Panentheism and the “Most Nonsensical Superstition” of Polytheism

European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 14 (2) (2022)
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The German philosopher K.C.F. Krause found deep conceptual parallels between his panentheistic system and the Indian philosophy of Vedānta. This article critically examines Krause’s understanding of Vedānta and popular Hindu religion. I argue that while Krause was correct in viewing the mystical panentheistic doctrine of Vedānta as a precursor to his own philosophy, he was also frequently misled by unreliable translations and secondary texts. Krause, I suggest, was mistaken in characterizing the Hindu practice of image worship as “polytheism” and “idolatry,” and I contend, from a Vedāntic standpoint, that Krause’s denial of the divinity of Jesus is inconsistent with his own panentheistic metaphysics.


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Swami Medhananda
University of California, Los Angeles

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Panentheisms East and West.Philip Clayton - 2010 - Sophia 49 (2):183-191.
With What Must the History of Philosophy Begin?Robert Bernasconi - 2003 - Proceedings of the Hegel Society of America 16:35-49.
Brahma-sūtra-bhāsya of Śrī Śaṅkarācārya. Śaṅkarācārya - 1965 - Calcutta,: Advaita Ashrama. Edited by Bādarāyaṇa & Gambhirananda.

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