Request for citations on types of religious belief

Ted Davis (
Thu, 17 Sep 1998 15:28:27 -0400

A recent exchange I have had elsewhere with theologian Phil Hefner leads me
to suspect that the following words may *not* being used to mean the same
things in different professional communities (e.g., theology, history of
science, intellectual history, philosophy):


For example, Webster's 7th defines "pantheism" as "a doctrine that equates
God with the forces with the forces and laws of the universe." This seems
clear enough and, on this basis, a good number of scientists and theologians
I have been reading -- people from the turn of the century and a bit later
-- seem to fit it very well. I think this definition is also implicit in
James Gilbert's use of the term in his recent book. Phil Hefner advises me
that this is far too simple, so simple in fact that (in his opinion) it is
difficult to identify individuals who actually qualify as pantheists.

I find all this highly interesting, and think it might be even more
interesting to see what turns up in reponse to the following request:


Interested parties are requested to send me, off-board, full bibliographic
references to articles/monographs/scholarly reference works containing
definitions, either explicit or implicit, of one or more of the terms listed
above. At some point (probably not too soon) I may be able to produce an
essay about how these terms in fact are being used, though of course this
depends mainly on what turns up. In the meantime, I offer my thanks in
advance to all who respond to my request.

Please send citations to:
Ted Davis