Quid ergo deus est? Ut ita dixerim, circulus spiritalis, cuius centrum est ubique circumferentia nusquam.
Deus est circulus cuius centrum est ubique, cuis circumferentia vero nusquam.
(God is a circle whose centre is everywhere, and whose circumference is nowhere.)
Various versions and reformulations of this text are to be found scattered in a variety of places on the Internet. Unsurprisingly, we also find a range of attributions, including Empedocles (a Greek pre-Socratic philosopher), Blaise Pascal, Voltaire, and an anonymous 12th century work titled The Book of the Twenty-four Philosophers.
There’s an interesting piece on the subject in 1000 ways of celebrating the human spirit — which its author calls a “meta-blog bringing together several niche blogs”.
The meta-blog suggests: “Here is
one definition that defies that
indefinab[i]lity AND manage[s] to capture the essence of the combined immanence and transcendence of the theological position known as panentheism.”
Another site — http://www.luxlapis.co.za/yan/centre.htm — cites a 12th century theologian, Alain de Lille, who borrowed from the Corpus Hermeticum of the 3rd Century [sic]: “God is an intelligible sphere whose centre is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere.” And there’s a nicely-expressed passage from an itinerant Catholic priest, Giordano Bruno: “We can assert with certainty that the universe is all centre, or that the centre of the universe is everywhere and its circumference is nowhere.”