- Great Architect of the Universe
Part of a series on God General conceptions Agnosticism · Apatheism · Atheism
Deism · Henotheism · Monolatrism
Monotheism · Panentheism
Pantheism · Theism · Transtheism
Abrahamic (Bahá'í · Christianity
Islam · Judaism) · Ayyavazhi
Buddhism · Hinduism · Jainism
Sikhism · Zoroastrianism
Attributes Eternalness · Existence · Gender
Names ("God") · Omnibenevolence
Omnipotence · Omnipresence
Experiences and practices Belief · Esotericism · Faith
Fideism · Gnosis · Hermeticism
Metaphysics · Mysticism
Prayer · Revelation · Worship
Related topics Euthyphro dilemma · God complex
Neurotheology · Ontology
Philosophy · Problem of evil
Religion · Religious texts
Portrayals of God in popular media
The Great Architect of the Universe (also Grand Architect of the Universe or Supreme Architect of the Universe) is a conception of God discussed by many Christian theologians and apologists. As a designation it is used within Freemasonry to neutrally represent whatever Supreme Being to which each member individually holds in adherence. It is also a Rosicrucian conception of God, as expressed by Max Heindel. The concept of the Demiurge as a grand architect or a great architect also occurs in gnosticism and other religious and philosophical systems.
The concept of God as the (Great) Architect of the Universe has been employed many times in Christianity. An illustration of God as the architect of the universe can be found in a Bible from the Middle Ages and the comparison of God to an architect has been used by Christian apologists and teachers.
Saint Thomas Aquinas said in the Summa: "God, Who is the first principle of all things, may be compared to things created as the architect is to things designed (ut artifex ad artificiata)." Commentators have pointed out that the assertion that the Grand Architect of the Universe is the Christian God "is not evident on the basis of 'natural theology' alone but requires an additional 'leap of faith' based on the revelation of the Bible".
John Calvin, in his Institutes of the Christian Religion (1536), repeatedly calls the Christian God "the Architect of the Universe", also referring to his works as "Architecture of the Universe", and in his commentary on Psalm 19 refers to the Christian God as the "Great Architect" or "Architect of the Universe".
Masonic historians such as William Bissey, Gary Leazer (quoting Coil's Masonic Encyclopaedia), and S. Brent Morris, assert that "the Masonic abbreviation G.A.O.T.U., meaning the Great Architect of the Universe, continues a long tradition of using an allegorical name for the Deity". They trace how the name and the abbreviation entered Masonic tradition from the Book of Constitutions written in 1723 by the Reverend James Anderson. They also note that Anderson, a Calvinist minister, probably took the term from Calvin's usage.
Christopher Haffner's own explanation of how the Masonic concept of a Great Architect of the Universe, as a placeholder for the Supreme Being of one's choice, is given in Workman Unashamed:
“ Now imagine me standing in lodge with my head bowed in prayer between Brother Mohammed Bokhary and Brother Arjun Melwani. To neither of them is the Great Architect of the Universe perceived as the Holy Trinity. To Brother Bokhary He has been revealed as Allah; to Brother Melwani He is probably perceived as Vishnu. Since I believe that there is only one God, I am confronted with three possibilities:
- They are praying to the devil whilst I am praying to God;
- They are praying to nothing, as their Gods do not exist;
- They are praying to the same God as I, yet their understanding of His nature is partly incomplete (as indeed is mine — 1 Cor 13:12)
It is without hesitation that I accept the third possibility..
—Christopher Haffner, Workman Unashamed: The Testimony of a Christian Freemason, Lewis Masonic, 1989, p.39
The Great Architect may also be a metaphor alluding to the godhead potentiality of every individual. "(God)... That invisible power which all know does exist, but understood by many different names, such as God, Spirit, Supreme Being, Intelligence, Mind, Energy, Nature and so forth."  In the Hermetic Tradition, each and every person has the potential to become God, this idea or concept of God is perceived as internal rather than external. The Great Architect is also an allusion to the observer created universe. We create our own reality; hence we are the architect. Another way would to be to say that the mind is the builder.
In Heindel's exposition, the Great Architect of the Universe is the Supreme Being, who proceeds from The Absolute, at the dawn of manifestation. For a detailed discussion, see The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception.
The concept of the Great Architect of the Universe occurs in gnosticism. The Devil Demiurge is The Great Architect of the Universe, the God of Old Testament in opposition to Christ and Sophia messengers of Gnosis of the True God. Ebionits like Nasoræanism, for example, the Pira Rabba is the source, origin, and container of all things, which is filled by the Mânâ Rabbâ, the Great Spirit, from which emanates the First Life. The First Life prays for companionship and progeny, whereupon the Second Life, the Ultra Mkayyema or World-constituting Æon, the Architect of the Universe, comes into being. From this architect come a number of æons, who erect the universe under the foremanship of the Mandâ d'Hayye or gnôsis zoês, the Personified Knowledge of Life.
James Hopwood Jeans, in his book The Mysterious Universe, also employs the concept of a Great Architect of the Universe, saying at one point "Lapsing back again into the crudely anthropomorphic language we have already used, we may say that we have already considered with disfavour the possibility of the universe having been planned by a biologist or an engineer; from the intrinsic evidence of his creation, the Great Architect of the Universe now begins to appear as a pure mathematician." To that Jinarajadasa adds his observation that the Great Architect is "also a Grand Geometrician. For in some manner or other, whether obvious or hidden, there seems to be a geometric basis to every object in the universe."
The concept of a Great Architect of the Universe also occurs in Martinism. Martinist doctrine is that the Great Architect must not be worshipped. Martinists hold that whilst it is possible to "invoque" Him, it is not to adore Him.
