God and Gods
acosmism, akosmism a denial of, or disbelief in, the existence of an external world or of a world distinct from God. —acosmist, n. —acosmic, adj. adevism the denial of legendary gods. —adevist, n. agnosticism the tenet that neither the existence nor the nature of God is known or knowable. —agnostic, n., adj. allotheism the worship of strange or foreign gods. aniconism 1. the worship of an object symbolizing, but not representing God. 2. an opposition to icons or idols. —aniconic, adj. animism 1. the belief that natural objects and phenomena and the universe itself possess souls and consciousness. 2. the belief in spiritual beings or agencies. —animist, n. —animistic, adj. anthropolatry the deification and worship of a human being. anthropomorphism the assignment of human shape and attributes to gods, animals, etc. —anthropomorphist, n. —anthropomorphic, anthropomorphical, anthropomorphistic, adj. anthropopathism, anthropopathy the assignment of human feelings to a god or inanimate object. —anthropopathite, n. —anthropopathic, adj. anthropophuism the assignment of human nature and emotions to God. —anthropophuistic, adj. anthropotheism the belief that the gods have human nature, or are only deified men. apotheosis deification; the elevation of a person to godhood. See also honors and regalia. Atenism the monotheistic religious system of the Egyptian pharaoh Ikhnaton, emphasizing the worship of the sun god Aten (Aton). atheism the absolute denial of the existence of God or any other gods. —atheist, n. —atheistic, adj. Baalism the worship, in ancient Canaan or Phoenicia, of any of a variety of chief deities referred to as Baal, ’lord.’ —Baalite, n. —Baalistic, adj. bitheism a belief in two gods. —bitheist, n. —bitheistic, adj. chrematheism Obsolete, the worship of inanimate objects as usefully divine. deicide 1. the killing of a god. 2. the killer of a god. —deicidal, adj. deism the acknowledgment of the existence of a god upon the testimony of reason and of nature and its laws, and the rejection of the possibility of supernatural intervention in human affairs and of special revelation. —deist, n. —deistic, adj. demiurgism the belief, in Platonism and some Gnostic sects, that the material and sensible world was created by a subordinate god under the direction of the Supreme Being. —demiurge, n. —demiurgic, adj. ditheism 1. the belief or doctrine that there are two gods of equal power. 2. Zoroastrianism. the belief in two antagonistic deities, one a force for good, one for evil. —ditheist, n. —ditheistic, ditheistical adj. euhemerism the belief that the mythological gods were merely early kings and heroes deified. —euhemerist, n. —euhemeristic, adj. henotheism a belief in one suprème or specially venerated god who is not the only god. —henotheist, n. heroogony the birth of heroes as a result of a union between gods and mortal women. herotheism the worship of mortals who have been deified. hylotheism the identification of God with matter or the universe. —hylotheist, n. Isiac relating to the religious practices and objects involving the goddess Isis. Mammonism the pursuit of material wealth and possessions, especially a dedication to riches that is tantamount to devotion. —Mammonist, Mammonite, n. Mazdaism the worship of Ahura Mazda in Zoroastrianism as the source of all light and good. —Mazdaist, n. mechanomorphism the concept that God is a mechanical force and that the universe is governed by natural laws. Cf. deism. —mechanomorphic, adj. misotheism Rare. a hatred of gods or God. Mithraism an oriental mystery cult, admitting only men, whose deity was Mithras, the savior hero of Persian myth. —Mithraist, n. —Mithraic, adj. monolatry the worship of one god without excluding belief in others. monotheism the doctrine of or belief in only one God. —monotheist, n. myriotheism the worship of an unlimited number of gods. Neptunianism the state of relating to the god or planet Neptune or to the ocean. —Neptunian, adj. noumenalism the doctrine of the existence of noumena, whose existence is understood only by intellectual intuition, without the aid of the senses. —noumenalist, n. panentheism the belief that the world is part, though not all of God. —panentheist, n. pantheism the identification of God with the universe as His manifestation. —pantheist, n. Parsiism, Parseeism the Zoroastrianism of southwest India, with religious literature in the Parsi dialect. —Parsi, n. phallicism the worship of the phallus as symbolic of the generative power of nature. —phallicist, phallist, n. philotheism a love for God. —philotheist, n. —philotheistic, adj. physitheism 1. the assignment to God of a physical shape. 2. deification of the powers or phenomena of nature. polytheism a belief in, or worship of, many gods. —polytheist, n. pseudolatry devotion to false gods. psychotheism the doctrine that God is pure spirit. Sethite, Sethian a member of a Gnostic sect that regarded Seth, son of Adam, as the father of a pure race and considered the serpent as its deity. supernaturalism 1. the condition or quality of existing outside the known experience of man or caused by forces beyond those of nature. 2. belief in supernatural events or forces. Also supranaturalism. —supernaturalist, n., adj. —supernatural, supernaturalistic, adj. supranaturalism supernaturalism. —supranaturalist, n., adj. —supranatural, supranaturalistic, adj. theanthropism 1. the attributing of human characteristics to God; anthropomorphism. 2. a belief in the divinity of a human being. 3. a belief in God’s becoming man. Also called theanthroposophy. —theanthropist, n. theism 1. a belief in the existence of God or gods. 2. a belief in one god as creator and ruler of the universe, without rejection of special revelation. Cf. deism. —theism, n. theocentrism, theocentricity the belief that God is the center of all truth in the universe. —theocentric, adj. theocrasy, theocrasia 1. a mingling of the attributes of several deities into one. 2. a union of an individual soul with God, especially through contemplation. theodicy the vindication of the goodness of God in the face of the existence of evil. —theodicean, adj. theogony 1. the origin of the gods. 2. a genealogical account of the origin of the gods. —theogonist, n. theolepsy Archaic. a seizure or possession by a deity. —theoleptic, n. theology the study of God and His relationship to the universe. —theologist, n. —theological, adj. theomachist a person or a god who resists the divine will of God or the gods. —theomachy, n. theomancy a form of divination involving divinely inspired oracles or others inspired by God. theomania a religious madness in which a person believes he is God or is inspired by God. theopathy religious emotion or excitement caused by contemplation of God. —theopathetic, — theopathic, adj. theophagy the act of eating one’s god, either literally or symbolically. —theophagite, n. —theophagous, adj. theophobia an abnormal fear of God. theurgy 1. the working of some divine or supernatural agency in human affairs. 2. the art of invoking deities or spirits for aid or information or knowledge unachievable through human reason. 3. a divine act; miracle. 4. a system of supernatural knowledge or powers believed bequeathed to the Egyptian Platonists by beneficent deities. —theurgist, n. —theurgic, theurgical, adj. Titanism the condition of having qualities distinctive of the Titans, a family of giants in Greek mythology. —titanic, adj. trieteric 1. a festival that occurs every third year, especially one honoring Bacchus. 2. occurring every third year, particularly in reference to festivals for divinities. —trieterical, adj. tripersonality the quality of existing in three persons, as God in the Trinity. —tripersonal, adj. tritheism 1. a belief in three gods. 2. a Christian heresy holding that the Trinity consists of three distinct gods. —tritheist, n. ubiquitary a person or entity existing everywhere. —ubiquitary, adj. Zemiism the religion of the Taino tribes of the West Indies, involving the invocation of Zemis, spirits or supernatural beings often dwelling in objects. zoomorphism the attribution of animal form or nature to a deity.