Divine presence, presence of God, Inner God, or simply presence is a concept in religion, spirituality, and theology that deals with the ability of a god or gods to be “present” with human beings.
According to some types of monotheism God is omnipresent; hence, the rabbinic teaching: “The Divine presence is everywhere.”
The concept is shared by many religious traditions, is found in a number of independently derived conceptualizations, and each of these has culturally distinct terminology. Some of the various relevant concepts and terms are:
- Immanence–usually applied in monotheistic, pantheistic, pandeistic, or panentheistic faiths to suggest that the spiritual world permeates the mundane. It is often contrasted with transcendence, in which the divine is seen to be outside the material world.
- Inner light–term used in various religions to refer to the presence of God as a “light”. The Religious Society of Friends regards this concept as a fundamental belief.
- Divine light–an aspect of divine presence with qualities of illumination: thought, intellect, knowledge, insight, wisdom, being, divine love.
- Numen–Latin term for “presence”, used historically to refer to a Roman religious concept.
- Theophany–refers to the appearance of a deity to a human.
- Higher consciousness–is the consciousness of a higher Self, transcendental reality, or God.
- Angel of the Presence–refers to an entity variously considered angelic or else identified with God himself.
- Shekhinah–denotes the dwelling or settling of the divine presence of God and his cosmic glory.
The Sages of Israel have given expression of the Divine Presence (Shekhinah) in their writings:
The Divine Presence rests not [upon man] through sadness, neither through sloth, nor through jesting, nor through levity, nor through loquacity, nor through [a host of] vain pursuits, but rather through the joyful performance of keeping one’s religious duty.
See also: Christology
- Immanuel–”God with us,” is a Biblical concept that deals with the concept of divine presence, often used by Christians as a title for Jesus
- Incarnation in Christianity–The belief that the second person of the Trinity, also known as God the Son or the Logos (Word), “became flesh” by being conceived in the womb of Mary.
- Presence of God (Catholicism)–refers to the belief that God is present by his Essence everywhere and in all things by reason of his Immensity. It also refers to the belief that God is in a special manner really and substantially present in the souls of the just.
Christians generally recognize a special presence of Christ in the Eucharist, although they differ about exactly how, where, and when Christ is present. While all agree that there is no perceptible change in the elements, some believe that they actually become the body and blood of Christ, others believe the true body and blood of Christ are really present in, with, and under the bread and wine which remain physically unchanged, others believe in a real but purely spiritual presence of Christ in the Eucharist, and still others take the act to be only a symbolic reenactment of the Last Supper.
- Consubstantiation–Lutheran concept of Christ being “infused” within the species of communion with these aspects still substantially present.
- Transubstantiation–Catholic and Orthodox (terminology differs) concept of Christ fully, truly and substantially present in the Eucharist with the physical species being substantially absent.
In Hinduism, avatar refers to the appearance or incarnation of a deity on Earth.
Adapted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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