Similarity to deus absconditusEdit
A similar concept is that of the deus absconditus or "hidden god" of Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274) and Nicolaus Cusanus. Although Aquinas was a Catholic and not a deist, the concept of the "idle god" refers to a deity whose existence is not readily knowable by humans solely through contemplation or through the examination of divine actions.
The concept of deus otiosus often suggests a god who has grown weary from involvement in this world and who has been replaced by younger, more active gods, whereas deus absconditus suggests a god who has consciously left this world to hide elsewhere.
- In Sumer, the younger gods Enlil and Enki replace the deus otiosus Anu.
- In Greek mythology, the older gods like Uranus and Gaia make way for Cronos and Rhea who in turn are succeeded by the Olympians Zeus and Hera and company.
- Adi Shakti appears as a deus otiosus in some medieval Hindu puranas.
- In Baltic mythology Deivas most probably was a deus otiosus.
- In Christianity, Martin Luther used the notion of deus absconditus to explain the mystery and remoteness of God.
Ishvara in Vaisheshika HinduismEdit
In Vaisheshika school of Hinduism, early theories were atheistic / non-theistic, the universe explained as composed of eternal paramanu (atoms) of substances whose combinations and interactions explained the nature of universe. In 1st millennium AD, the school added the concept of Ishvara to its atomistic naturalism. These later Vaiśeṣika scholars retained their belief that substances are eternal, included Ishvara as another eternal who is also omniscient and omnipresent.
Ishvara (or Deva) did not create the world, according to this school of Hindu scholars, but only created the hidden universal laws that operate the world, and then withdrew to let those laws operate on their own. Thus, Vaisheshika's Ishvara mirrors Deus otiosus, as a God who retires after he has created the laws that govern nature.
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- Cusanus, Nicolaus (1959). Wilpert, P. (ed.). Opuscula I [De Deo abscondito, De quaerendo Deum, De filiatione Dei, De dato Patris luminum, Coniectura de ultimis diebus, De genesi]. Nicolai de Cusa Opera Omnia. IV. Hamburgi, DE.
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