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Monotheism is the
belief A belief is an attitude Attitude may refer to: Philosophy and psychology * Attitude (psychology) In psychology Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of consciousness, conscious and Unconsci ...

belief
that there is only one
god In monotheism, monotheistic thought, God is conceived of as the supreme being, creator deity, creator, and principal object of Faith#Religious views, faith.Richard Swinburne, Swinburne, R.G. "God" in Ted Honderich, Honderich, Ted. (ed)''The Oxfo ...

god
. A narrower definition of monotheism is the belief in the existence of only one
omnipotent '' Michelangelo.html"_;"title="Separation_of_Light_from_Darkness''_by_Michelangelo">Separation_of_Light_from_Darkness''_by_Michelangelo_ Omnipotence_is_the_quality_of_having_unlimited_power_and_potential._Monotheism.html" ;"title="Michelangelo_.ht ...
,
omnipresent Omnipresence or ubiquity is the property of being present anywhere and everywhere. The term omnipresence is most often used in a religious Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of designated religious behaviour, behaviors and ...
,
omnibenevolent Omnibenevolence (from Latin ''omni-'' meaning "all", ''bene-'' meaning "good" and ''volens'' meaning "willing") is defined by the '' Oxford English Dictionary'' as "unlimited or infinite wikt:benevolence, benevolence". Some philosophers have argue ...
, and
omniscient Omniscience () is the capacity to know everything. In monotheistic religions, such as Sikhism and the Abrahamic religions, this is an God#Specific attributes, attribute of God. In Jainism, omniscience is an attribute that any individual can ev ...

omniscient
being that created the world. Cross, F.L.; Livingstone, E.A., eds. (1974). "Monotheism". The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (2 ed.). Oxford:
Oxford University Press Oxford University Press (OUP) is the university press 200px, The Pitt Building in Cambridge, which used to be the headquarters of Cambridge University Press, and now serves as a conference centre for the Press. A university press is an academic ...

Oxford University Press
.
A distinction may be made between exclusive monotheism, and both inclusive monotheism and pluriform (
panentheistic Panentheism ("all in God”), from the Greek ''pân'', "all", ''en'', "in" and ''Theós'', "God") is the belief A belief is an Attitude (psychology), attitude that something is the case, or that some proposition about the world is truth, t ...
) monotheism which, while recognising various distinct gods, postulate some underlying unity. Monotheism is distinguished from
henotheism Henotheism () is the worship of a single, overarching god God, in monotheistic thought, is conceived of as the supreme being, creator, and principal object of faith Faith, derived from Latin ''fides'' and Old French ''feid'', is confide ...
, a religious system in which the believer worships one god without denying that others may worship different gods with equal validity, and
monolatrism Monolatry (Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 1 ...
, the recognition of the existence of many gods but with the consistent worship of only one deity. The term ''
monolatry Monolatry (Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as ...
'' was perhaps first used by
Julius Wellhausen Julius Wellhausen (17 May 1844 – 7 January 1918) was a German biblical scholar Biblical studies is the academic application of a set of diverse disciplines to the study of the Bible The Bible (from Koine Greek τὰ βιβλία, ' ...
. The broader definition of monotheism characterizes the traditions of
Bábism The Bábi Faith ( fa, بابیه, ''Babiyye'') is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion which professes that there is one incorporeal, unknown, and incomprehensible GodEdward Granville Browne, Browne, E.G.]''Kitab-i ...
, the
Baháʼí Faith The Baháʼí Faith (; fa , بهائی ') is a new religion teaching the essential worth of all religions and the unity of all people. Established by Baháʼu'lláh Baháʼu'lláh (12 November 1817 – 29 May 1892) was a Persian ...
, Cao Dai (Caodaiism), Cheondoism (Cheondogyo),
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Semitic-originated religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of ...

Christianity
,Christianity's status as monotheistic is affirmed in, among other sources, the ''
Catholic Encyclopedia The ''Catholic Encyclopedia: An International Work of Reference on the Constitution, Doctrine, Discipline, and History of the Catholic Church'' (also referred to as the ''Old Catholic Encyclopedia'' and the ''Original Catholic Encyclopedia'') i ...
'' (article
Monotheism
); William F. Albright, ''From the Stone Age to Christianity''; H. Richard Niebuhr; About.com
''Monotheistic Religion resources''
Kirsch, ''God Against the Gods''; Woodhead, ''An Introduction to Christianity'';
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia The ''Columbia Encyclopedia'' is a one-volume encyclopedia An encyclopedia or encyclopaedia (British English) is a reference work or compendium providing summaries of knowledge either from all branches or from a particular field or discip ...
br>''Monotheism''
The New Dictionary of
Cultural Literacy Cultural literacy is a term coined by American educator and literary critic E. D. Hirsch, referring to the ability to understand and participate fluently in a given culture. Cultural literacy is an analogy Analogy (from Greek language, Greek ἀν ...

''monotheism''
New Dictionary of Theology

pp. 496–499; Meconi. "Pagan Monotheism in Late Antiquity". pp. 111ff.
Deism Deism ( or ; derived from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the p ...
,
Druze Druze (; ar, درزي ' or ', plural ') are members of an Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Mi ...
faith,
Eckankar Eckankar is a new religious movement A new religious movement (NRM), also known as a new religion or an alternative spirituality, is a religious or spirituality, spiritual group that has modern origins but is peripheral to its society's do ...

Eckankar
,
Sikhism Sikhism () or Sikhi ( pa, ਸਿੱਖੀ ', , from pa, ਸਿੱਖ, lit=disciple', 'seeker', or 'learner, translit=Sikh, label=none)''Sikhism'' (indigenously known as ''Sikhī'') originated from the word ''Sikh'', which comes from the Sanskr ...
,
Hindu sects Hindu denominations are traditions within Hinduism Hinduism () is an Indian religion and ''dharma'', or way of life. It is the Major religious groups, world's third-largest religion, with over 1.2 billion followers, or 15–16% of the gl ...
such as
Shaivism Shaivism (; Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; , , ) is a of that belongs to the branch of the . It arose in South Asia after its predecessor languages had there from the northwest in the late . Sanskrit is the of , the langua ...
and
Vaishnavism Vaishnavism (Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia ...

Vaishnavism
,
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or ex ...
,
Judaism Judaism is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, monotheism, monotheistic, and ethnic religion comprising the collective religious, cultural, and legal tradition and civilization of the Jewish people. It has its roots as an organized religion ...
,
Mandaeism Mandaeism or Mandaeanism ( myz, ࡌࡀࡍࡃࡀࡉࡉࡀ, mandaiia; ar, مَنْدَائِيَّة, '), also known as Sabianism ( ar, صَابِئِيَّة, '), is a Gnostic Gnosticism (from grc, γνωστικός, gnōstikós, , 'ha ...
,
Rastafari Rastafari, also known as the Rastafari movement or Rastafarianism, is a that developed in during the 1930s. It is classified as both a and a by . There is no central authority in control of the movement and much diversity exists among prac ...

Rastafari
, Seicho no Ie, Tenrikyo (Tenriism),
Yazidism Yazidism ( ku, Êzdiyatî, Êzdîtî) or Sharfadin ( ku, شه‌رفه‌دین, Şerfedîn) is a monotheistic Monotheism is the belief A belief is an attitude Attitude may refer to: Philosophy and psychology * Attitude (psychology) ...
, and
Zoroastrianism Zoroastrianism or Mazdayasna is an Iranian religions, Iranian religion and one of the world's oldest continuously-practiced organized faiths, based on the teachings of the Iranian peoples, Iranian-speaking prophet Zoroaster (also known as ''Za ...
, and elements of pre-monotheistic thought are found in early
religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and whether the exchange is voluntary/involuntary. Etymology ...

religion
s such as
Atenism Atenism, the Aten religion, the Amarna religion, or the "Amarna heresy" was a and the religious changes associated with the ian . The religion centered on the cult of the god , depicted as the disc of the and originally an aspect of the tra ...
, ancient Chinese religion, and
Yahwism Yahwism is the name given by modern scholars to the religion of History of ancient Israel and Judah, ancient Israel. Yahwism was Polytheism, polytheistic, with a plethora of Deity, gods and Goddess, goddesses. Heading the pantheon was Yahweh, wi ...
.


Etymology

The word ''
monotheism Monotheism is the belief A belief is an attitude Attitude may refer to: Philosophy and psychology * Attitude (psychology) In psychology Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of consciou ...
'' comes from the
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
(''monos'') meaning "single" and (''theos'') meaning "
god In monotheistic Monotheism is the belief A belief is an attitude Attitude may refer to: Philosophy and psychology * Attitude (psychology) In psychology Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the ...

god
". The English term was first used by
Henry More Henry More (; 12 October 1614 – 1 September 1687) was an English philosopher of the Cambridge Platonists, Cambridge Platonist school. Biography Henry was born in Grantham, Grantham, Lincolnshire on 12 October 1614. He was the seventh son of ...

Henry More
(1614–1687).


Origins

Quasi-monotheistic claims of the existence of a universal deity date to the
Late Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the Three-age sys ...
, with
Akhenaten Akhenaten (pronounced ), also spelled Echnaton, Akhenaton, Ikhnaton, and Khuenaten ( egy, wikt:ꜣḫ-n-jtn, ꜣḫ-n-jtn, meaning "Effective for the Aten"), was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh reigning or 1351–1334 BC, the tenth ruler of the Ei ...

