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Organicism

Theology And Cosmology

Many of the world's religions and philosophies have regarded the universe as possessing an organic unity as a macrocosm of a living body. For example, Hinduism, Sufism, the Russian philosophy of All-Unity, and numerous strains of Christianity (especially those of a mystical or neo-Platonic bent) display organicist tendencies by viewing the world as a collection of diverse beings that nevertheless possesses an integral unity. In this way, human beings may connect with God by submitting to the purposes found in the larger order of the cosmos; divinity is found in all things and orders diversity.

Perhaps the most controversial example of organic unity within the frame of religion is the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, that is, the idea that God is Three-in-One. Debates about the trinitarian character of divinity have long raged among theologians, who have been repeatedly challenged to explain how God can be composed of a single substance if He is also three different and distinct beings. (Adherents to more strictly monotheistic doctrines, including Jews and Muslims as well as unitarian Christians, have found this teaching absurd or even polytheistic.) Some version of organicism has afforded trinitarian theologians a way to explain the three-fold yet single nature of God.

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Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Octadecanoate to OvenbirdsOrganicism - Logic And Metaphysics, Aesthetics, Theology And Cosmology, Social And Political Thought, Decline Of Organicism