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(389 words)

Author(s): Veldhuis, Ruurd
“Emanation,” from the Lat. emano (flow out), occurs in certain metaphysical conceptions of the structure and origin of the world. In these systems, reality consists of a hierarchy of being in which lower forms develop out of higher forms, and the multiplicity of the world ultimately derives from the unity of a first principle. The idea occurs only rarely in classical Greek philosophy ¶ (Gk. aporroia, “outflow, emanation”), and then mostly in an epistemological connection (e.g., in Empedocles). Only in Gnosticism does it become significant metaphysically. Here with the help of rich mythological materials (Myth) and complicated schemes, descriptions are given of the emanation of various hypostases from the original divine principle, and the beginning of the material world is ascribed to an evil demiurge (Dualism). The idea of emanation became ph…


(1,595 words)

Author(s): Veldhuis, Ruurd | Ott, Heinrich
1. Philosophy Deriving from the Gk. dialogos (conversation), the term “dialogue” has become…

Absolute, The

(562 words)

Author(s): Veldhuis, Ruurd
The word “absolute” comes from the Lat. absolutus (loosed, completed). Taken negatively, it means the unconditioned—in metaphysics, as distinct from the finite and conditioned; in epistemology, as distinct from the indefinite and relative; and in ethics, as distinct from the provisional and only partly valid. ¶ …


(672 words)

Author(s): Veldhuis, Ruurd
Until the 18th century, the term “deism” (from Lat. deus, a god, God) was interchangeable with “theism.” It was used for the first time by the Swiss theologian P. Viret (Geneva, 1564), who spoke with abhorrence of people who called themselves deists to emphasize that, in contrast to atheists, they believed in God, even though they accepted nothing of Christ and his teaching. Some writers (e.g., C. Blount and M. Tindal) explicitly confessed deism, but many deists avoided the term becau…