Akhenaten
's ''
Great Hymn to the Aten and his family adoring the Aten. Image:Aten worship - Great Hymn to Aten2.jpg, Drawing of the inscription of the hymn text (1908 publication). The Great Hymn to the Aten is the longest of a number of hymn-poems written to the solar deity, sun-disk d ...
'' from the 14th century BC. In the Iron-Age South Asian Vedic period, a possible inclination towards monotheism emerged. The
Rigveda The ''Rigveda'' or ''Rig Veda'' ( ', from ' "praise" and ' "knowledge") is an ancient Indian collection Collection or Collections may refer to: * Cash collection, the function of an accounts receivable department * Collection agency, ag ...
exhibits notions of
monism Monism attributes oneness or singleness (Greek: μόνος) to a concept e.g., existence. Various kinds of monism can be distinguished: * Priority monism states that all existing things go back to a source that is distinct from them; e.g., i ...
of the
Brahman ''Brahman'' ( sa, ब्रह्मन् , hi, ब्रह्म) connotes the highest Universal Principle, the Ultimate Reality Ultimate reality is "something that is the supreme, final, and fundamental power in all reality". This heav ...

Brahman
, particularly in the comparatively late , which is dated to the early
Iron Age The Iron Age is the final epoch of the three-age division of the prehistory Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, or world history, is the narrative of Human, humanity's pa ...
, e.g. in the
Nasadiya Sukta The Nāsadīya Sūkta (after the incipit ', or "not the non-existent"), also known as the Hymn of Creation, is the 129th hymn of the 10th mandala of the Rigveda The ''Rigveda'' or ''Rig Veda'' ( ', from ' "praise" and ' "knowledge") is an ...
. Later, ancient Hindu theology was
monist Monism attributes oneness or singleness (Greek: wikt:μόνος, μόνος) to a concept e.g., existence. Various kinds of monism can be distinguished: * Priority monism states that all existing things go back to a source that is distinct fr ...
, but was not strictly monotheistic in worship because it still maintained the existence of many gods, who were envisioned as aspects of one supreme God,
Brahman ''Brahman'' ( sa, ब्रह्मन् , hi, ब्रह्म) connotes the highest Universal Principle, the Ultimate Reality Ultimate reality is "something that is the supreme, final, and fundamental power in all reality". This heav ...

Brahman
. In China, the orthodox faith system held by most dynasties since at least the
Shang Dynasty The Shang dynasty (), also historically known as the Yin dynasty (), was a Chinese dynasty Dynasties in Chinese history, or Chinese dynasties, were hereditary monarchical regimes that ruled over China during much of its history. From ...

Shang Dynasty
(1766 BCE) until the modern period centered on the worship of ''
Shangdi Shangdi (), also written simply, "Emperor An emperor (from la, imperator, via fro, empereor) is a monarch, and usually the sovereignty, sovereign ruler of an empire or another type of imperial realm. Empress, the female equivalent, may in ...

Shangdi
'' (literally "Above Sovereign", generally translated as "God") or
Heaven Heaven or the heavens, is a common religious cosmological or transcendent supernatural The supernatural encompasses supposed phenomena or entities that are not subject to the . This term is attributed to , such as s, s, , and . It also ...

Heaven
as an omnipotent force. However, this faith system was not truly monotheistic since other lesser gods and spirits, which varied with locality, were also worshiped along with ''Shangdi''. Still, later variants such as
Mohism Mohism or Moism () was an ancient Chinese philosophy Chinese philosophy originates in the Spring and Autumn period () and Warring States period (), during a period known as the "Hundred Schools of Thought", which was character ...
(470 BCE–c.391 BCE) approached true monotheism, teaching that the function of lesser gods and ancestral spirits is merely to carry out the will of ''Shangdi'', akin to the angels in Abrahamic religions which in turn counts as only one god. Since the sixth century BCE, Zoroastrians have believed in the supremacy of one God above all:
Ahura Mazda Ahura Mazda (; ae, , translit=Ahura Mazdā also known as Oromasdes, Ohrmazd, Ahuramazda, Hourmazd, Hormazd, and Hurmuz) is the creator deity A creator deity or creator god (often called the Creator) is a deity A deity or god is a su ...

Ahura Mazda
as the "Maker of All" and the first being before all others. Zoroastrianism is not strictly monotheistic as it has a
dualistic cosmology Dualism in cosmology or dualistic cosmology is the moral or spiritual belief that two fundamental concepts exist, which often oppose each other. It is an umbrella term that covers a diversity of views from various religions, including both traditi ...
with Ahura Mazda, the force of good, engaged in a constant struggle with
Angra Mainyu Angra Mainyu (; Avestan Avestan , also known historically as Zend, comprises two languages: Old Avestan (spoken in the 2nd millennium BCE) and Younger Avestan (spoken in the 1st millennium BCE). The languages are known only from their use as ...

Angra Mainyu
, the force of evil, although good will ultimately overcome evil. Post-exilic Judaism, after the late 6th century BC, was the first religion to conceive the notion of a personal monotheistic God within a monist context. The concept of ethical monotheism, which holds that morality stems from God alone and that its laws are unchanging, first occurred in
Judaism Judaism is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, monotheism, monotheistic, and ethnic religion comprising the collective religious, cultural, and legal tradition and civilization of the Jewish people. It has its roots as an organized religion ...
, but is now a core tenet of most modern monotheistic religions, including Zoroastrianism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, and Baháʼí Faith. Also from the 6th century BC,
Thales Thales of Miletus ( ; el, Θαλῆς Thales of Miletus ( ; el, Θαλῆς Thales of Miletus ( ; el, Θαλῆς (ὁ Μιλήσιος), ''Thalēs''; ) was a Greek mathematician A mathematician is someone who uses an extensive kn ...

Thales
(followed by other Monists, such as
Anaximander Anaximander (; grc-gre, Ἀναξίμανδρος ''Anaximandros''; ) was a who lived in ,"Anaximander" in '. London: , 1961, Vol. 1, p. 403. a city of (in modern-day Turkey). He belonged to the and learned the teachings of his master . He s ...

Anaximander
, Anaximenes,
Heraclitus Heraclitus of Ephesus (; grc-gre, Ἡράκλειτος ; , ) was an Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), ...

Heraclitus
,
Parmenides Parmenides of Elea (; grc-gre, Παρμενίδης ὁ Ἐλεάτης; ) was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term ''philosopher'' comes from the grc, φιλόσοφος, , translit ...

Parmenides
) proposed that nature can be explained by reference to a single unitary principle that pervades everything. Numerous ancient Greek philosophers, including Xenophanes of Colophon and
Antisthenes Antisthenes (; el, Ἀντισθένης; c. 446c. 366 BC) was a Greek philosopher and a pupil of Socrates. Antisthenes first learned rhetoric Rhetoric () is the Art (skill), art of persuasion, which along with grammar and logic (or ...
believed in a similar polytheistic monism that bore some similarities to monotheism. The first known reference to a unitary God is
Plato Plato ( ; grc-gre, Πλάτων ; 428/427 or 424/423 – 348/347 BC) was an Classical Athens, Athenian philosopher during the Classical Greece, Classical period in Ancient Greece, founder of the Platonist school of thought and the Platoni ...

Plato
's
Demiurge In the Platonic Plato's influence on Western culture was so profound that several different concepts are linked by being called Platonic or Platonist, for accepting some assumptions of Platonism, but which do not imply acceptance of that philoso ...
(divine Craftsman), followed by
Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questio ...

Aristotle
's
unmoved mover The unmoved mover ( grc, ὃ οὐ κινούμενον κινεῖ, ho ou kinoúmenon kineî, that which moves without being moved) or prime mover ( la, primum movens) is a concept advanced by Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτ ...
, both of which would profoundly influence Jewish and Christian theology. According to Jewish, Christian and Islamic tradition, monotheism was the original religion of humanity; this original religion is sometimes referred to as "the Adamic religion", or, in the terms of
Andrew Lang Andrew Lang (31 March 1844 – 20 July 1912) was a Scottish poet, novelist, literary critic Literary criticism (or literary studies) is the study, evaluation Evaluation is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or ...

Andrew Lang
, the "
Urreligion ''Urreligion'' is a postulated "original" or "oldest" form of religious tradition (the German prefix A prefix is an affix which is placed before the stem of a word. Adding it to the beginning of one word changes it into another word. For exam ...
". Scholars of religion largely abandoned that view in the 19th century in favour of an evolutionary progression from
animism Animism (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Rom ...

animism
via
polytheism Polytheism is the worship of or belief in multiple deity, deities, which are usually assembled into a pantheon (religion), pantheon of God (male deity), gods and goddesses, along with their own religious sects and rituals. Polytheism is a type o ...
to monotheism, but by 1974, this theory was less widely held, and a modified view similar to Lang's became more prominent. Austrian anthropologist Wilhelm Schmidt had postulated an ''
UrmonotheismusThe term ''Urmonotheismus'' (German for ":wikt:ur-, primeval monotheism") or primitive monotheism expresses the hypothesis of a monotheistic ''Urreligion'', from which polytheistic religions allegedly degenerated. This evolutionary view of religious ...
'', "original" or "primitive monotheism" in the 1910s. It was objected that
Judaism Judaism is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, monotheism, monotheistic, and ethnic religion comprising the collective religious, cultural, and legal tradition and civilization of the Jewish people. It has its roots as an organized religion ...
,
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Semitic-originated religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of ...

