In religious terms, divinity is the state of things that come from a supernatural power or deity, such as God, and are therefore regarded as sacred and holy. Such things are regarded as "divine" due to their transcendental origins, and/or because their attributes or qualities are superior or supreme relative to things of the Earth. Divine things are regarded as eternal and based in truth, while material things are regarded as ephemeral and based in illusion. Such things that may qualify as "divine" are apparitions, visions, prophecies, miracles, and the soul, or more general things like resurrection, immortality, grace, and salvation. Otherwise what is or is not divine may be loosely defined, as it is used by different belief systems.
The root of the word "divine" is literally "godlike" (from the Latin deus, cf. Dyaus, closely related to Greek zeus, div in Persian and deva in Sanskrit), but the use varies significantly depending on which deity is being discussed. This article outlines the major distinctions in the conventional use of the terms.
For specific related academic terms, see Divinity (academic discipline), or Divine (Anglican).
Read more about Divinity: Usages
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Famous quotes containing the word divinity:
“When we run over libraries persuaded of these principles, what havoc must we make? If we take in our hand any volume; of divinity or school metaphysics, for instance; let us ask, Does it contain any abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number? No. Does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact and existence? No. Commit it then to the flames; for it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion.”
—David Hume (17111776)
“Generalization is always a new influx of divinity into the mind. Hence the thrill that attends it.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)
“One writer says that Browns peculiar monomania made him to be dreaded by the Missourians as a supernatural being. Sure enough, a hero in the midst of us cowards is always so dreaded. He is just that thing. He shows himself superior to nature. He has a spark of divinity in him.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)