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Pagan and Pantheist --- What is the difference?


Asked by tgeary at 2:26 PM on May. 19, 2011 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 13 (933 Credits)
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Answers (6)
  • A pantheist follows a specific system of gods - a pantheon. A pagan, in the common usage, is anyone who isn't a Jew, Christian or Muslim. They can still be monotheistic (like Hindus) or they can worship gods from multiple pantheons (polytheistic). Or they can be atheistic and worship a force of nature or other energies rather than an anthropomorphized deity of any kind.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 2:37 PM on May. 19, 2011

  • Depends on the individual and the definitions use for each word. A Pantheist may or may not be also be a pagan depending on the individual. I used to practice Wicca, and have always had pantheistic view of the Universe but now I practice Buddhism. So, while I was a neo-pagan, I'm not really one now as a Buddhist. I guess I am still a 'pagan' when people mean any non-Abrahamic religions though. I think the biggest difference, particularly of modern Pantheists, is that they don't feel the need for anthropomorphism or assigning human-like qualities to gods or things in nature. Often pagans are polytheists, but sometimes they are more pantheistic in their views (as I was) and see the gods as metaphor rather than literal beings. Others are hard polytheists. My personal views are closer to Naturalistic or Scientific Pantheism, but there are other types of Pantheism. Pantheism and paganism can be quite compatible though.

    Answer by pam19 at 5:15 PM on May. 19, 2011

  • Depends on how the words are used. Some people use 'Pagan' to describe any religion that is not Abrahamic- others use it in a more specific context. Pantheism typically is the idea that God and the Universe are interchangeable... there isn't a belief in a personified, anthropomophized creator God. There are also other, similar, 'theisms'- panentheism is the idea that the universe is God but God also exists separately from the universe, for instance. Paganism and Pantheism are not interchangeable... some Pagans may be pantheists, but not all, and some pantheists may be Pagan but not all.

    I practice Buddhism and generally identify myself as a pantheist in terms of beliefs about God... I view God and the energy of the universe as being one and the same.

    Answer by Freela at 9:17 PM on May. 19, 2011

  • wow...sorry for all the typos. I should not type while I'm distracted. lol That should be *used* and *may or may not be* ^ above

    Answer by pam19 at 5:32 PM on May. 19, 2011

  • Well, some Pagans ARE Pantheists... Just not all of us. Just like some Christians are Trinitarian, and others aren't. It's the same kind of thing. I for one, am a cross between Polytheist and Pantheist. I believe in numerous Gods and Goddesses, but I also believe in a Universal Energy/Power which resides in everything, including the Gods.

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 8:17 PM on May. 19, 2011

  • Pantheists believe that god is the universe and the universe is god, a variation of Pantheism called Panentheism views god at the universe and the universe as god, but also views god as *something else* transcendent to the universe. Paganism on the other hand is most commonly held (in a religious) context to be a religion that does not include the Abrahamic god....but in practice is far more complex that that.

    I am a pantheist in how I view The Divine, but I am also a soft-polytheistic Pagan in how I choose to experience deity...but not all Pagans are pantheist, and not all pantheists are Pagan, or even religious...for example, naturalistic pantheists.

    Answer by thalassa at 1:17 AM on May. 20, 2011