Christianity
, and
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or ex ...
had grown up in opposition to polytheism as had Greek philosophical monotheism. More recently,
Karen Armstrong Karen Armstrong (born 14 November 1944) is a British author and commentator of Irish Catholic Irish most commonly refers to: * Someone or something of, from, or related to: ** Ireland Ireland (; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster- ...

Karen Armstrong
and other authors have returned to the idea of an evolutionary progression beginning with
animism Animism (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Rom ...

animism
, which developed into
polytheism Polytheism is the worship of or belief in multiple deity, deities, which are usually assembled into a pantheon (religion), pantheon of God (male deity), gods and goddesses, along with their own religious sects and rituals. Polytheism is a type o ...
, which developed into
henotheism Henotheism () is the worship of a single, overarching god God, in monotheistic thought, is conceived of as the supreme being, creator, and principal object of faith Faith, derived from Latin ''fides'' and Old French ''feid'', is confide ...
, which developed into
monolatry Monolatry (Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as ...
, which developed into true monotheism.


Abrahamic religions

While all adherents of the
Abrahamic religions The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Semitic Semitic most commonly refers to the Semitic languages, a name used since the 1770s to refer to the language family ...

Abrahamic religions
consider themselves to be monotheists, some in Judaism do not consider Christianity to be a pure form of monotheism (due to the Christian doctrine of the
Trinity The Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' and ''Christian ...

Trinity
), classifying it as ''
shituf ' ( he, שִׁתּוּף; also transliterated Transliteration is a type of conversion of a text from one script Script may refer to: Writing systems * Script, a distinctive writing system, based on a repertoire of specific elements or sy ...
''. Islam likewise does not recognize modern-day Christianity as monotheistic, primarily due to the Christian doctrine of Trinity, which Islam categorizes as '' shirk'' and argues was a corruption of the beliefs actually held by Jesus. Christians, on the other hand, argue that the doctrine of the Trinity is a valid expression of monotheism, citing that the Trinity does not consist of three separate
deities A deity or god is a supernatural The supernatural encompasses supposed phenomena or entities that are not subject to the . This term is attributed to , such as s, s, , and . It also includes claimed abilities embodied in or provided by suc ...
, but rather the three
persons A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason Reason is the capacity of consciously applying logic Logic is an interdisciplinary field which studies truth and reasoning Reason i ...
, who exist consubstantially (as one
substance Substance may refer to: * Substance (Jainism), a term in Jain ontology to denote the base or owner of attributes * Chemical substance, a material with a definite chemical composition * Matter, anything that has mass and takes up space * Substance th ...
) within a single
Godhead Godhead (from Middle English ''godhede'', "godhood", and unrelated to the modern word "head"), may refer to: * Deity A deity or god is a supernatural The supernatural encompasses supposed phenomena that are not subject to the laws of ...
.


Judaism

Judaism is traditionally considered one of the oldest monotheistic religions in the world, although it is believed that the earliest Israelites (pre-7th century BCE) were
polytheistic Polytheism is the worship of or belief in multiple deities A deity or god is a supernatural The supernatural encompasses supposed phenomena that are not subject to the laws of nature.https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/supernatura ...
, who evolved into henotheistic and later
monolatristic Monolatry (Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately ...
, rather than monotheistic. God in
Second Temple Judaism Second Temple Judaism is Judaism Judaism is an Abrahamic The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Semitic-originated religion Religion is a social sy ...
later
Rabbinic Judaism Rabbinic Judaism ( he, יהדות רבנית, Yahadut Rabanit), also called Rabbinism, Rabbinicism, or Judaism espoused by the Rabbanites, has been the mainstream form of Judaism since the 6th century Common era, CE, after the codification of ...
was strictly monotheistic, an absolute one, indivisible, and incomparable
being In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, reason, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Philosophy of language, la ...

being
who is the ultimate cause of all existence. The
Babylonian Talmud The Talmud (; he, תַּלְמוּד ''Tálmūḏ'') is the central text of Rabbinic Judaism Rabbinic Judaism ( he, יהדות רבנית, Yahadut Rabanit), also called Rabbinism, Rabbinicism, or Judaism espoused by the Rabbanites, has ...
references other, "foreign gods" as non-existent entities to whom humans mistakenly ascribe reality and power. One of the best-known statements of
Rabbinic Judaism Rabbinic Judaism ( he, יהדות רבנית, Yahadut Rabanit), also called Rabbinism, Rabbinicism, or Judaism espoused by the Rabbanites, has been the mainstream form of Judaism since the 6th century Common era, CE, after the codification of ...
on monotheism is the Second of
Maimonides Moses ben Maimon ; (1138–1204), commonly known as Maimonides ( ) grc-gre, Μωυσής Μαϊμωνίδης ; la, Moses Maimonides and also referred to by the acronym Rambam ( he, רמב״ם),, for ''Rabbeinu Mōše bēn Maimun'', "Our Ra ...

Maimonides
'
13 Principles of faith There is no established formulation of principles of faith that are recognized by all branches of Judaism. Central authority in Judaism is not vested in any one person or group - although the Sanhedrin The Sanhedrin (Hebrew Hebrew (, , ...
: Some in Judaism and Islam reject the Christian idea of monotheism. Judaism uses the term ''
shituf ' ( he, שִׁתּוּף; also transliterated Transliteration is a type of conversion of a text from one script Script may refer to: Writing systems * Script, a distinctive writing system, based on a repertoire of specific elements or sy ...
'' to refer to the worship of God in a manner which Judaism deems to be neither purely monotheistic (though still permissible for non-Jews) nor polytheistic (which would be prohibited).


In Ancient Israel

During the 8th century BCE, the worship of
Yahweh Yahweh was the national god of ancient Kingdom of Israel (Samaria), Israel and Kingdom of Judah, Judah. His origins reach at least to the early Iron Age, and likely to the Late Bronze Age. In the oldest biblical literature, he is a Weather ...
in Israel was in competition with many other cults, described by the Yahwist faction collectively as
Baal Baal (), properly Baal,; phn, , baʿl; hbo, , baʿal, ). was a title and honorific An honorific is a title that conveys esteem, courtesy, or respect for position or rank when used in addressing or referring to a person. Sometimes, the term " ...

Baal
s. The oldest books of the
Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regarded as the language of the Israelites ...

Hebrew Bible
reflect this competition, as in the books of
Hosea In the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew: , or ), is the Biblical canon, canonical collection of Hebrew language, Hebrew scriptures, including the Torah, the Nevi'im, and the Ketuvim. These texts are almost exclusively i ...
and
Nahum Nahum ( or ; he, נַחוּם ''Naḥūm'') was a minor prophet Minor may refer to: * Minor (law) In law, a minor is a person under a certain age, usually the age of majority The age of majority is the threshold of adulthood as recogn ...
, whose authors lament the "
apostasy Apostasy (; grc-gre, ἀποστασία ''apostasía'', "a defection or revolt") is the formal religious disaffiliation, disaffiliation from, abandonment of, or renunciation of a religion by a person. It can also be defined within the broader ...
" of the people of Israel, threatening them with the wrath of God if they do not give up their polytheistic cults. Ancient Israelite religion was originally polytheistic; the Israelites worshipped many deities, including El,
Baal Baal (), properly Baal,; phn, , baʿl; hbo, , baʿal, ). was a title and honorific An honorific is a title that conveys esteem, courtesy, or respect for position or rank when used in addressing or referring to a person. Sometimes, the term " ...

Baal
,
Asherah Asherah , ''ʾăšērâ''; Ugaritic language, Ugaritic: 𐎀𐎘𐎗𐎚 ''Aṯirat'', name=, group= in ancient Semitic religion, is a mother goddess who appears in a number of ancient sources. She appears in Akkadian literature, Akkadian wri ...
, and
Astarte Astarte (; grc-gre, Ἀστάρτη, ''Astártē'') is the Hellenized form of the Ancient Near Eastern goddess Astoreth (Northwest Semitic Northwest Semitic, known as Syro-Palestinian in dialect geography, is a division of the Semitic lang ...
. Yahweh was originally the
national god A national god is a guardian divinity whose special concern is the safety and well-being of an ethnic group (''nation A nation is a community A community is a social unit (a group of living things) with commonality such as Norm (social), n ...
of the Kingdom of Israel and the
Kingdom of Judah The Kingdom of Judah ( he, יְהוּדָה, ''Yəhūdā''; akk, 𒅀𒌑𒁕𒀀𒀀 ''Ya'uda'' 'ia-ú-da-a-a'' arc, 𐤁‬𐤉‬𐤕‬𐤃𐤅‬𐤃 ''Bēyt David, Dāwīḏ'') was an Israelites, Israelite kingdom of the Southern Le ...
. As time progressed, the henotheistic cult of Yahweh grew increasingly militant in its opposition to the worship of other gods. Later, the reforms of
King Josiah Josiah ( or ) or Yoshiyahu; la, Iosias was the 16th king of Judah The Kings of Judah were the monarchs who ruled over the ancient Kingdom of Judah The Kingdom of Judah ( he, יְהוּדָה, ''Yəhūdā(h)''; akk, 𒅀𒌑𒁕𒀀𒀀 '' ...
imposed a form of strict
monolatrism Monolatry (Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 1 ...
. After the fall of Judah and the beginning of the
Babylonian captivity The Babylonian captivity or Babylonian exile is the period in Jewish history during which a number of people from the ancient Kingdom of Judah were captives in Babylon, the capital of the Neo-Babylonian Empire. After the Battle of Carchemish in ...
, a small circle of priests and scribes gathered around the exiled royal court, where they first developed the concept of Yahweh as the sole God of the world.


