Hinduism and Tribal Religions

Living Edition
| Editors: Pankaj Jain, Rita Sherma, Madhu Khanna

Henotheism (Hinduism)

  • Amitabh Vikram DwivediEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-1036-5_243-1


The etymological study suggests that the lexicon henotheism has been derived from two Greek roots henos and theos, meaning “one god.” In Hinduism, there is one supreme spirit or god, namely, Brahman who has many forms. So basically Hindus worship one single God like Islam while accepting the existence of other deities unlike Islam [1]. Friedrich Schelling first coined the term “henotheism,” and Friedrich Welcker employed it to show primitive monotheism in old Greek cultures. Further, Max Muller, an orientalist and scholar of Hinduism, criticizes religious exceptionalism with reference to Western theological stance which held monotheism superior than henotheism [2]. Muller used the term “henotheism” extensively while describing the Indian religions and praising the concept of many deities as if they represent one ultimate divine essence. In Hinduism, the supreme spirit is symbolized by Aum or Om, the sacred syllable [1]. Hindus believe that Brahman is pervasive and eternal...

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    Perry JM (1999) Exploring the evolving view of God: from ancient Israel to the risen Jesus. Sheed & Ward, FranklinGoogle Scholar
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    Runzo J (2001) Global philosophy of religion: a short introduction. Oneworld, OxfordGoogle Scholar

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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Humanities and Social Sciences – Languages and LiteratureShri Mata Vaishno Devi UniversityKatraIndia