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Omnipresence or ubiquity is the property of being present everywhere. This characteristic is most commonly used in a religious context, as most doctrines bestow the trait of omnipresence onto a superior, usually a deity commonly referred to as God by monotheists, as with God in Christianity. This idea differs from Pantheism, which identifies the universe and divinity; in divine omnipresence, the divine and universe are separate, but the divine is present everywhere; see panentheism for a third variant.

Introduction[edit]

Hinduism, and other religions that derive from it, incorporate the theory of transcendent and immanent omnipresence which is the traditional meaning of the word, Brahman. This theory defines a universal and fundamental substance, which is the source of all physical existence.

Divine omnipresence is thus one of the divine attributes, although in Western Christianity it has attracted less philosophical attention than such attributes as omnipotence, omniscience, or being eternal.

In western theism, omnipresence is roughly described as the ability to be "present everywhere at the same time",[1] referring to an unbounded or universal presence. Omnipresence means minimally that there is no place to which God’s knowledge and power do not extend.[2] It is related to the concept of ubiquity, the ability to be everywhere or in many places at once.[3] This includes unlimited temporal presence.[4] William Lane Craig states that we shouldn’t think of God as being in space in the sense of being spread out like an invisible ether throughout space. He is not like an invisible gas that is everywhere present in space. This would be incorrect for several reasons. For one, it would mean that if the universe is finite, which is perfectly possible, then God would be finite. We do not want to say that because God is infinite. More seriously, if God is spread out throughout space, like an invisible ether, that means that he is not fully present everywhere.[5]

Some[who?] argue that omnipresence is a derived characteristic: an omniscient and omnipotent deity knows everything and can be and act everywhere, simultaneously. Others propound a deity as having the "Three O's", including omnipresence as a unique characteristic of the deity. Most Christian denominations — following theology standardized by the Nicene Creed — explains the concept of omnipresence in the form of the "Trinity", by having a single deity (God) made up of three omnipresent persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Historical origins[edit]

Several ancient cultures such as the Vedic and the Native American civilizations share similar views on omnipresent nature; the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans did not worship an omnipresent being. While most Paleolithic cultures followed polytheistic practices[citation needed], a form of omnipresent deity arises from a worldview that does not share ideas with mono-local deity cultures. Some omnipresent religions see the whole of existence as a manifestation of the deity. There are two predominant viewpoints here: pantheism, deity is the summation of Existence; and panentheism, deity is an emergent property of existence. The first is closest to the Native Americans' worldview; the latter resembles the Vedic outlook.[citation needed]

Judeo-Christian beliefs constitute a third opinion on omnipresence. To both mainstream Jewish and Christian religions, God is omnipresent; however, some heterodox branches, such as the Jehovah's Witnesses, reject omnipresence.[6] However, the major difference between these monotheistic religions and other religious systems is that God is still transcendent to His creation and yet immanent in relating to creation. God is not immersed in the substance of creation, even though he is able to interact with it as he chooses. He cannot be excluded from any location or object in creation.[7] God's presence is continuous throughout all of creation, though it may not be revealed in the same way at the same time to people everywhere. At times, he may be actively present in a situation, while he may not reveal that he is present in another circumstance in some other area. The Bible reveals that God can be both present to a person in a manifest manner (Psalm 46:1, Isaiah 57:15) as well as being present in every situation in all of creation at any given time (Psalm 33:13-14). Specifically, Oden states (pg. 68-69) that the Bible shows that God can be present in every aspect of human life:

  • God is naturally present in every aspect of the natural order, in every level of causality, every fleeting moment and momentous event of natural history...(Psalm 8:3, Isaiah 40:12, Nahum 1:3)
  • God is actively present in a different way in every event in history as provident guide of human affairs (Psalm 48:7)
  • God is in a special way attentively present to those who call upon his name, intercede for others, who adore God, who petition, who pray earnestly for forgiveness (Gospel of Matthew 18:19, Book of Acts 17:27)
  • God is judicially present in moral awareness, through conscience (Psalm 48:1-2, Epistle to the Romans 1:20)
  • God is bodily present in the incarnation of his Son, Jesus Christ (Gospel of John 1:14, Colossians 2:9)
  • God is mystically present in the Eucharist, and through the means of grace in the church, the body of Christ (Ephesians 2:12, John 6:56)
  • God is sacredly present and becomes known in special places where God chooses to meet us, places that become set apart by the faithful remembering community (1 Corinthians 11:23-29) where it may said: "Truly the Lord is in this place" (Genesis 28:16, Matthew 18:20)"

