Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search


Alternative forms[edit]


From pan- +‎ demon +‎ -ism.


pandemonism (uncountable)

  1. Belief that every object (animate or inanimate), idea (abstract or concrete), and action is inhabited by its own independent supernatural spirit; worship of such spirits.
    • 1833, Charles Buck, A Theological Dictionary: Containing Definitions of All Religious and Ecclesiastical Terms, p. 291:
      At all events, it is interesting to learn, from this work, with greater accuracy, an old religious system of the East, in which are to he found, with Pandemonism and the metempsychosis, the elements of the worship of the stars, of astrology, the theurgy, the doctrine of amulets, as well as the elements of the Hindoo religion, particularly the system of castes.
    • 1910, Samuel Fallows, Andrew Constantinides Zenos, Herbert Lockwood Willett, The Popular and Critical Bible Encyclopædia and Scriptural Dictionary, p. 1481:
      Every object, animate or inanimate, every idea, abstract or concrete, became endowed with a spirit of its own. The religion of Rome was a pandaemonism, a belief, not in one god, pervading all nature and identified with nature, but in millions of gods, a god for every object, every act.
    • 1974, Stephen Porter Dunn, Introduction to Soviet Ethnography, p. 491:
      But he was scarcely right in attempting to derive all primitive religious concepts from an undifferentiated "dim pandemonism."
    • 1996, Robert Turcan, The Cults of the Roman Empire, page 121:
      The dignity and calm of Isiac faith had something to impress anxious or fickle pagans who were beguiled by the murky occultism of the sects or the pandemonism of the magicians.
    • 2004, Boris Jakim, The Comforter, p. 226:
      This peculiar anthropological docetism, or pandemonism, is not compatible with the Christian faith.
  2. Belief in an universe that is infused with an evil spirit.
    • 1927, Lewis Browne, Elsa Weihl, That Man Heine: A Biography, p. 257:
      It was but the original faith of the ancient ancient Teutons which the Christian monks had perverted into pandemonism.
    • 1987, Friedrich Schelling in Ernst Behler, Philosophy of German Idealism, p. 235:
      While this ancillary thought explains evil in the world, it also completely extinguishes the good and introduces pandemonism instead of pantheism.
    • 2003, Robert Wicks, Literary Truth as Dreamlike Expression in Foucault's and Borges's "Chinese Encyclopedia", in Philosophy and Literature, Vol. 27, No. 1, p. 80-97.
      Whereas pantheism asserts that all is God, pandemonism asserts that all is hell; whereas pantheism asserts that all is sacred and divine, pandemonism asserts that all is profane and contaminated.

Usage notes[edit]

The second sense is likely a back-formation incorporating the malevolent sense of demon into the originally morally neutral meaning of the word.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.