Theism is the belief in the existence of one or
more divinities or deities
. There is
also a narrower sense in which theism refers to the belief that one
or more divinities are immanent
in the world, yet
it, along with the idea that divinity(s) is/are omniscient,
omnipotent and omnipresent. Theism contrasts with nontheism
, the state of not
believing in deities.
The term is attested in English from 1678, and
was probably coined to contrast with atheism, a term that is
attested from ca. 1587 (see the etymology
section of atheism
Divisions by numbers of deities
the belief that there is only one deity.
- Inclusive monotheism: The belief that there is only one deity,
and that all other claimed deities are just different names for it.
The Hindu denomination of Smartism is an
example of inclusive monotheism.
- Exclusive monotheism: The belief that there is only one deity,
and that all other claimed deities are distinct from it and false
— either invented, demonic, or simply incorrect. Most
religions, and the Hindu denomination of Vaishnavism
(which regards the worship of anyone other than Vishnu as incorrect)
are examples of exclusive monotheism.
the belief that there is more than one deity. In practice,
polytheism is not just the belief that there are multiple gods; it
usually includes belief in the existence of a specific pantheon
of distinct deities.
Within polytheism there are hard and soft
Polytheism is also divided according to how the
individual deities are regarded:
- Henotheism: The
belief that there may be more than one deity, but one is supreme.
- Monolatry: The
belief that there may be more than one deity, but only one should
The belief that there is more than one deity, but only one deity at
a time should be worshiped. Each is supreme in turn.
theists in Catalan: Teisme
theists in Danish: Teisme
theists in German: Theismus
theists in Estonian: Teism
theists in Modern Greek (1453-): Θεϊσμός
theists in Spanish: Teísmo
theists in French: Théisme
theists in Interlingua (International Auxiliary
Language Association): Theismo
theists in Italian: Teismo
theists in Latvian: Teisms
theists in Luxembourgish: Theismus
theists in Lithuanian: Teizmas
theists in Dutch: Theïsme
theists in Norwegian: Teisme
theists in Uzbek: Teizm
theists in Polish: Teizm
theists in Portuguese: Teísmo
theists in Russian: Теизм
theists in Simple English: Theism
theists in Slovak: Teizmus
theists in Finnish: Teismi
theists in Swedish: Teism
theists in Turkish: Teizm
theists in Ukrainian: Теїзм
theists in Yiddish: טאאיזם
theists in Chinese: 有神论