OMNIPRESENCE or UBIQUITY is the property of being present everywhere.
The term omnipresence is most often used in a religious context as an
attribute of a deity or supreme being , while the term ubiquity is
generally used to describe something "existing or being everywhere at
the same time, constantly encountered, widespread, common."
The omnipresence of a supreme being is conceived differently by
different religious systems. In monotheistic beliefs like Christianity
Judaism , and
Islam the divine and the universe are separate, but
the divine is present everywhere. In pantheistic beliefs the divine
and the universe are identical. In panentheistic beliefs the divine
interpenetrates the universe, but extends beyond it in time and space.
* 1 Introduction
Omnipresence in religions
* 3 See also
* 4 References
* 5 External links
Hinduism , and other religions that derive from it, incorporate the
theory of transcendent and immanent omnipresence which is the
traditional meaning of the word,
Brahman . This theory defines a
universal and fundamental substance, which is the source of all
Divine omnipresence is thus one of the divine attributes, although in
Christianity it has attracted less philosophical attention
than such attributes as omnipotence , omniscience , or being eternal.
In western theism, omnipresence is roughly described as the ability
to be "present everywhere at the same time", referring to an
unbounded or universal presence.
Omnipresence means minimally that
there is no place to which God’s knowledge and power do not extend.
It is related to the concept of ubiquity, the ability to be everywhere
or in many places at once. This includes unlimited temporal presence.
William Lane Craig
William Lane Craig states that we shouldn’t think of God as being
in space in the sense of being spread out like an invisible ether
throughout space. He is not like an invisible gas that is everywhere
present in space. This would be incorrect for several reasons. For
one, it would mean that if the universe is finite, which is perfectly
possible, then God would be finite. We do not want to say that because
God is infinite. More seriously, if God is spread out throughout
space, like an invisible ether, that means that he is not fully
Some argue that omnipresence is a derived characteristic: an
omniscient and omnipotent deity knows everything and can be and act
everywhere, simultaneously. Others propound a deity as having the
"Three O's", including omnipresence as a unique characteristic of the
Christian denominations — following theology
standardized by the
Nicene Creed — explains the concept of
omnipresence in the form of the "Trinity", by having a single deity
(God) made up of three omnipresent persons, Father, Son and Holy
OMNIPRESENCE IN RELIGIONS
Several ancient cultures such as the Vedic and the Native American
civilizations share similar views on omnipresent nature; the ancient
Egyptians , Greeks and Romans did not worship an omnipresent being.
Paleolithic cultures followed polytheistic practices , a
form of omnipresent deity arises from a worldview that does not share
ideas with mono-local deity cultures. Some omnipresent religions see
the whole of existence as a manifestation of the deity. There are two
predominant viewpoints here: pantheism , deity is the summation of
Existence; and panentheism, deity is an emergent property of
existence. The first is closest to the Native Americans ' worldview;
the latter resembles the Vedic outlook.
In traditional Jewish monotheism belief of panentheism, or an
omnipresent God, is rejected. While the "entire concept of God
occupying physical space, or having any category of spatial reference
apply to him was completely rejected by pure Judaic monotheism,"
Hasidic teachings, along with certain
Kabbalistic systems, diverged to
postulate belief in panentheism.
In Islamic beliefs, pantheism is also rejected and omnipresence is
described to transcend the physical. According to Shia tradition in
Nahj al-Balagha , a compilation of
Ali 's teachings and letters, with
Morteza Motahhari , the only territory that God does not
enter is that of nothingness and non-existence. God is with
everything, but not in anything, and nothing is with Him. God is not
within things, though not out of them. He is over and above every kind
of condition, state, similarity and likeness.
Ali says about God's
* "He is with everything but not in physical nearness. He is
different from everything but not in physical separation."
* “He is not inside things in the sense of physical penetration
and is not outside them in the sense of exclusion .”
* “He is distinct from things because He overpowers them, and the
things are distinct from Him because of their subjection to Him.”
To both Christian beliefs, along with
Kabbalistic and Hasidic
philosophy, God is omnipresent. However, the major difference between
them and other religious systems is that God is still transcendent to
His creation and yet immanent in relating to creation. God is not
immersed in the substance of creation, even though he is able to
interact with it as he chooses. He cannot be excluded from any
location or object in creation. God's presence is continuous
throughout all of creation, though it may not be revealed in the same
way at the same time to people everywhere. At times, he may be
actively present in a situation, while he may not reveal that he is
present in another circumstance in some other area. God is omnipresent
in a way that he is able to interact with his creation however he
chooses, and is the very essence of his creation. While contrary to
normal physical intuitions, such omnipresence is logically possible by
way of the classic geometric point or its equivalent, in that such a
point is, by definition, within all of space without taking up any
Bible states that God can be both present to a person in a
manifest manner (
Isaiah 57:15) as well as being present in
every situation in all of creation at any given time (
Specifically, Oden states that the
Bible shows that God can be present
in every aspect of human life:
* God is naturally present in every aspect of the natural order, in
every level of causality , every fleeting moment and momentous event
of natural history ...(
* God is bodily present in the
Incarnation (Christianity) of his
Gospel of John
Gospel of John 1:14,
* God is sacredly present and becomes known in special places where
God chooses to meet us, places that become set apart by the faithful
remembering community (
1 Corinthians 11:23-29) where it may said:
"Truly the Lord is in this place" (Genesis 28:16, Matthew 18:20)"
Oxford Dictionary of English
Oxford Dictionary of English :
* ^ Craig, William Lane. "Doctrine of God (part 9)". Retrieved 20
* ^ "ubiquity". Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary. Retrieved
* ^ "Nature and Attributes of God".
Catholic Encyclopedia .
NewAdvent.org. September 1, 1909. Retrieved 2013-01-18.
* ^ Craig, William Lane. "Doctrine of God (part 8)". Retrieved 20
Saadia Gaon in his HaNivchar BaEmunot U'va-Deot, II, 11
(English translation of portion free online at end of this post;
Rosenblatt translation , p. 124-125; Arabic/Hebrew Kafih ed. p. 106).
Maimonides ' rejection of panentheism in his Commentary on the
Mishnah, Tractate Sanhedrin, 10:1, third principle (English
translation by Rosner in Maimonides' Commentary on the Mishnah:
Tractate Sanhedrin , p. 151; p. 141 in Kafih's Hebrew edition of the
Order of Neziqin with Maimonides' Commentary ) and Is Judaism
Panentheistic? – A Brief Mekori Perspective.
* ^ Ilan, Yehudah B. Parashat Vayetze: HaMakom – God’s Place or
the Place of God? Retrieved 2016-02-16.
* ^ http://www.duas.org/pdfs/Nahjul-Balagha.pdf pg 42
* ^ Oden, Thomas C. The Living God. Systematic
Theology Vol. 1,