Such panentheists hold that God supervenes on the universe and is ontologically dependent upon the universe. And like some pantheists, there are panentheists who take their ontology of the divine to be sufficient to ground a conception of God as personal while others are resolute in their denial of a personal God.

While we have taken a very broad view of the differences between pantheistic and panentheistic conceptions of divinity, our discussion should suffice to give the reader a reasonably robust sense of two of the most prominent alternative conceptions of God and the broad ontological commitments of such concepts of divinity. In the remainder of this section, we briefly consider the value of examining alternative concepts of God.

In particular, we are interested in the value of such approaches for philosophers of religion who wish to take a more global perspective in their research, examining not just the traditional theistic picture of divinity that emerged in the West but also non-theistic conceptions of ultimate reality and considering how these alternative pictures of ultimate reality may relate to one another.


While this is no doubt a controversial claim, we are inclined to think that alternative conceptions of divinity such as pantheism and panentheism are better suited to engage with non-theistic conceptions of ultimate reality than versions of classical theism.