- Conceptions of God
- Creation myth
- Intelligent designer
- Names of God
- Architect (The Matrix)
- ^ Hog, Erik. "The depth of the heavens: Belief and knowledge during 2500 years" Europhysics News, (2004), 35(3), p. 78, (pdf file).
- ^ Summa Theologica I. 27, 1, r.o. 3.
- ^ Stephen A. Richards (2006). "Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274)". Theology. Pelusa Media Group. http://www.faithnet.org.uk/Theology/aquinas.htm.
- ^ William K. Bissey (Spring 1997). "G.A.O.T.U.". The Indiana Freemason. http://srjarchives.tripod.com/1997-08/Bissey.htm.
- ^ Gary Leazer (2001). "Praying in Lodge". Masonic Research. http://www.hampton70.org/research/leazer/prayer.htm.
- ^ S. Brent Morris (2006). The Complete Idiot's Guide to Freemasonry. Alpha/Penguin Books. p. 212. ISBN 1-59257-490-4.
- ^ Mary Ann Slipper, The Symbolism of the Eastern Star Pages 35 and 36.
- ^ "Nasoræans". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.
- ^ JOC/EFR (February 2006). "Quotations by James Jeans". http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Quotations/Jeans.html.
- ^ "Mathematics and Mysticism". Wisdom's Frame of Reference. Advaita Vedanta. 2005-11-04. http://www.advaitavedanta.co.uk/content/view/230/0/.
- ^ Curuppumullage Jinarajadasa (1950-11-17). "Introduction to the third edition". Occult Chemistry. http://www.subtleenergies.com/ORMUS/oc/intro.htm.
- ^ Aurifer (2005-09-11). "The Martinist Doctrine". Sovereign Grand Lodge of the Ancient Martinist Order. http://www.ancientmartinistorder.org/Aurifer.htm.
- ^ "Martines de Pasqually". Martinism in France: The Pasts Masters. 2005-09-29. http://martinism.blogspot.com/2005/09/martines-de-pasqually.html.
Theology ApologeticsGeneralBahá'íChristianMuslimMuslim apologists Conceptions of GodDivine presenceGod as theGod inNames of God inSingular GodBinitarianismTrinitarianismOtherAristotelian view of God · Attributes · Demiurge · Divine simplicity · Egotheism · Godhead (Christianity) · Godhead (Latter Day Saints) · Great Architect of the Universe · Great Spirit · Apophatic theology · Olelbis · Open theism · Personal god · Phenomenological definition of God · Philo's view of God · Sarav viāpak · Taryenyawagon · The All · Tian · Unmoved mover · More... Eschatology Existence of Godarguments againstfromotherarguments forfromother Opposition to religionAnti-Buddhism (Criticism · Persecution) · Catholicism · Christianity (Criticism · anti-Christian sentiment · Persecution) · Gnosticism · Hinduism (Criticism) · Islam (Criticism · Islamophobia · Persecution) · Jainism (Criticism) · Judaism (Criticism) · Protestantism · cult movement · Zoroastrianism · More...Other Theism TheologiesHinduJewishOther EducationSchools by religious affiliationBahá'í · Buddhist · Anglican · Assemblies of God · Baptist · Eastern Orthodox · Hindu · Islamic · Jewish · Latter Day Saints · Lutheran · Mennonite · Methodist · Nondenominational Christian · Presbyterian · Quaker · Roman Catholic · Seventh-Day Adventist ResourcesList of theological journals · More... PractitionersTeachers · Theologians
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception — or Mystic Christianity is a Rosicrucian text, written by Max Heindel (ISBN 0 911274 34 0) Western Wisdom Teachings The first edition was printed in November 1909, it has little changed since then and it is considered to be Max Heindel s magnum… … Wikipedia
Great Spirit — The Great Spirit, also called Wakan Tanka among the Sioux, the Creator or the Great Maker in English, and Gitchi Manitou in Algonquian, is a conception of a supreme being prevalent among some Native American and First Nations cultures. According… … Wikipedia
The Devil Isn't Red — Infobox Album | Name = The Devil Isn t Red Type = Album Artist = Hella Released = January 20, 2004 Recorded = Genre = Math Rock, Noise Rock, Avant Garde Length = 33:31 Label = 5 Rue Christine Producer = Reviews = * Allmusic Rating|4|5 [http://www … Wikipedia
The House (The Keys to the Kingdom) — The House is a domain that serves as the center of the universe in the Keys to the Kingdom series by Australian author Garth Nix. Anything in creation not in the House, such as earth (the solar system and indeed this universe), is part of the… … Wikipedia
The Night Land — cover of The Night Land … Wikipedia
The Wall of Darkness — is a short story written by Arthur C. Clarke and first published in July 1949 in the magazine Super Science Stories . It was subsequently published as part of a short story collection in The Other Side of the Sky in 1958 and can presently be… … Wikipedia
The Keys to the Kingdom — Not to be confused with The Keys of the Kingdom. The Keys to the Kingdom Scholastic Inc. Covers for Mister Monday, Grim Tuesday, Drowned Wednesday and Sir Thursday … Wikipedia
The 36 tattvas — In Kaśmir Śaivism, the 36 tattvas describe the Absolute, its internal aspects and the creation including living beings, down to the physical reality. The addition of 11 supplemental tattvas compared to the IAST|Sāṃkhya allows for a richer, fuller … Wikipedia
The Creators — Infobox Book name = The Creators author = Daniel Boorstin country = United States language = English cover artist = Bernard Klein series = genre = Historical publisher = Random House release date = 1992 media type = Print (hardcover pages = 811… … Wikipedia
The Bronx — Bronx redirects here. For other uses, see Bronx (disambiguation). The Bronx Borough of New York City Bronx County Motto: Ne cede malis Do not give way to evil … Wikipedia