Immanence

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Etymology

Late Latin immanent-, immanens, present participle of immanēre to remain in place, from Latin in- + manēre to remain — more at mansion

Definitions

Description

Immanence, derived from the Latin in manere - "to remain within" - refers to philosophical and metaphysical theories of divine presence, which hold that some divine being or essence manifests in and through all aspects of the material world. It is usually applied in monotheistic, pantheistic, or panentheistic faiths to suggest that the spiritual world permeates the non-spiritual, and often contrasts the idea of transcendence.

Immanence is generally associated with mysticism and mystical sects, but most religions have elements of both immanent and transcendent belief in their doctrines. Major faiths commonly devote significant philosophical efforts to explaining the relationship between immanence and transcendence, but these efforts run the gamut from casting immanence as a characteristic of a transcendent God (common in Abrahamic faiths) to subsuming transcendent 'personal' gods in a greater immanent being (Hindu Brahman) to approaching the question of transcendence as something which can only be answered through an appraisal of immanence (Buddhism, and some philosophical perspectives).