Theism facts for kids
Theism is the religious belief that at least one god exists. Polytheism is the belief in several gods, while monotheism is the belief in just one god. For example, a theistic religion is Christianity. The opposite to a theist is an atheist. An atheist is a person that does not believe in any god or gods.
All of these are rough definitions of the theisms; they are almost always different. We can split them all into different groups:
- atheism — the opposite of theism; not believing in any gods or deities
- deism — believing that god(s) exist, but that they do not take part in our lives.
- agnosticism — believing we cannot know whether god(s) exist
- gnosticism — believing that we can know for certain whether a god(s) exist.
Gnosticism and agnosticism can be combined with other forms of theism. For example, it is possible to be an agnostic atheist, or a gnostic theist. In common usage, some people group atheism and agnosticism together under the group of nontheism — absence of clear belief in any deity.
The main types of theism are:
- polytheism — believing that many gods or goddesses exist (sometimes known as paganism)
- monotheism — belief that only one god exists (Christians, Muslims and Jews believe in monotheism.)
- ditheism — belief that two gods exist and they are both equal.
This is another way to group different theisms, based on the nature of the gods.
- pantheism — god and the universe are the same
- panentheism — the universe is part of god
- dystheism or maltheism — that god or the gods are evil.
There is also these types:
- Animism: believing that everything is alive and spirits are in all things, and that all things have souls.
- Monolatry: there is (or may be) more than one god, but they are all expressions of the supreme god.
- Henotheism: there is (or may be) more than one god, but only one is the supreme.
- Kathenotheism: there is more than one god, but only one at a time should be worshipped. Each is supreme in turn.
Theism Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.