The Shema

''Shema Yisrael'' ("Hear, Israel") are the first two words of a section of the
Torah The Torah (; he, תּוֹרָה, "Instruction", "Teaching" or "Law") includes the first five books of the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew: , or ), is the Biblical canon, canonical collection of Hebrew language, Heb ...

Torah
, and is the title of a prayer that serves as a centerpiece of the morning and evening
Jewish prayer services Jewish prayer ( he, תְּפִלָּה, ; plural ; yi, תּפֿלה, tfile , plural ; Yinglish: davening from Yiddish 'pray') is the prayer recitation that forms part of the observance of Rabbinic Judaism. These prayers, often with in ...
. The first verse encapsulates the monotheistic essence of Judaism: "Hear, O Israel: the

our God, the is one" (), found in Deuteronomy 6, sometimes alternatively translated as "The is our God, the alone". Observant Jews consider the Shema to be the most important part of the
prayer Prayer is an invocation or act that seeks to activate a rapport with an object of worship through deliberate communication. In the narrow sense, the term refers to an act of supplication or intercession directed towards a deity or a deified an ...

prayer
service in Judaism, and its twice-daily recitation as a ''
mitzvah In its primary meaning, the Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regarded as the language of the Israelites, Jud ...
'' (religious commandment). It is traditional for Jews to say the Shema as their
last words Last words are the final utterances of a person before death. The meaning is sometimes expanded to include non-ultimate utterances in the final days or hours before death. Last words of famous or infamous people are sometimes recorded (although no ...

last words
, and for parents to teach their children to say it before they go to sleep at night.


Christianity

Among
early Christians The history of Christianity concerns the Christian religion Christianity is an Abrahamic The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Semitic-originated religi ...
, there was considerable debate over the nature of the
Godhead Godhead (from Middle English ''godhede'', "godhood", and unrelated to the modern word "head"), may refer to: * Deity A deity or god is a supernatural The supernatural encompasses supposed phenomena that are not subject to the laws of ...
, with some denying the incarnation but not the deity of Jesus (
Docetism In the history of Christianity The history of Christianity concerns the Christian religion, Christian countries, and the Church with its various denominations, from the 1st century to the present. Christianity originated with the mini ...
) and others later calling for an
Arian Arianism is a Christological doctrine first attributed to Arius Arius (; grc-koi, Ἄρειος, ; 250 or 256–336) was a Cyrenaic The Cyrenaics or Kyrenaics ( grc, Κυρηναϊκοί; ''Kyrēnaïkoí'') were a sensual hedonist Greek ...
conception of God. Despite at least one earlier local
synod A synod () is a council of a Ecclesia (church), church, usually convened to decide an issue of doctrine, administration or application. The word ''wikt:synod, synod'' comes from the meaning "assembly" or "meeting" and is analogous with the L ...
rejecting the claim of Arius, this
Christological In Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth. It is the Major religio ...
issue was to be one of the items addressed at the
First Council of Nicaea The First Council of Nicaea (; grc, Νίκαια ) was a council of Christian bishops convened in the Bithynia Bithynia (; Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialec ...
. The First Council of Nicaea, held in
Nicaea Nicaea or Nicea (; el, Νίκαια, ''Níkaia'') was an ancient Greek city in northwestern Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia and t ...
(in present-day
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia an ...

Turkey
), convoked by the
Roman Emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Politica ...
Constantine I Constantine I ( la, Flavius Valerius Constantinus; ; 27 February 22 May 337), also known as Constantine the Great, was Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period (starting in 27 BC). Th ...
in 325, was the first
ecumenical Ecumenism (), also spelled oecumenism, is the concept and principle in which Christians who belong to different Christian denominations work together to develop closer relationships among their churches and promote Christian unity. The adjecti ...
council of
bishop A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Moravian Chu ...

bishop
s of the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of governme ...

Roman Empire
, and most significantly resulted in the first uniform Christian
doctrine Doctrine (from la, Wikt:doctrina, doctrina, meaning "teaching, instruction") is a codification (law), codification of beliefs or a body of teacher, teachings or instructions, taught Value (personal and cultural), principles or positions, as the e ...

doctrine
, called the
Nicene Creed The original Nicene Creed (; grc-gre, Σύμβολον τῆς Νικαίας; la, Symbolum Nicaenum) was first adopted at the First Council of Nicaea, which opened on 19 June 325.''Readings in the History of Christian Theology'' by William Ca ...
. With the creation of the creed, a precedent was established for subsequent general ecumenical councils of bishops (
synod A synod () is a council of a Ecclesia (church), church, usually convened to decide an issue of doctrine, administration or application. The word ''wikt:synod, synod'' comes from the meaning "assembly" or "meeting" and is analogous with the L ...

synod
s) to create statements of belief and canons of doctrinal
orthodoxy Orthodoxy (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approxima ...
— the intent being to define a common creed for the
Church Church may refer to: Religion * Church (building) A church building, church house, or simply church, is a building used for Christian worship services and other Christian religious activities. The term is usually used to refer to the p ...

Church
and address
heretical Heresy is any belief or theory that is strongly at variance with established beliefs or customs, in particular the accepted beliefs of a church or religious organization. The term is usually used in reference to violations of important religi ...
ideas. One purpose of the council was to resolve disagreements in
Alexandria Alexandria ( or ; ar, الإسكندرية ; arz, اسكندرية ; Coptic language, Coptic: Rakodī; el, Αλεξάνδρεια ''Alexandria'') is the List of cities and towns in Egypt, third-largest city in Egypt after Cairo and Giza, ...

Alexandria
over the nature of
Jesus Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it ...

Jesus
in relationship to the Father; in particular, whether Jesus was of the same substance as
God the Father God the Father is a title given to God In monotheism, monotheistic thought, God is conceived of as the supreme being, creator deity, creator, and principal object of Faith#Religious views, faith.Richard Swinburne, Swinburne, R.G. "God" ...

God the Father
or merely of similar substance. All but two bishops took the first position; while
Arius Arius (; grc-koi, Ἄρειος, ; 250 or 256–336) was a Cyrenaic The Cyrenaics or Kyrenaics ( grc, Κυρηναϊκοί; ''Kyrēnaïkoí'') were a sensual hedonist Hedonism refers to a family of theories, all of which have in common th ...

Arius
' argument failed. Christian orthodox traditions (Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and most Protestants) follow this decision, which was reaffirmed in 381 at the
First Council of Constantinople The First Council of Constantinople ( la, Concilium Constantinopolitanum; grc-gre, Σύνοδος τῆς Κωνσταντινουπόλεως) was a council of Christian bishops convened in Constantinople la, Constantinopolis , alternate ...
and reached its full development through the work of the
Cappadocian Fathers (Fresco Fresco (plural ''frescos'' or ''frescoes'') is a technique of Mural, mural painting executed upon freshly laid ("wet") lime plaster. Water is used as the vehicle for the dry-powder pigment to merge with the plaster, and with the setting ...
. They consider God to be a triune entity, called the Trinity, comprising three "
person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason Reason is the capacity of consciously applying logic Logic is an interdisciplinary field which studies truth and reasoning Reason is ...

person
s",
God the Father God the Father is a title given to God In monotheism, monotheistic thought, God is conceived of as the supreme being, creator deity, creator, and principal object of Faith#Religious views, faith.Richard Swinburne, Swinburne, R.G. "God" ...

God the Father
,
God the Son God the Son ( el, Θεὸς ὁ υἱός, la, Deus Filius) is the second person of the Trinity in Christian theology. The doctrine of the Trinity identifies Jesus in Christianity, Jesus as the Incarnation (Christianity), incarnation of God in ...
, and
God the Holy Spirit For the majority of Christian denomination A Christian denomination is a distinct Religion, religious body within Christianity that comprises all Church (congregation), church congregations of the same kind, identifiable by traits such as a n ...
. These three are described as being "of the same substance" (). Christians overwhelmingly assert that monotheism is central to the Christian faith, as the Nicene Creed (and others), which gives the orthodox Christian definition of the Trinity, begins: "I believe in one God". From earlier than the times of the
Nicene Creed The original Nicene Creed (; grc-gre, Σύμβολον τῆς Νικαίας; la, Symbolum Nicaenum) was first adopted at the First Council of Nicaea, which opened on 19 June 325.''Readings in the History of Christian Theology'' by William Ca ...
, 325 CE, various Christian figures advocated the triune
mystery Mystery, The Mystery, Mysteries or The Mysteries may refer to: People * Mystery (pickup artist) Erik von Markovik (born September 24, 1971), more popularly known by his stage name, Mystery, is a Canadian pickup artist who developed a system of ...
-nature of God as a normative profession of faith. According to Roger E. Olson and Christopher Hall, through prayer, meditation, study and practice, the Christian community concluded "that God must exist as both a unity and trinity", codifying this in ecumenical council at the end of the 4th century. Most modern Christians believe the
Godhead Godhead (from Middle English ''godhede'', "godhood", and unrelated to the modern word "head"), may refer to: * Deity A deity or god is a supernatural The supernatural encompasses supposed phenomena that are not subject to the laws of ...
is triune, meaning that the three persons of the Trinity are in one union in which each person is also wholly God. They also hold to the doctrine of a Hypostatic union, man-god Christ Jesus as God incarnate#Christianity, God incarnate. These Christians also do not believe that one of the three divine figures is God alone and the other two are not but that all three are mysteriously God and one. Other Christian religions, including Unitarian Universalism, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormonism and others, Nontrinitarianism, do not share those views on the Trinity. Some Christian faiths, such as God in Mormonism, Mormonism, argue that the Godhead is in fact three separate individuals which include God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. Each individual having a distinct purpose in the grand existence of human kind. Furthermore, Mormons believe that before the Council of Nicaea, the predominant belief among many early Christians was that the Godhead was three separate individuals. In support of this view, they cite early Christian examples of belief in subordinationism. Unitarianism is a theological movement, named for its understanding of God as one person, in direct contrast to Trinitarianism.