In the Judeo-Christian religions, God is omnipresent in a way that he is able to interact with his creation however he chooses, and is the very essence of his creation. While contrary to normal physical intuitions, such omnipresence is logically possible by way of the classic geometric point or its equivalent, in that such a point is, by definition, within all of space without taking up any space.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Oxford Dictionary of English: http://www.askoxford.com/concise_oed/omnipresent
  2. ^ Craig, William Lane. "Doctrine of God (part 9)". Retrieved 20 May 2014. 
  3. ^ "ubiquity". Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary. Retrieved 2013-01-18. 
  4. ^ "Nature and Attributes of God". Catholic Encyclopedia. NewAdvent.org. September 1, 1909. Retrieved 2013-01-18. 
  5. ^ Craig, William Lane. "Doctrine of God (part 8)". Retrieved 20 May 2014. 
  6. ^ *"The Bible’s Viewpoint: Is God Everywhere?". Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A.: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. 2011. Retrieved 2013-01-18. 
  7. ^ Oden, Thomas C. The Living God. Systematic Theology Vol. 1, 67.

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omnipresence — Please support Wikipedia.
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wivb.com
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 21:18:45 -0700

That, and the chain's omnipresence, puts his fame in Canada on the order of a New York Yankees baseball legend like Mickey Mantle or Yogi Berra. “Tim Hortons is iconic in terms of Canada and I wouldn't like to see that diluted,” said Daraius Bharucha, ...

Houston Chronicle

Houston Chronicle
Fri, 29 Aug 2014 17:56:15 -0700

That, and the chain's omnipresence, puts his fame in Canada on the order of a New York Yankees baseball legend like Mickey Mantle or Yogi Berra. "Tim Hortons is iconic in terms of Canada, and I wouldn't like to see that diluted," said Daraius Bharucha, ...

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Fri, 29 Aug 2014 10:10:01 -0700

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with participants in the youth educational forum at the Seliger youth camp near Lake Seliger, some 450 kilometres (281 miles) northwest of Moscow, in Tver region, Russia, Friday, Aug. 29, 2014. Russia's President ...
 
Washington Post (blog)
Fri, 29 Aug 2014 07:13:59 -0700

Add a year's worth of attacks from Democratic and Republican opponents and the increased omnipresence of outside groups in the past four years, and Coakley's chances of victory have remained just as hard to reach — despite the fact that she has ...
 
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Fri, 29 Aug 2014 07:48:45 -0700

Can we longer doubt His omnipresence and omnipotence? Behold, the all-seeing eye!” De Chardin envisaged his noösphere (from the Greek nous for mind) as a sphere of human thought enclosing the Earth in a single “thinking envelope… a harmonized ...
 
OCRegister
Thu, 28 Aug 2014 23:56:15 -0700

Armed with a minor in Spanish from UCLA, Leigh easily moves from one language to another to talk with others like community activist Tish Leon and State Farm agent Eddie Quillares, whose omnipresence portends them roles as pseudo city mayors or ...

Telegraph.co.uk

Telegraph.co.uk
Sun, 24 Aug 2014 13:17:23 -0700

If omnipresence is the first step to godliness, then the Church of Savage is thriving. These days, it is almost impossible to follow football at any level without encountering his He‑Man features at some point: via Twitter, his newspaper column, his ...

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International Policy Digest
Thu, 28 Aug 2014 23:22:30 -0700

Takahiro Iwasaki's “Reflection” (Omnipresence) is also hallucinatory. Iwasaki uses little sticks to create hallucinatory architectural effects. His architectural models of the Heian period – minute when compared to the originals, are versions of the ...
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