Religion:Divine presence

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Short description: Concept in religion, spirituality, and theology

Divine presence, presence of God, Inner God, or simply presence is a concept in religion, spirituality, and theology that deals with the ability of a deity to be "present" with human beings, sometimes associated with omnipresence.


The concept is shared by many religious traditions, is found in a number of independently derived conceptualizations, and each of these has culturally distinct terminology. Some of the various relevant concepts and terms are:

Abrahamic religions


  • Angel of the Presence – an entity variously considered angelic or else identified with God himself.
  • Shekhinah – the dwelling or settling of the divine presence of God and his cosmic glory.

The Sages of Israel have given expression of the Divine Presence (Hebrew: Shekhinah) in their writings:


Christians generally recognize a special presence of Christ in the Eucharist, although they differ about exactly how, where, and when Christ is present. While all agree that there is no perceptible change in the elements, some believe that they actually become the body and blood of Christ, others believe the true body and blood of Christ are really present in, with, and under the bread and wine which remain physically unchanged, others believe in a real but purely spiritual presence of Christ in the Eucharist, and still others take the act to be only a symbolic reenactment of the Last Supper.

  • Religion:Transubstantiation – Catholic sacramental doctrine – Catholic and Orthodox (terminology differs) concept of Christ fully, truly and substantially present in the Eucharist with the physical species being substantially absent.
  • Religion:Consubstantiation – Christian theological doctrine – Lutheran concept of Christ being "infused" within the species of communion with these aspects still substantially present.

Islam (and Sufism)

Divine Presence in Islam is known as "Hadra" and the human experience of it is known as "Hudur".[3]

Practices in Sufism intended to evoke Hudur usually characterize it as "the heart's presence with Allah" ("Hudur al-Qalb").[4] Examples of such practices include:

  • The Haḍra group ritual
  • Muraqabah (meditation) in general
  • Realization of the Jism Latif subtle body through practice with the Lataif-e-Sitta

Indian religions

In Hinduism, an avatar is the appearance or incarnation of a deity on Earth.[5]

See also


  1. "Theophany". Encyclopædia Britannica. 
  2. Babylonian Talmud (Shabbat 30b)
  3. Chittick, William "Presence with God", page 17. The ninth annual symposium of the Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi Society in the USA, University of California, Berkeley, 28-29 October 1995.
  4. In some interpretations, the "presence" referred to is that of Muhammad rather than Allah. (John L. Esposito, "Hadrah." The Oxford Dictionary of Islam. Oxford Islamic Studies Online. Web. 3 Apr. 2010.)
  5. Geoffrey Parrinder (1997). Avatar and Incarnation: The Divine in Human Form in the World's Religions. Oneworld. pp. 19–20. ISBN 978-1-85168-130-3. 


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