Islam

In Islam, God in Islam, God (Allāh) is omnipotence, all-powerful and omniscience, all-knowing, the Creator, Sustainer, Ordainer and Judge of the universe.Gerhard Böwering, ''God and his Attributes'', Encyclopedia of the Quran God in Islam is strictly singular (''tawhid'') unique (''wahid'') and inherently One (''ahad''), all-merciful and omnipotent."Allah." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2007. Encyclopædia Britannica Allāh exists on the ''Throne of God#Islam, Al-'Arsh'' [Quran 7:54], but the Quran states that "No vision can grasp Him, but His grasp is over all vision. God is above all comprehension, yet is acquainted with all things" [Quran 6:103] Allāh is the only God and the same God worshiped in
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Semitic-originated religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of ...

Christianity
and
Judaism Judaism is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, monotheism, monotheistic, and ethnic religion comprising the collective religious, cultural, and legal tradition and civilization of the Jewish people. It has its roots as an organized religion ...
.(). Islam emerged in the 7th century CE in the context of both Christianity and Judaism, with some thematic elements similar to Gnosticism. Islamic belief states that Muhammad did not bring a new religion from God, but rather the same religion as practiced by Islamic view of Abraham, Abraham, Islamic view of Moses, Moses, David in Islam, David, Jesus in Islam, Jesus and all the other Prophets and messengers in Islam, prophets of God. The assertion of Islam is that the message of God had been corrupted, distorted or lost over time, and the Quran was sent to Muhammad in order to correct the lost message of the Tawrat (Torah), Injil (Gospel) and Zabur. The Quran asserts the existence of a single and absolute truth that transcends the world; a unique and indivisible being who is independent of the creation.Vincent J. Cornell, ''Encyclopedia of Religion'', Vol 5, pp.3561-3562 The Quran rejects binary modes of thinking such as the idea of a Dualistic cosmology, duality of God by arguing that both Goodness and evil, good and evil generate from God's creative act. God is a universal god rather than a local, tribal or parochial one; an absolute who integrates all affirmative values and brooks no evil.Asma Barlas, Believing Women in Islam, p.96 Ash'ari theology, which dominated Sunni Islam from the tenth to the nineteenth century, insists on ultimate divine transcendence and holds that divine unity is not accessible to human reason. Ash'arism teaches that human knowledge regarding it is limited to what has been revealed through the prophets, and on such paradoxes as God's creation of evil, revelation had to accept ''bila kayfa'' (without [asking] how). ''Tawhid'' constitutes the foremost article of the Muslim Shahada, profession of faith, "There is no god but Allah, God, Muhammad is the messenger of God.D. Gimaret, ''Tawhid'', Encyclopedia of Islam To attribute divinity to a created entity is the only unpardonable sin mentioned in the Quran. The entirety of the Islamic teaching rests on the principle of ''tawhid''. Medieval Islamic philosopher Al-Ghazali offered a proof of monotheism from omnipotence, asserting there can only be one omnipotent being. For if there were two omnipotent beings, the first would either have power over the second (meaning the second is not omnipotent) or not (meaning the first is not omnipotent); thus implying that there could only be one omnipotent being. As they traditionally profess a concept of monotheism with a singular entity as God, Judaism and Islam reject the Christian idea of monotheism. Judaism uses the term Shituf to refer to non-monotheistic ways of worshiping God. Although Muslims Veneration#Islam, venerate Jesus (Jesus in Islam, Isa in Arabic) as a prophet, they do not accept the doctrine that he was a begotten son of God.


Mandaeism

Mandaeism Mandaeism or Mandaeanism ( myz, ࡌࡀࡍࡃࡀࡉࡉࡀ, mandaiia; ar, مَنْدَائِيَّة, '), also known as Sabianism ( ar, صَابِئِيَّة, '), is a Gnostic Gnosticism (from grc, γνωστικός, gnōstikós, , 'ha ...
or Mandaeanism ( ar, مندائية '), also known as Sabianism ( ar, صَابِئِيَّة, '), is a monotheistic, Gnosticism, Gnostic, and ethnic religion. Its adherents, the Mandaeans, revere Adam, Cain and Abel, Abel, Seth, Enos (biblical figure), Enos, Noah, Shem, Aram, son of Shem, Aram, and especially John the Baptist. The Mandaeans believe in one God commonly named Hayyi Rabbi meaning 'The Great Life' or 'The Great Living God'. The Mandaeans are Semitic people, Semites and speak a dialect of Eastern Aramaic languages, Eastern Aramaic known as Mandaic language, Mandaic. The name 'Mandaean' is said to come from the Aramaic ''manda'' meaning "knowledge", as does Greek ''gnosis''. Within the Middle East, but outside of their community, the Mandaeans are more commonly known as the ' (singular: ) or Sabians. The term ' is derived from the Aramaic root related to Baptism#Mandaean_Baptism, baptism, the neo-Mandaic is ''.'' In Islam, the Sabians ( ar, الصابئون ') are described several times in the Quran as People of the Book, alongside Jews and Christians. Mandaeans recognize God to be the eternal, creator of all, the one and only in domination who has no partner.Hanish, Shak (2019). The Mandaeans In Iraq. In


Baháʼí Faith

God in the
Baháʼí Faith The Baháʼí Faith (; fa , بهائی ') is a new religion teaching the essential worth of all religions and the unity of all people. Established by Baháʼu'lláh Baháʼu'lláh (12 November 1817 – 29 May 1892) was a Persian ...
is taught to be the Imperishable, uncreated Being Who is the source of existence, too great for humans to fully comprehend. Human primitive understanding of God is achieved through his revelations via his divine intermediary Manifestation of God (Baháʼí Faith), Manifestations. In the Baháʼí faith, such Christian doctrines as the
Trinity The Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' and ''Christian ...

Trinity
are seen as compromising the Baháʼí view that God is single and has no equal, and the very existence of the Baháʼí Faith is a challenge to the Islamic doctrine of the finality of Muhammad's revelation. God in the Baháʼí Faith communicates to humanity through divine intermediaries, known as Manifestation of God (Baháʼí Faith), Manifestations of God. These Manifestations establish religion in the world. It is through these divine intermediaries that humans can approach God, and through them God brings divine revelation and law. The Oneness of God is one of the core teachings of the
Baháʼí Faith The Baháʼí Faith (; fa , بهائی ') is a new religion teaching the essential worth of all religions and the unity of all people. Established by Baháʼu'lláh Baháʼu'lláh (12 November 1817 – 29 May 1892) was a Persian ...
. The Obligatory Baháʼí prayers, obligatory prayers in the Baháʼí Faith involve explicit monotheistic testimony. God is the imperishable, uncreated being who is the source of all existence. He is described as "a personal God, unknowable, inaccessible, the source of all Revelation, eternal,
omniscient Omniscience () is the capacity to know everything. In monotheistic religions, such as Sikhism and the Abrahamic religions, this is an God#Specific attributes, attribute of God. In Jainism, omniscience is an attribute that any individual can ev ...

omniscient
,
omnipresent Omnipresence or ubiquity is the property of being present anywhere and everywhere. The term omnipresence is most often used in a religious Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of designated religious behaviour, behaviors and ...
and omnipotence, almighty". Although transcendent and inaccessible directly, his image is reflected in his creation. The purpose of creation is for the created to have the capacity to know and love its creator. God communicates his will and purpose to humanity through intermediaries, known as Manifestation of God (Baháʼí Faith), Manifestations of God, who are the prophets and messengers that have founded religions from prehistoric times up to the present day.


Rastafari

Rastafari Rastafari, also known as the Rastafari movement or Rastafarianism, is a that developed in during the 1930s. It is classified as both a and a by . There is no central authority in control of the movement and much diversity exists among prac ...

Rastafari
, sometimes termed Rastafarianism, is classified as both a new religious movement and social movement. It developed in Jamaica during the 1930s. It lacks any centralised authority and there is much heterogeneity among practitioners, who are known as Rastafari, Rastafarians, or Rastas. Rastafari refer to their beliefs, which are based on a specific interpretation of the Bible, as "Rastalogy". Central is a monotheistic belief in a single God—referred to as Jah—who partially resides within each individual. The former emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie, is given central importance. Many Rastas regard him as an incarnation of Jah on Earth and as the Second Coming of Christ. Others regard him as a human prophet who fully recognised the inner divinity within every individual.


