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Encyclopedia > Divinity

For other uses, see Divinity (disambiguation) and Divine (disambiguation). Divinity refers to the property or state of being a deity or godlike entity. ... Look up divine in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Divinity and divine (sometimes 'the Divinity' or 'the Divine'), are broadly applied but loosely defined terms, used variously within different faiths and belief systems — and even by different individuals within a given faith — to refer to some transcendent or transcendental power, or its attributes or manifestations in the world. The root of the words is literally 'Godlike' (from the Latin 'Deus,' cf. Dyaus, closely related to Greek 'Zeus' and Deva in Sanskrit), but the use varies significantly depending on the underlying conception of god that is being invoked. This article outlines the major distinctions in the conventional use of the terms. In the Vedic religion is the Sky Father, husband of Prithvi and father of Agni and Indra (RV 4. ... The Statue of Zeus at Olympia Phidias created the 12-m (40-ft) tall statue of Zeus at Olympia about 435 BC. The statue was perhaps the most famous sculpture in Ancient Greece, imagined here in a 16th century engraving Zeus (in Greek: nominative: Zeús, genitive: Diós), is... Deva can refer to: Deva (Hinduism), a Hindu deity. ... The Sanskrit language ( , for short ) is a classical language of India, a liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism, and one of the 23 official languages of India. ... Look up deity in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


For academic or professional uses of the terms, see Divinity (academic discipline), or nomenclature of the Anglican Church. Divinity is the academic study of Christian and other theology and religious ministry at a school, divinity school, university, or seminary. ... see also Holy Orders The following terms have traditional meanings for the Anglican Church, and possibly beyond: A churchman is in principle a member of a church congregation, in practice someone in holy orders. ...

Contents

Usages

There are three distinct usages of divinity and divine in religious discourse:

Overlap occurs between these usages because deities or godlike entities are often identical with and/or identified by the powers and forces that are credited to them — in many cases a deity is merely a power or force personified — and these powers and forces may then be extended or granted to mortal individuals. For instance, throughout much of the Old Testament Yahweh is closely associated with storms and thunder: He is said to speak in thunder, and thunder is seen as a token of His anger. This power was then extended to prophets like Moses and Samuel, who caused thunderous storms to rain down on their enemies.


Divinity in monotheistic faiths always carries connotations of goodness, beauty, beneficence, justice, and other positive, pro-social attributes. In these faiths there is an equivalent cohort of malefic supranormal beings and powers, such as demons, devils, afreet, etc., which are not conventionally referred to as divine; demonic is often used instead. Pan- and polytheistic faiths make no such distinction; gods and other beings of transcendent power often have complex, ignoble, or even irrational motivations for their acts. Note that while the terms demon and demonic are used in monotheistic faiths as antonyms to divine, they are in fact derived from the Greek word daimón (δαίμων), which itself translates as divinity. “Fiend” redirects here. ...


Divinity as entity

In monotheistic faiths, the word divinity is often used to refer to the single, supreme being central to that faith. Often (in English, at any rate), the word takes the definite article and is capitalized — "the Divinity" — as though it were a proper name or definitive honorific. Thus it is appropriate to speak of Yahweh, Allah, and Jehovah as 'the Divinities' of their particular faiths. Divine — capitalized — may be used as an adjective to refer to the manifestations of such a Divinity or its powers: e.g. "basking in the Divine presence..."


The terms divinity and divine — uncapitalized, and lacking the definite article — are sometimes used as to denote 'god(s) [1] or certain other beings and entities which fall short of godhood but lie outside the human realm. These include (by no means an exhaustive list):

  • The multiple gods of pan- and polytheistic faiths (as in the ancient Greek )
  • Elementals such as the dragons of traditional Chinese religion and sylphs and salamanders from Celtic traditions
  • Anthropomorphized aspects of nature, like the tree and river spirits of Roman mythology
  • Animal beings, many of which populate the stories of Native American and Australian Aboriginal tribes
  • Conceptual beings like the Muses and Fates of ancient Greek belief

In certain instances, individual humans are elevated to divine status without becoming actual gods: the eight immortals of taoism, for instance, or the Virgin Mary in the Catholic faith. Compare with the section on divinity and mortals given below.


