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Gods, Goddesses and other deities

Background material

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About this web site:

As we explain in our home page, this is a religious web site unlike essentially all others:

  • We do not promote the religious beliefs of the webmaster or the sponsoring agency.

  • We try to explain the full range of beliefs on each topic as objectively as we can. This goal is easier for us since ours is a multi-faith group.

Belief in God(s) and Goddess(es):

This website's internal search facilities, show that one of the most popular topics of interest to our visitors is "God".

According to David Barrett et al, editors of the "World Christian Encyclopedia: A comparative survey of churches and religions - AD 30 to 2200," there are 19 major world religions in the world which are subdivided into a total of 270 large religious groups, and many tens thousands of smaller ones. 1 Taken together, these religions and faith groups teach the existence of thousands of Gods, thousands of Goddesses, a smaller number of gender-neutral deities. and lots of other creatures like demons, angels, archangels, principalities, seraphim, cherubim, Elohim (godly beings), Bene Elohim (sons of Godly beings), Sons of God, God's council, jinn, ascended masters, etc.

Even within Christianity or other religions, various traditions or denominations assign very different attributes to their deity/deities. Some view God as filled with wrath, judgmental, and prone to punishing humans for misbehavior or for deviating from a specific group of beliefs. Others conceive of God as a loving, caring father gently inspiring his children to adopt better behavior. Various denominations, in effect, create a series of different deities with different personalities and the same names.

Obviously, all or almost all of the world's major religions differ greatly in their teachings of God and supernatural beings. The probability that any given religion has a correct view of God, Goddess, Gods, Goddesses, or Gods & Goddesses is slim. Of course, the vast majority of believers are certain that their specific view of God is correct; many believe that their concept of God is the only valid one. Some go further and consider all deities other than their own to be either Satan or followers of Satan.

There are many different religions and many divisions within all of the major religions. This is a good indication that there is no way to assess the will of God for humanity through prayer. Otherwise, believers would have merged their many religions into one in order to match God's wishes. We have partially confirmed this disconnect between God and humanity in a pilot study into assessing God's will through prayer.

Topics covered in this section:

In this section, we describe the full range of deities recognized by various religions. We describe the following beliefs about God:

  • Monotheistic: Followers of Islam, Judaism, Sikhism, and other monotheistic religions worship a single indivisible God.

  • Trinitarian: Most Christians  believe in a Trinity, consisting of God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit -- three persons simultaneously existing in a single spiritual entity. Members of the Jehovah's Witnesses, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the United Pentecostal Church, the Pentecostal Assemblies of The World, and other Oneness Pentecostal denominations reject this concept in various ways.

  • Goddess worship: This involves worship of a single female deity.

  • Duotheism: Belief in two deities. Wiccans and many other other Neopagans recognize a male and female deity (sometimes viewed as the male and female aspects of a single deity -- "The One" or "The All."  Zorastrians believe in an all-good deity and an all-evil deity, similar to some conservative Protestants.

  • Polytheism: Polytheistic religions like Santeria, Vodun, some Neopagans, and others teach of the existence of a pantheon of Gods, and/or Goddesses.

  • Henotheism: Henotheistic religions like Hinduism teach a single deity but recognize other gods and goddesses as facets, forms, manifestations, or aspects of that supreme God.

We will also describe the four main views of how deities are structured as viewed by different religions, including: Deism, Panentheism, Pantheism, and Theism.

Related sections:

See also our essays on:

Site navigation:

Home page > Christianity > Christian personalities > God > here

or Home page > Religious information > God > here

or Home page > Spirituality > God > here

or Home page > God > here

Copyright © 2000 to 2012 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2000-FEB-18
Latest update and review: 2012-OCT-30
Author: B.A. Robinson

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