• anonymous
What are the main differences between animism, polytheism, and monotheism?
  • Stacey Warren - Expert
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  • anonymous
For example, Christianity is not strictly monotheistic due to their belief in the Trinity. Unlike Judaism and Islam which are strictly monotheistic, Christianity is three in one or triune-theistic. This is basically a form of polymonotheism. In addition to polytheism, is henotheism, which although believes in the existence of other gods, believe that they should worship only one god. Animism is also a close relation to polytheism, because of their belief in multiple spirits of the water, tree, mountain etc, like many traditional African beliefs and Shinto. Hinduism is called polytheist, because it believes that there are many gods, but it is much more complicated than that...It is actually monistic polytheism. This means that beyond the illusion of many gods, is one ultimate reality, and you are one with everything in the universe. In a sense, there is one God, and all gods are manifestations of this one God. But you and everything in existence is also a manifestation of the one God. Buddhism believes that the gods are not like the Islamic/Jewish God, but are more like super-beings who will one day die as well. All beings will die and depending on their karma, will be reincarnated into either demons, humans, animals, gods, ghosts, or a soul in hell. All of these will one day die and be reincarnated into something else. So it's pretty complicated. Many polytheistic/animistic religions believe that there was originally One supreme God that is silent.

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