Hinduism and Tribal Religions

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

Theism (Hinduism)

  • Jeffery D. Long
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-1036-5_649-1



Hindu theism, or belief in a deity or deities, is a topic rivaling Hinduism itself in its complexity. In Hindu texts and traditions, a variety of stances can be found toward the question of the nature and existence of divinity. Regarding the number of deities, one finds answers ranging from zero to one, to infinity. Regarding the personhood of divinity, one finds both the view that divinity is impersonal (or that it transcends the categories of personal and impersonal) and that it is supremely personal. Regarding divine activity in the world, one finds the view that divinity is completely detached from worldly events and a view affirming a deep engagement of divinity with these same events. On each of these topics, there are in-between positions as well, with some Hindu sources affirming that divinity is both one and many, both personal and impersonal, and both detached from and engaged in the life of the world. Divinity is also seen as...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Religion and Asian StudiesElizabethtown CollegeElizabethtownUSA