Atenism

Amenhotep IV initially introduced
Atenism Atenism, the Aten religion, the Amarna religion, or the "Amarna heresy" was a and the religious changes associated with the ian . The religion centered on the cult of the god , depicted as the disc of the and originally an aspect of the tra ...
in Year 5 of his reign (1348/1346 BCE) during the 18th dynasty of the New Kingdom. He raised Aten, once a relatively obscure Egyptian solar deity representing the disk of the sun, to the status of Supreme God in the Egyptian pantheon. To emphasise the change, Aten's name was written in the cartouche form normally reserved for Pharaohs, an innovation of Atenism. This religious reformation appears to coincide with the proclamation of a Sed festival, a sort of royal jubilee intended to reinforce the Pharaoh's divine powers of kingship. Traditionally held in the thirtieth year of the Pharaoh's reign, this possibly was a festival in honour of Amenhotep III, who some Egyptologists think had a coregency with his son Amenhotep IV of two to twelve years. Year 5 is believed to mark the beginning of Amenhotep IV's construction of a new capital, Akhetaten (''Horizon of the Aten''), at the site known today as Amarna. Evidence of this appears on three of the boundary stele, stelae used to mark the boundaries of this new capital. At this time, Amenhotep IV officially changed his name to Akhenaten (''Agreeable to Aten'') as evidence of his new worship. The date given for the event has been estimated to fall around January 2 of that year. In Year 7 of his reign (1346/1344 BCE), the capital was moved from Thebes, Egypt, Thebes to Akhetaten (near modern Amarna), though construction of the city seems to have continued for two more years. In shifting his court from the traditional ceremonial centres Akhenaten was signalling a dramatic transformation in the focus of religious and political power. The move separated the Pharaoh and his court from the influence of the priesthood and from the traditional centres of worship, but his decree had deeper religious significance too—taken in conjunction with his name change, it is possible that the move to Amarna was also meant as a signal of Akhenaten's symbolic death and rebirth. It may also have coincided with the death of his father and the end of the coregency. In addition to constructing a new capital in honor of Aten, Akhenaten also oversaw the construction of some of the most massive Egyptian temple, temple complexes in ancient Egypt, including one at Karnak and one at Thebes, close to the old temple of Amun. In Year 9 (1344/1342 BCE), Akhenaten declared a more radical version of his new religion, declaring Aten not merely the supreme god of the Egyptian pantheon, but the only God of Egypt, with himself as the sole intermediary between the Aten and the Egyptian people. Key features of Atenism included a ban on Cult image, idols and other images of the Aten, with the exception of a rayed solar disc, in which the rays (commonly depicted ending in hands) appear to represent the unseen spirit of Aten. Akhenaten made it however clear that the image of the Aten only represented the god, but that the god transcended creation and so could not be fully understood or represented. Aten was addressed by Akhenaten in prayers, such as the ''
Great Hymn to the Aten and his family adoring the Aten. Image:Aten worship - Great Hymn to Aten2.jpg, Drawing of the inscription of the hymn text (1908 publication). The Great Hymn to the Aten is the longest of a number of hymn-poems written to the solar deity, sun-disk d ...
'': "O Sole God beside whom there is none". The details of Atenist theology are still unclear. The exclusion of all but one god and the prohibition of idols was a radical departure from Egyptian tradition, but scholars see Akhenaten as a practitioner of monolatry rather than monotheism, as he did not actively deny the existence of other gods; he simply refrained from worshiping any but Aten. Akhenaten associated Aten with Ra and put forward the eminence of Aten as the renewal of the kingship of Ra. Under Akhenaten's successors, Egypt reverted to its traditional religion, and Akhenaten himself came to be reviled as a heretic.


Aboriginal Australian Religions

Aboriginal Australians are typically described as
polytheistic Polytheism is the worship of or belief in multiple deities A deity or god is a supernatural The supernatural encompasses supposed phenomena that are not subject to the laws of nature.https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/supernatura ...
in nature. Although some researchers shy from referring to List of Australian Aboriginal mythological figures, Dreamtime figures as "gods" or "deities", they are broadly described as such for the sake of simplicity. In Southeastern Australian cultures, the sky father Baiame is perceived as the creator of the universe (though this role is sometimes taken by other gods like Yhi or Bunjil) and at least among the Gamilaraay traditionally revered above other mythical figures. Equation between him and the Christian god is common among both missionaries and modern Christian Aboriginals. The Yolngu Makassan contact with Australia, had extensive contact with the Makassans and adopted religious practises inspired by those of Islam. The god Walitha'walitha is based on Allah (specifically, with the ''wa-Ta'ala'' suffix), but while this deity had a role in funerary practises it is unclear if it was "Allah-like" in terms of functions.


Andaman Islands

The religion of the Andamanese peoples has at times been described as "animistic monotheism", believing foremost in a single deity, Paluga, who created the universe. However, Paluga is not worshipped, and anthropomorphic personifications of natural phenomena are also known.


Chinese religions

The orthodox faith system held by most dynasties of China since at least the
Shang Dynasty The Shang dynasty (), also historically known as the Yin dynasty (), was a Chinese dynasty Dynasties in Chinese history, or Chinese dynasties, were hereditary monarchical regimes that ruled over China during much of its history. From ...

Shang Dynasty
(1766 BCE) until the modern period centered on the worship of ''
Shangdi Shangdi (), also written simply, "Emperor An emperor (from la, imperator, via fro, empereor) is a monarch, and usually the sovereignty, sovereign ruler of an empire or another type of imperial realm. Empress, the female equivalent, may in ...

Shangdi
'' (literally "Above Sovereign", generally translated as "God") or
Heaven Heaven or the heavens, is a common religious cosmological or transcendent supernatural The supernatural encompasses supposed phenomena or entities that are not subject to the . This term is attributed to , such as s, s, , and . It also ...

Heaven
as an omnipotent force.Homer H. Dubs, "Theism and Naturalism in Ancient Chinese Philosophy," ''Philosophy of East and West'', Vol. 9, No. 3/4, 1959 This faith system pre-dated the development of Confucianism and Taoism and the introduction of Buddhism and
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Semitic-originated religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of ...

Christianity
. It has features of monotheism in that Heaven is seen as an omnipotent entity, a Incorporeality, noncorporeal force with a personal god, personality transcendent reality, transcending the world. From the writings of Confucius in the ''Analects'', it is known Confucius believed that Heaven cannot be deceived, Heaven guides people's lives and maintains a personal relationship with them, and that Heaven gives tasks for people to fulfill in order to teach them of virtues and morality. However, this faith system was not truly monotheistic since other lesser gods and spirits, which varied with locality, were also worshiped along with ''Shangdi''. Still, later variants such as
Mohism Mohism or Moism () was an ancient Chinese philosophy Chinese philosophy originates in the Spring and Autumn period () and Warring States period (), during a period known as the "Hundred Schools of Thought", which was character ...
(470 BCE–c.391 BCE) approached true monotheism, teaching that the function of lesser gods and ancestral spirits is merely to carry out the will of ''Shangdi'', akin to the angels in Abrahamic religions which in turn counts as only one god. In Mozi's ''Will of Heaven'' (天志), he writes: Worship of ''Shangdi'' and Heaven in ancient China includes the erection of shrines, the last and greatest being the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, and the offering of prayers. The ruler of China in every Chinese dynasty would perform annual sacrificial rituals to ''Shangdi'', usually by slaughtering a completely healthy bull as sacrifice. Although its popularity gradually diminished after the advent of Taoism and Buddhism, among other religions, its concepts remained in use throughout the pre-modern period and have been incorporated in later religions in China, including terminology used by early Christians in China. Despite the rising of non-theistic and pantheistic spirituality contributed by Taoism and Buddhism, Shangdi was still praised up until the end of the Qing Dynasty as the last ruler of the Qing declared himself son of heaven.


Indigenous African religions

The Himba people of Namibia practice a form of monotheistic panentheism, and worship the god Mukuru. The deceased ancestors of the Himba and Herero are subservient to him, acting as intermediaries. The Igbo people practice a form of monotheism called Odinani. Odinani has monotheistic and panentheistic attributes, having a single God as the source of all things. Although a pantheon of spirits exists, these are lesser spirits prevalent in Odinani expressly serving as elements of Chineke (or Chukwu), the supreme being or high god. Waaq is the name of a singular God in the traditional religion of many Cushitic languages, Cushitic people in the Horn of Africa, denoting an early monotheistic religion. However this religion was mostly replaced with the
Abrahamic religions The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Semitic Semitic most commonly refers to the Semitic languages, a name used since the 1770s to refer to the language family ...

Abrahamic religions
. Some (approximately 3%) of Oromo people, Oromo still follow this traditional monotheistic religion called Waaqeffannaa in Oromo language, Oromo.


Indo-European religions


Proto-Indo-European religion

The head deity of the Proto-Indo-European religion was the god Dyeus, *''Dyḗus Pḥatḗr ''. A number of words derived from the name of this prominent deity are used in various Indo-European languages to denote a monotheistic God. Nonetheless, in spite of this, Proto-Indo-European religion itself was not monotheistic. In Eastern Europe, the ancient traditions of the Slavic religion contained elements of monotheism. In the sixth century AD, the Byzantine chronicler Procopius recorded that the Slavs "acknowledge that one god, creator of lightning, is the only lord of all: to him do they sacrifice an ox and all sacrificial animals." The deity to whom Procopius is referring is the storm god Perún, whose name is derived from Perkwunos, *''Perkwunos'', the Proto-Indo-European god of lightning. The ancient Slavs syncretized him with the Germanic god Thor and the Biblical prophet Elijah.