See god for further information about deities and divine entities. Look up deity in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Divine force or power

As previously noted, divinities are closely related to the transcendent force(s) or power(s) credited to them,[2] so much so that in some cases the powers or forces may themselves be invoked independently. This leads to the second usage of the word divine (and a less common usage of divinity): to refer to the operation of transcendent power in the world.


In its most direct form, the operation of transcendent power implies some form of divine intervention. For pan- and polytheistic faiths this usually implies the direct action of one god or another on the course of human events. In Greek legend, for instance, it was Poseidon (god of the sea) who raised the storms which blew Odysseus' craft off course on his return journey, and Japanese tradition holds that a god-sent wind saved them from mongol invasion. Prayers or propitiations are often offered to specific gods of pantheisms to garner favorable interventions in particular enterprises: e.g. safe journeys, success in war, or a season of bountiful crops. Many faiths around the world — from Japanese Shinto and Chinese traditional religion, to certain African practices and the faiths derived from those in the Caribbean, to Native American beliefs — hold that ancestral or household spirits offer daily protection and blessings. In monotheisms divine intervention may take very direct forms: miracles, visions, or intercessions by blessed figures. USS Bunker Hill was hit by Ogawa (see picture left) and another kamikaze near KyÅ«shÅ« on May 11, 1945. ...


Transcendent force or power may also operate through more subtle and indirect paths. Monotheistic faiths generally support some version of divine providence, which acknowledges that the Divinity of the faith has a profound but unknowable plan always unfolding in the world. Unforeseeable, overwhelming, or seemingly unjust events are often thrown on 'the will of the Divine,' in deferences like the Muslim inshallah ('as Allah wills it') and Christian 'God works in mysterious ways.' Often such faiths hold out the possibility of divine retribution as well, where the Divinity will unexpectedly bring evil-doers to justice through the conventional workings of the world; from the subtle redressing of minor personal wrongs, to such large-scale havoc as the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah or the biblical Great Flood. Other faiths are even more subtle: the doctrine of karma shared by Buddhism and Hinduism is a divine law similar to divine retribution but without the connotation of punishment: our acts, good or bad, intentional or unintentional, reflect back on us as part of the natural working of the universe. Philosophical Taoism also proposes a transcendent operant principle — transliterated in English as tao or dao, meaning 'the way' — which is neither an entity or a being per se, but reflects the natural ongoing process of the world. Modern western mysticism and new age philosophy often use the term 'the Divine' as a noun in this latter sense: a non-specific principle and/or being that gives rise to the world, and acts as the source or wellspring of life. In these latter cases the faiths do not promote deference, as happens in monotheisms; rather each suggests a path of action that will bring the practitioner into conformance with the divine law: ahimsa — 'no harm' — for Buddhist and Hindu faiths; de or te — 'virtuous action' — in daoism; and any of numerous practices of peace and love in new age thinking. In theology, Divine Providence, or simply Providence, is the sovereignty, superintendence, or agency of God over events in peoples lives and throughout history. ... Divine retribution is a supernatural punishment usually directed towards all or some portions of humanity by a deity. ... For other uses, see Karma (disambiguation). ...


Divinity applied to mortals

In the third usage extensions of divinity and divine power are credited to living, mortal individuals. Political leaders are known to have claimed actual divinity in certain early societies — the ancient Egyptian Pharaohs being the premier case — taking a role as objects of worship and being credited with superhuman status and powers. More commonly, and more pertinent to recent history, leaders merely claim some form of divine mandate, suggesting that their rule is in accordance with the will of God. The doctrine of the divine right of kings was introduced as late as the 17th century, proposing that kings rule by divine decree; Japanese Emperors ruled by divine mandate until the inception of the Japanese constitution after World War II; to this day Catholics consider the Pope to be the literal voice of God on earth. ... The present Constitution of Japan took effect on May 3, 1947, during the American occupation after the surrender of Japan at the end of World War II. The Constitution of the Empire of Japan (1889–1947) The first constitution in Japan was enacted by the Emperor during the Meiji... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      The Pope (from Latin...


