EngradeWikisPolytheism › Monotheism


What is Monotheism

What is Monotheism?
Belief in a Single, All-Powerful God

Exploring: Religion & Theism > Theism 101

• Related Religion Links
• Religion 101
• Theism 101
• Defining Religion
• Types of Belief Systems
• Types of Religion
• World Religions
• Religion in the World

--> • Site Resources
• Main Site Index

• What is Atheism?
• Religion & Theism
• Skepticism & Logic
• Arguments for / against Gods
• Evolution vs. Creationism
• Religious Timelines
• Hate Mail
• Glossary
• Book Reviews

--> • Chat Room
Join others in the Agnosticism/Atheism chat!

• Discussion Forum
Do you have an opinion about this page? Make it known on the Discussion Forum!

The word monotheism comes from the Greek monos, which means one, and theos, which means god. Thus, monotheism is a belief in the existence of a single god. Monotheism is usually contrasted with polytheism, which is the belief in many gods, and atheism, which is the absence of any belief in gods.

Because monotheism is founded upon the idea that there is only one god, it is common for believers to also think that this god created all of reality and is totally self-sufficient, without any dependency upon any other being. This is what we find in the largest monotheistic religious systems: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Sikhism.

Most monotheistic systems tend to be exclusive in nature - what this means is that they don't simply believe in and worship a single god, but they also deny the existence of the gods of any other religious faiths. Occasionally we can find a monotheistic religion treating other alleged gods as merely being aspects or incarnations of their one, supreme god; this, however, is relatively infrequent and occurs more during a transition between polytheism and monotheism when the older gods need to be explained away.