Whether ultimate reality is to be conceived as a personal God or an impersonal principle somehow at work in the world is an issue which tends to divide major world religions into opposing camps. Furthermore, even within a given religion philosophers and theologians may differ on how God or Ultimate Reality is to be conceived. Within Vedantic Hinduism, for example, Sankara and Ramanuja are clearly in opposition on this point even though they share the same basic world view in so many other respects. Likewise, Christian philosophers and theologians have through centuries disagreed over this issue. At least one of the underlying philosophical issues, moreover, seems to be the question of infinity. If Ultimate Reality is truly transcendent or infinite, i.e. beyond human comprehension, then it cannot simultaneously be personal. For, to be a person would seem to involve being a relational and thus finite reality, one whose identity is fixed by relation to other persons. Ultimate Reality may indeed take on the appearance of personhood for the religious devotee. But in itself it must be beyond the personal in order to remain infinite, in the words of the Chandogya Upanishad, "one without a second".

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