Definition of demiurge in English:



  • 1A being responsible for the creation of the universe, in particular:

    deity, god, goddess, mother goddess, divine being, celestial being, supreme being
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    1. 1.1 (in Platonic philosophy) the Maker or Creator of the world.
      • ‘Interwoven with these references to an almost Platonic demiurge are appeals to the selecting power of an active ‘Nature’.’
      • ‘Western concepts of God have ranged from the detached transcendent demiurge of Aristotle to the pantheism of Spinoza.’
      • ‘A certain mystique attached to the word as a result of analogies often drawn between the creative activity of the artist and the creation of the world by the deity or by a Platonic demiurge in accordance with Ideas or prototypes.’
    2. 1.2 (in Gnosticism and other theological systems) a heavenly being, subordinate to the Supreme Being, that is considered to be the controller of the material world and antagonistic to all that is purely spiritual.
      • ‘Gnosticism says that there is a good God, but that God is not responsible for the mess we endure, which is the creation of a demiurge or evil god.’
      • ‘Call it the demiurge cycle, after the Gnostic notion that our world is governed by a mad ersatz God.’
      • ‘Gnostic teaching distinguished between a perfect and remote divine being and an imperfect demiurge who had created suffering.’
      • ‘The Gnostics thought that the God worshiped by most Christians was a demiurge or usurper.’


Early 17th century (denoting a magistrate in certain ancient Greek states): via ecclesiastical Latin from Greek dēmiourgos craftsman, from dēmios public (from dēmos people) + -ergos working.