Monism Across Religions



9 Questions

What is monism?

Who introduced monism in the 18th century?

What are the two sorts of definitions for monism?

Which of the following is NOT a type of monism?

Which religious view considers God as separate from all physical, created things and as existing outside of time?

Who was the most influential of the Islamic monists?

What is pantheism?

What is the difference between pantheism and panentheism?

What does nondualism prefer to be called instead of monism?


Monism: the belief in oneness or singleness attributed to a concept, such as existence. Monism has been discussed throughout Indian Philosophy and Vedanta, and was introduced in the 18th century by Christian von Wolff in his work Logic. There are two sorts of definitions for monism: substance ontology, which sees Brahman as the unchanging real beyond the world of appearances, and process ontology, which sees reality as empty of an unchanging essence. Different types of monism include materialistic monism, idealistic monism, neutral monism, and more. Monistic philosophers include pre-Socratic philosophers, post-Socrates philosophers, and modern philosophers. Pantheism is the belief that everything composes an all-encompassing, immanent God, or that the universe is identical with divinity. Panentheism posits that the divine interpenetrates every part of nature, but is not one with nature. Pandeism describes beliefs coherently incorporating or mixing logically reconcilable elements of pantheism and classical deism. Within Buddhism, a rich variety of philosophical and pedagogical models can be found. Sikhism complies with the concept of Absolute Monism. Jewish thought considers God as separate from all physical, created things and as existing outside of time.Religious Views on Monism

  • Maimonides believed God caused all other existence and that to admit corporeality to God is tantamount to admitting complexity to God, which is a contradiction to God as the first cause.
  • Hasidic mystics believed that the existence of the physical world is a contradiction to God's simpleness, while Maimonides saw no contradiction.
  • The Vilna Gaon was against the Hasidic mystical view, as he felt it would lead to pantheism and heresy and this is considered the main reason for the Gaon's ban on Chasidism.
  • Christians maintain that God created the universe ex nihilo and not from his own substance, so that the creator is not to be confused with creation, but rather transcends it.
  • In On Free Choice of the Will, Augustine argued that evil is not the opposite of good, but rather merely the absence of good, something that does not have existence in itself.
  • Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy believe that while human beings are not ontologically identical with the Creator, they are nonetheless capable of uniting with his Divine Nature via theosis and through the devout reception of the Holy Eucharist.
  • Some Christian theologians are avowed monists, such as Paul Tillich.
  • Latter Day Saint theology also expresses a form of dual-aspect monism via materialism and eternalism.
  • The Quran provides a monist image of God by describing reality as a unified whole, with God being a single concept that would describe or ascribe all existing things.
  • Some Sufi mystics advocate monism, while others uphold dualistic Monotheism.
  • The most influential of the Islamic monists was the Sufi philosopher Ibn Arabi, who developed the concept of 'unity of being'.
  • The doctrine of waḥdat al-wujūd enjoys considerable following in the rationalist philosophy of Twelver Shi'ism.
  • The Baháʼí Faith has a number of foundational texts that have been described as mystical and include statements of a monist nature.
  • Nondualism, a modern reinterpretation of many forms of religion, prefers the term "nondualism", instead of monism, because this understanding is "nonconceptual", "not graspable in an idea".


Test your knowledge on religious views and beliefs surrounding monism with this quiz! Explore the different types of monism, such as materialistic and idealistic monism, and their philosophical origins. Learn about the concept of pantheism and panentheism, and how they relate to monism. Discover how different religions, such as Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Sikhism, view monism and its place in their beliefs. Challenge yourself with thought-provoking questions and expand your knowledge on

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