Less politically, most faiths have any number of people that are believed to have been touched by Divine forces: saints, prophets, heroes, oracles, martyrs, and enlightened beings, among others. Saint Francis of Assisi, in Catholicism, is said to have received instruction directly from God, the god, and it is believed that it grants plenary indulgence to all who confess their sins and visit its chapel on the appropriate day. In Greek mythology, Achilles' mother bathed him in the river Styx to give him immortality, and Hercules — as the son of Zeus — inherited near-godlike powers. In religious Taoism, Lao Tsu is venerated as a saint with his own powers. Various individuals in the Buddhist faith, beginning with Siddhartha, are considered to be enlightened, and in religious froms of Buddhism they are credited with divine powers. Mohammed and Christ, in their respective traditions, are each said to have performed divine miracles. In traditional Christian iconography, Saints are often depicted as having halos. ... In religion, a prophet (or prophetess) is a person who has directly encountered the numinous or the divine and serves as an intermediary with humanity. ... “Heroine” redirects here. ... Consulting the Oracle by John William Waterhouse, showing eight priestesses in a temple of prophecy An oracle is a person or persons considered to be the source of wise counsel or prophetic opinion; an infallible authority, usually spiritual in nature. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... This article discusses the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ... In Latin Catholic theology, an indulgence is the remission granted by the Church of the temporal punishment due to sins already forgiven by God. ... The Wrath of Achilles, by François-Léon Benouville (1821–1859) (Musée Fabre) In Greek mythology, Achilles (also Akhilleus or Achilleus) (Ancient Greek: ) was a hero of the Trojan War, the central character and greatest warrior of Homers Iliad, which takes for its theme, not the War... Hercules and the Nemean Lion (detail), silver plate, 6th century BC (Cabinet des Médailles, Paris). ... The Statue of Zeus at Olympia Phidias created the 12-m (40-ft) tall statue of Zeus at Olympia about 435 BC. The statue was perhaps the most famous sculpture in Ancient Greece, imagined here in a 16th century engraving Zeus (in Greek: nominative: Zeús, genitive: Diós), is... Taoism (Daoism) is the English name referring to a variety of related Chinese philosophical and religious traditions and concepts. ... Lao Zi (also spelled Laozi, Lao Tzu, or Lao Tse) was a famous Chinese philosopher who is believed to have lived in approximately the 4th century BC, during the Hundred Schools of Thought and Warring States Periods. ...


In general, mortals with divine qualities are carefully distinguished from the deity or deities in their religion's main pantheon.[3] Even the Christian faith, which holds Christ to be identical to God, distinguishes between God the father and Christ the begotten son.[4] There are, however, certain esoteric and mystical schools of thought, present in many faiths — Sufis in Islam, Gnostics in Christianity, Advaitan Hindus, Zen Buddhists, as well as several non-specific perspectives developed in new age philosophy — which hold that all humans are in essence Divine, or unified with the Divine in a non-trivial way. Such divinity, in these faiths, would express itself naturally if it were not obscured by the social and physical worlds we live in; it needs to be brought to the fore through appropriate spiritual practices.[5] According to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, such spiritual practices are, in and of themselves, inspired by promptings from the light of Christ or the Holy Spirit that are communications with an individual's divine essence or spirit that is linked directly to God through pre-existence as His offspring. A pantheon (in Greek, παν – pan — all + θεός – theos — god) is a set of all the gods of a particular religion or mythology, such as the gods of Hinduism, Norse, Egyptian, Shintoism, Greek, vodun, Yoruba Mythology and Roman mythology. ... The Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the largest attraction in the citys Temple Square. ... The Light of Christ is a doctrine of the Latter Day Saint movement, including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, that most people would call conscience. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      In mainstream Christianity, the... In Abrahamic religions, pre-existence is the belief that each individual human soul existed before conception, and at conception (or later, depending on when it is believed that the soul enters the body) God places one of these pre-existent souls in the body. ...