Indo-Iranian religions


Hinduism

As an old religion, Hinduism inherits religious concepts spanning monotheism,
polytheism Polytheism is the worship of or belief in multiple deity, deities, which are usually assembled into a pantheon (religion), pantheon of God (male deity), gods and goddesses, along with their own religious sects and rituals. Polytheism is a type o ...
, panentheism, pantheism,
monism Monism attributes oneness or singleness (Greek: μόνος) to a concept e.g., existence. Various kinds of monism can be distinguished: * Priority monism states that all existing things go back to a source that is distinct from them; e.g., i ...
, and Atheism in Hinduism, atheism among others; and its concept of God is complex and depends upon each individual and the tradition and philosophy followed. Hindu views are broad and range from monism, through pantheism and panentheism (alternatively called monistic theism by some scholars) to monotheism and even atheism. Hinduism cannot be said to be purely polytheistic. Hindu religious leaders have repeatedly stressed that while God's forms are many and the ways to communicate with him are many, God is one. The ''Puja (Hinduism), puja'' of the ''murti'' is a way to communicate with the abstract one god (''
Brahman ''Brahman'' ( sa, ब्रह्मन् , hi, ब्रह्म) connotes the highest Universal Principle, the Ultimate Reality Ultimate reality is "something that is the supreme, final, and fundamental power in all reality". This heav ...

Brahman
'') which creates, sustains and dissolves creation. Rig Veda 1.164.46, :' :' :"They call him Indra, Mitra, Varuṇa, Agni, and he is heavenly nobly-winged Garuda. :To what is One, sages give many a title they call it Agni, Yama, Mātariśvan." (trans. Ralph T.H. Griffith, Griffith) Traditions of Gaudiya Vaishnavas, the Nimbarka Sampradaya and followers of Swaminarayan and Vallabha consider Krishna to be the source of all avatars,'' Swaminarayan bicentenary commemoration volume, 1781-1981.'' p. 154: ...Shri Vallabhacharya [and] Shri Swaminarayan... Both of them designate the highest reality as Krishna, who is both the highest avatara and also the source of other avataras. To quote R. Kaladhar Bhatt in this context. "In this transcendental devotieon (Nirguna Bhakti), the sole Deity and only" is Krishna
New Dimensions in Vedanta Philosophy - Page 154
Sahajānanda
Vedanta
1981
and the source of Vishnu himself, or to be the same as Narayana. As such, he is therefore regarded as ''Svayam Bhagavan''.page 132
/ref> When Krishna is recognized to be ''Svayam Bhagavan'', it can be understood that this is the belief of Gaudiya Vaishnavism, the Vallabha Sampradaya, "Early Vaishnava worship focuses on three deities who become fused together, namely Vasudeva-Krishna, Krishna-Gopala, and Narayana, who in turn all become identified with Vishnu. Put simply, Vasudeva-Krishna and Krishna-Gopala were worshiped by groups generally referred to as Bhagavatas, while Narayana was worshipped by the Pancaratra sect." and the Nimbarka Sampradaya, where Krishna is accepted to be the source of all other avatars, and the source of Vishnu himself. This belief is drawn primarily "from the famous statement of the Bhagavatam" (1.3.28).''Essential Hinduism'' S. Rosen, 2006, Greenwood Publishing Grou
p.124
A viewpoint differing from this theological concept is the concept of Krishna as an ''avatar'' of Narayana or Vishnu. It should be however noted that although it is usual to speak of Vishnu as the source of the avataras, this is only one of the names of the God of
Vaishnavism Vaishnavism (Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia ...

Vaishnavism
, who is also known as Narayana, Vasudeva and Krishna and behind each of those names there is a divine figure with attributed supremacy in Vaishnavism. The Rig Veda discusses monotheistic thought, as do the Atharva Veda and Yajur Veda: "Devas are always looking to the supreme abode of Vishnu" (''tad viṣṇoḥ paramaṁ padaṁ sadā paśyanti sṻrayaḥ'' Rig Veda 1.22.20) "The One Truth, sages know by many names" (Rig Veda 1.164.46) "When at first the unborn sprung into being, He won His own dominion beyond which nothing higher has been in existence" (Atharva Veda 10.7.31) "There is none to compare with Him. There is no parallel to Him, whose glory, verily, is great." (Yajur Veda 32.3) The number of auspicious qualities of God are countless, with the following six qualities (''bhaga'') being the most important: * ''Jñāna'' (omniscience), defined as the power to know about all beings simultaneously * ''Aishvarya'' (sovereignty, derived from the word Ishvara), which consists in unchallenged rule over all * ''Shakti'' (energy), or power, which is the capacity to make the impossible possible * ''Bala'' (strength), which is the capacity to support everything by will and without any fatigue * ''Vīrya'' (vigor), which indicates the power to retain immateriality as the supreme being in spite of being the material cause of mutable creations * ''Tejas'' (splendor), which expresses His self-sufficiency and the capacity to overpower everything by His spiritual effulgence In the Shaivite tradition, the ''Shri Rudram'' (Sanskrit श्रि रुद्रम्), to which the Chamakam (चमकम्) is added by scriptural tradition, is a Hindu ''stotra'' dedicated to Rudra (an epithet of Shiva), taken from the Yajurveda (TS 4.5, 4.7). Shri Rudram is also known as ''Sri Rudraprasna'', ', and ''Rudradhyaya''. The text is important in Vedanta where Shiva is equated to the Universal supreme God. The hymn is an early example of enumerating the Names of God, names of a deity, a tradition developed extensively in the sahasranama literature of Hinduism. The Nyaya school of Hinduism has made several arguments regarding a monotheistic view. The Naiyanikas have given an argument that such a god can only be one. In the ''Nyaya Kusumanjali'', this is discussed against the proposition of the ''Mimamsa'' school that let us assume there were many demigods (''Deva (Hinduism), devas'') and sages (''rishis'') in the beginning, who wrote the Vedas and created the world. Nyaya says that:
[If they assume such] omniscient beings, those endowed with the various superhuman faculties of assuming infinitesimal size, and so on, and capable of creating everything, then we reply that the ''law of parsimony'' bids us assume only one such, namely Him, the adorable Lord. There can be no confidence in a non-eternal and non-omniscient being, and hence it follows that according to the system which rejects God, the tradition of the Veda is simultaneously overthrown; there is no other way open.
In other words, Nyaya says that the polytheist would have to give elaborate proofs for the existence and origin of his several celestial spirits, none of which would be logical, and that it is more logical to assume one eternal, omniscient god.


Zoroastrianism

Zoroastrianism combines Cosmology, cosmogonic dualism and Eschatology, eschatological monotheism which makes it unique among the religions of the world. Zoroastrianism proclaims an evolution through time from Dualistic cosmology, dualism to monotheism. Zoroastrianism is a monotheistic religion, although Zoroastrianism is often regarded as Dualistic cosmology, dualistic, duotheistic or bitheistic, for its belief in the Hypostasis (philosophy and religion), hypostasis of the ultimately good
Ahura Mazda Ahura Mazda (; ae, , translit=Ahura Mazdā also known as Oromasdes, Ohrmazd, Ahuramazda, Hourmazd, Hormazd, and Hurmuz) is the creator deity A creator deity or creator god (often called the Creator) is a deity A deity or god is a su ...

Ahura Mazda
''(creative spirit)'' and the ultimately evil Angra Mainyu ''(destructive spirit)''. Zoroastrianism was once one of the largest religions on Earth, as the official religion of the Persian Empire. By some scholars, the Zoroastrians ("Parsis" or "Zartoshtis") are credited with being some of the first monotheists and having had influence on other world religions. Gathered statistics estimates the number of adherents at between 100,000 and 200,000,History.com - Zoroastrianism (2019)
/ref> with adherents living in many regions, including South Asia.


