Henotheism (from Greek ἑνός θεοῦ (henos theou) 'of one god') is the worship of a single, supreme god while not denying the existence or possible existence of other lower deities.[1][2] Friedrich Schelling (17751854) coined the word, and Friedrich Welcker (17841868) used it to depict primitive monotheism among ancient Greeks.[3]

Max Müller (18231900), a German philologist and orientalist, brought the term into wider usage in his scholarship on the Indian religions,[4][5] particularly Hinduism whose scriptures mention and praise numerous deities as if they are one ultimate unitary divine essence.[2] Müller made the term central to his criticism of Western theological and religious exceptionalism (relative to Eastern religions), focusing on a cultural dogma which held "monotheism" to be both fundamentally well-defined and inherently superior to differing conceptions of God.[6]