Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2020 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming


  • Hillary S. WebbEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-24348-7_464

While “duality” as an ontological construct refers to a philosophical system in which existence is believed to consist of two equally real and essential substances (such as mind and matter) and/or categories (such as “being” and “nonbeing,” “good” and “bad,” “subject” and “object”), philosophies of “nonduality” emphasize the fundamental nature of reality as being a single, undifferentiated essence or consciousness. Although the term “nonduality” comes from the Sanskrit word advaita, meaning, “not two,” forms of nondual philosophies have found articulation in a number of spiritual traditions around the world, including Christian and Jewish mysticism, Sufism, Taoism, Madhyamika Buddhism, and various branches of Hinduism. Certain Western theologians and philosophers (among them Plotinus, Meister Eckhart, and G. W. F. Hegel, to name a few) have also embraced forms of nondualism as being representative of ultimate reality.

It is, of course, important to point out that while a belief system...

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The author would like to thank Francis X. Charet and Donald Rothberg for their assistance with this very nuanced subject.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Goddard CollegePortsmouthUSA