Sikhism

Sikhi is a monotheistic and a revealed religion. God in Sikhi is called Akal Purakh (which means "the true immortal") or ''Waheguru, Vāhigurū'' the Primal being. However, other names like Rama, Ram, Allah etc. are also used to refer to the same god, who is Nirankar, shapeless, akaal, timeless, and Alakh Niranjan, sightless: ''niraṅkār'', ''akaal'', and ''alakh''. Sikhi presents a unqiue perspective where God is present (''sarav viāpak'') in all of its creation and does not exist outside of its creation. God must be seen from "the inward eye", or the "heart". Sikhs follow the Aad Guru Granth Sahib and are instructed to meditate on the Naam (Name of God - ''Waheguru, Vāhigurū'') to progress towards enlightenment, as its rigorous application permits the existence of communication between God and human beings. Sikhism is a monotheistic faith that arose in northern India during the 16th and 17th centuries. Sikhs believe in one, timeless, omnipresent, supreme creator. The opening verse of the Guru Granth Sahib, known as the Mul Mantra, signifies this: : pa, ੴ ਸਤਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਕਰਤਾ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਨਿਰਭਉ ਨਿਰਵੈਰੁ ਅਕਾਲ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਅਜੂਨੀ ਸੈਭੰ ਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ॥ :Transliteration: ikk ōankār sat(i)-nām(u) karatā purakh(u) nirabha'u niravair(u) akāla mūrat(i) ajūnī saibhan(g) gur(a) prasād(i). :One Universal creator God, The supreme Unchangeable Truth, The Creator of the Universe, Beyond Fear, Beyond Hatred, Beyond Death, Beyond Birth, Self-Existent, by Guru's Grace. The word "ੴ" ("Ik ōaṅkār") has two components. The first is ੧, the digit "1" in Gurmukhi signifying the singularity of the creator. Together the word means: "One Universal creator God". It is often said that the 1430 pages of the Guru Granth Sahib are all expansions on the Mul Mantra. Although the Sikhs have many names for God, some derived from
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or ex ...
and Hinduism, they all refer to the same Supreme Being. The Sikh holy scriptures refer to the One God who pervades the whole of space and is the creator of all beings in the universe. The following quotation from the Guru Granth Sahib highlights this point: However, there is a strong case for arguing that the Guru Granth Sahib teaches
monism Monism attributes oneness or singleness (Greek: μόνος) to a concept e.g., existence. Various kinds of monism can be distinguished: * Priority monism states that all existing things go back to a source that is distinct from them; e.g., i ...
due to its non-dualistic tendencies:
"You have thousands of Lotus Feet, and yet You do not have even one foot. You have no nose, but you have thousands of noses. This Play of Yours entrances me." , Guru Granth Sahib, Page 13 Sikhs believe that God has been given many names, but they all refer to the One God, VāhiGurū. Sikh holy scripture (Guru Granth Sahib) speaks to all faiths and Sikhs believe that members of other religions such as Islam, Hinduism and
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Semitic-originated religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of ...

Christianity
all worship the same God, and the names Allah, Ar-Rahim, Rahim, Al-Karim, Karim, Hari, Rama, Raam and Brahman, Paarbrahm are, therefore, frequently mentioned in the Sikh holy scripture (Guru Granth Sahib) . God in Sikhism is most commonly referred to as Akal Purakh (which means "the true immortal") or Waheguru, the Primal Being.


Ancient Greek religion


Classical Greece

The surviving fragments of the poems of the classical Greek philosopher Xenophanes of Colophon suggest that he held views very similar to those of modern monotheists. His poems harshly criticize the traditional notion of anthropomorphic gods, commenting that "...if cattle and horses and lions had hands or could paint with their hands and create works such as men do,... [they] also would depict the gods' shapes and make their bodies of such a sort as the form they themselves have." Instead, Xenophanes declares that there is "...one god, greatest among gods and humans, like mortals neither in form nor in thought."Osborne, Catherine. "Chapter 4." ''Presocratic Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction''. Oxford UP. 62. Print. Xenophanes's theology appears to have been monist, but not truly monotheistic in the strictest sense. Although some later philosophers, such as
Antisthenes Antisthenes (; el, Ἀντισθένης; c. 446c. 366 BC) was a Greek philosopher and a pupil of Socrates. Antisthenes first learned rhetoric Rhetoric () is the Art (skill), art of persuasion, which along with grammar and logic (or ...
, believed in doctrines similar to those expounded by Xenophanes, his ideas do not appear to have become widely popular. Although
Plato Plato ( ; grc-gre, Πλάτων ; 428/427 or 424/423 – 348/347 BC) was an Classical Athens, Athenian philosopher during the Classical Greece, Classical period in Ancient Greece, founder of the Platonist school of thought and the Platoni ...

Plato
himself was a polytheist, in his writings, he often presents Socrates as speaking of "the god" in the singular form. He does, however, often speak of the gods in the plural form as well. The Euthyphro dilemma, for example, is formulated as "Is that which is holy loved by the gods because it is holy, or is it holy because it is loved by the gods?"


Hellenistic religion

The development of pure (philosophical) monotheism is a product of the Late Antiquity. During the 2nd to 3rd centuries, origins of Christianity, early Christianity was just one of several competing religious movements advocating monotheism. "Henology, The One" (Τὸ Ἕν) is a concept that is prominent in the writings of the Neoplatonists, especially those of the philosopher Plotinus. In the writings of Plotinus, "The One" is described as an inconceivable, transcendent, all-embodying, permanent, eternal, causative entity that permeates throughout all of existence. A number of oracles of Apollo from Didyma and Clarus, the so-called "theological oracles", dated to the 2nd and 3rd century CE, proclaim that there is only one highest god, of whom the gods of polytheistic religions are mere manifestations or servants. 4th century CE Cyprus had, besides Christianity, an apparently monotheistic cult of Dionysus. The Hypsistarians were a religious group who believed in a most high god, according to Greek documents. Later revisions of this Hellenic religion were adjusted towards monotheism as it gained consideration among a wider populace. The worship of Zeus as the head-god signaled a trend in the direction of monotheism, with less honour paid to the fragmented powers of the lesser gods.


Native American religion

Native American religions may be monotheistic, polytheistic, henotheistic, animistic, or some combination thereof. Cherokee spiritual beliefs, Cherokee religion, for example, is monotheist as well as pantheist. The Great Spirit, called ''Wakan Tanka'' among the Sioux,Ostler, Jeffry. The Plains Sioux and U.S. Colonialism from Lewis and Clark to Wounded Knee. Cambridge University Press, Jul 5, 2004. , pg 26. and ''Gitche Manitou'' in Algonquian languages, Algonquian, is a conception of universal spiritual force, or God, supreme being prevalent among some Native Americans in the United States, Native American and First Nations, First Nation cultures.Thomas, Robert Murray. Manitou and God: North-American Indian Religions and Christian Culture. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2007. pg 35. According to Lakota people, Lakota activist Russell Means a better translation of ''Wakan Tanka'' is the Great Mystery.Means, Robert. Where White Men Fear to Tread: The Autobiography of Russell Means. Macmillan, 1995. pg 241. Some researchers have interpreted Aztec philosophy as fundamentally monotheistic or panentheistic. While the populace at large believed in a polytheistic pantheon, Aztec priests and nobles might have come to an interpretation of Teotl as a single universal force with many facets. There has been criticism to this idea, however, most notably that many assertions of this supposed monotheism might actually come from post-Conquistador bias, imposing an Antiquity pagan model unto the Aztec.


Tengrism

Tengrism or Tangrism (sometimes stylized as Tengriism), occasionally referred to as Tengrianism, is a modern term for a Central Asian Central Asia#Religions, religion characterized by features of shamanism,
animism Animism (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Rom ...

animism
, totemism, both
polytheism Polytheism is the worship of or belief in multiple deity, deities, which are usually assembled into a pantheon (religion), pantheon of God (male deity), gods and goddesses, along with their own religious sects and rituals. Polytheism is a type o ...
and monotheism,Michael Fergus, Janar Jandosova
Kazakhstan: Coming of Age
Stacey International, 2003, p.91: * "''[...] a profound combination of monotheism and polytheism that has come to be known as Tengrism.''"
and ancestor worship. Historically, it was the prevailing religion of the Bulgars, Turkic peoples, Turks, Mongols, and Hungarians, as well as the Xiongnu and the Huns. It was the state religion of the six ancient Turkic states: Avar Khaganate, Great Bulgaria, Old Great Bulgaria, Bulgarian Empire, First Bulgarian Empire, Göktürks, Göktürks Khaganate, Khazaria, Eastern Tourkia and Western Turkic Khaganate. In ''Irk Bitig'', Tengri is mentioned as ''Türük Tängrisi'' (God of Turks).Jean-Paul Roux, Die alttürkische Mythologie, p. 255 The term is perceived among Turkic peoples as a ''national'' religion. In Chinese folk religion, Chinese and Tengriism, Turco-Mongol traditions, the Supreme God is commonly referred to as the ruler of Heaven, or the Sky Lord granted with omnipotent powers, but it has largely diminished in those regions due to ancestor worship, Taoism's pantheistic views and Buddhism's Creator in Buddhism, rejection of a creator God. On some occasions in the mythology, the Sky Lord as identified as a male has been associated to mate with an Earth Mother, while some traditions kept the omnipotence of the Sky Lord unshared.


New religious movements

Various New religious movements, such as
Rastafari Rastafari, also known as the Rastafari movement or Rastafarianism, is a that developed in during the 1930s. It is classified as both a and a by . There is no central authority in control of the movement and much diversity exists among prac ...

Rastafari
, Cao Dai, Cao Đài, Tenrikyo, Seicho no Ie and Cheondoism are monotheistic.


See also

* Criticism of monotheism * Idolatry * Intelligent design * Panentheism * Pantheism * Post-monotheism * Unmoved mover


References


Further reading

* * * William G. Dever, ''Who Were the Early Israelites?'', Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans 2003. * William G. Dever, ''Did God Have a Wife?: Archaeology and Folk Religion in Ancient Israel'', Eerdmans, 2005, . * Jonthan Kirsch, ''God Against The Gods: The History of the War Between Monotheism and Polytheism.'' Penguin Books. 2005. * Hans Köchler. ''The Concept of Monotheism in Islam and Christianity''. Vienna: Braumüller, 1982.
Google Books
. * * * * * * Silberman, Neil A. et al.; ''The Bible Unearthed'', New York: Simon & Schuster 2001. * * * * * * * Keith Whitelam, ''The Invention of Ancient Israel'', Routledge, New York 1997.


External links

* *
About.com "What is Monolatry?"
(Contains useful comparisons with henoteism etc.)
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Christian Monotheism (biblical unitarians)

Deism
{{Authority control Monotheism, Philosophy of religion Religion in ancient Israel and Judah