Belief in the divine potential of humankind

Belief in a divine potential of humankind is contained within the teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. During a period known as "pre-existence," pre-mortal human spirits called "spirit children" are able to make choices that influence their mortal existence contingent upon the individual spirit's inclination toward truth, love and faith. Spirit children arise from "Intelligences". "Intelligences" are eternal forms of energy or matter existing in a less progressed form than God. (See Joseph Smith's King Follett Discourse.) The Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the largest attraction in the citys Temple Square. ... The King Follett Discourse is an address delivered by Joseph Smith, Jr. ...


According to the LDS, Christ's unwavering ability to obey truth, perceive light, and act in perfect love and faith, distinguishes his pre-mortal existence from the pre-mortal existence of the other spirit beings who were in the presence of the Eternal Father. Christ's behaviour during his "spirit child" phase serves to explain why he is considered to be God-like. The God-like quality ascribed to Jesus explains why he had a greater capacity to suffer more than mortal man could suffer; thus He could endure the anguish and incomprehensible pain of the atonement. For other uses, see Atonement (disambiguation). ...


The LDS belief is that Christ's divinity qualified Him to return to the presence of God after His death and resurrection. By means of the atonement and His offering of divine grace to humankind, Christ provided access to divinity for humankind. A divine being is filled with perfect love, and desires to share these qualities because of the joy they bring to each individual soul. See also King Follett Discourse. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The King Follett Discourse is an address delivered by Joseph Smith, Jr. ...


See also

This list of deities aims to give information about deities in the different religions, cultures and mythologies of the world. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      In Eastern Orthodox and...

Notes and references

  1. ^ See, for example "The Great Stag: A Sumerian Divinity" by Bobula Ida (Yearbook of Ancient and Medieval History 1953)
  2. ^ note Augustine's argument that Divinity is not a quality of God, but that "God is [...] Divinity itself" (Nature and Grace, part I, question 3, article 3) "Whether God is the Same as His Essence or Nature"
  3. ^ This is sometimes a controversial issue, however; see [1], for example, for a discussion of the status of the Japanese emperor.
  4. ^ See, for example, "The Divinity of Alpha's Jesus" by Peterson & McDonald (Media Spotlight 25:4, 2002)
  5. ^ See, for example, "Twelve Signs of Your Awakening Divinity" by Geoffrey Hoppe and Tobias

External links

  • Discover the Divine Truth
  • Divine Divinity
  • muza.
  • muzyka.
  • Awakening Divinity in Man

  Results from FactBites:
 
Divination - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (776 words)
Divination is a universal cultural phenomenon which anthropologists have observed as being present in many religions and cultures in all ages up to the present day.
Strictly speaking, divination assumes the influence of some supernatural force or fate, whereas scientific predictions are made from an essentially mechanical, impersonal world-view and rely on empirical laws of nature.
By far one of the most popular methods of divination is Astrology, typically categorized as Vedic Astrology (Jyotish), Western Astrology, and Chinese Astrology, though besides these main three branches many other cultures also have or have had their own forms of Astrology in the past.
CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Divination (3504 words)
From a theological standpoint divination supposes the existence of devils who have great natural powers and who, actuated by jealousy of man and hatred of God, ever seek to lessen his glory and to draw man into perdition, or at least to injure him bodily, mentally, and spiritually.
Divination is not, as we have seen, foretelling what comes from necessity or what generally happens, or foretelling what God reveals or what can be discovered by human effort, but it is the usurpation of knowledge of the future, i.e.
In divination, apart from the fraud of the Father of Lies, there was much merely human fraud and endless deception the predictions were generally as vague and as worthless as modern fortune-telling, and the general result then as now favoured vice and injured virtue.
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