10:19-20.)

Edgar Foster said...


I like the point about Jesus only being human by experience. We learn many things from Atonement Day (part of the shadow) about the resurrected Christ (the reality). It's so difficult to understand how Jesus Christ took back what he sacrificed once for all time.

At any rate, I think your comments about the various kinds of theism are right. It's nice to have labels for these various religious phenomena.