In several Cthulhu Mythos stories, incantations are made that seemingly reference Hebrew terms for the Abrahamic God. For example,

Per Adonai Eloim, Adonai Jehova

Adonai Sabaoth...

from The Case of Charles Dexter Ward by H. P. Lovecraft

Here, we have apparent references to:

  • אדני אלהים (Adonai Elohim, "My Lord God")
  • אדני יהוה (Adonai YHWH, "My Lord YHWH")
  • אדני צבאות (Adonai Sabaoth, "My Lord of Armies")

Also, we find elsewhere,

Today learned the Aklo for the Sabaoth

from The Dunwich Horror by H. P. Lovecraft

Is there an Abrahamic God in the Cthulhu Mythos? Obviously such a deity would not likely be omnipotent as he is portrayed in the Bible, Quran, and other Abrahamic writings in our world, but is there any indication that a specific god is responsible for the stories that eventually evolved into the Abrahamic religions, or that the Bible and related texts as they exist in the Cthulhu Mythos are intended to reference a specific god that actually exists in that universe (whether or not those texts are fully accurate at describing such god)?

1 Answer 1


Not in the mythos as Lovecraft conceived it

It is hard to prove a negative: there is no categorical statement in Lovecraft's oeuvre that definitively rejects the Abrahamic God. Even if there was, since it is fiction the writer would be free to change their mind from tale to tale as it suited. Nevertheless, we can say with some certainty that it was not Lovecraft's intention for three key reasons.

  1. It stood against what he felt was the source of horror

    Lovecraft's key aim in writing horror stories was to make the reader feel small and powerless. He was constantly at pains to emphasise how feeble humanity was in the face of the impossible cosmic horrors lurking at the edge of our "guarded threshold". He explained this many times in essays and letters.

    The true weird tale has something more than secret murder, bloody bones, or a sheeted form clanking chains according to rule. A certain atmosphere of breathless and unexplainable dread of outer, unknown forces must be present; and there must be a hint, expressed with a seriousness and portentousness becoming its subject, of that most terrible conception of the human brain — a malign and particular suspension or defeat of those fixed laws of Nature which are our only safeguard against the assaults of chaos and the daemons of unplumbed space.

    The "fixed laws of Nature" would be the preserve of a benevolent God.

    The basis of all true cosmic horror is violation of the order of nature, and the profoundest violations are always the least concrete and describable.

    Again, God here would be master of the "order of nature".

    The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind.

    This would seem a direct rejection of the concept of a loving creator-God.

    Horrors, I believe, should be original - the use of common myths and legends being a weakening influence.

    It's perhaps a stretch but the Biblical testament could be seen among the "common myths and legends".

    In all of this, we have to note that the Abrahamic God is supposed to care for humanity and to be all-powerful. If people in Lovecraft's mythos could call on the support of a loving and omnipotent deity with confidence, it would weaken the effect of horror he was seeing to achieve. Even if that God were unreachable and somehow allowed such cosmic terrors to exist in the universe where they held dominion, the existence of such a being would bring spiritual comfort, at odds with the chasms of lunacy Lovecraft sought to portray as yawning under his protagonists.

  2. There already was a supreme being

    Several of Lovecraft's tales discuss the being Azathoth. They are pretty unequivocal that this being was the ultimate ruler of the mythos.

    He must meet the Black Man, and go with them all to the throne of Azathoth at the centre of ultimate Chaos ... to the throne of Chaos where the thin flutes pipe mindlessly was the fact that he had seen the name 'Azathoth' in the Necronomicon, and knew it stood for a primal horror too horrible for description

    the ancient legends of Ultimate Chaos, at whose center sprawls the blind idiot god Azathoth, Lord of All Things, encircled by his flopping horde of mindless and amorphous dancers, and lulled by the thin monotonous piping of a demonic flute held in nameless paws"

    If this madly chaotic creature is "Lord of All Things", it doesn't leave much room for the Abrahamic God to share that title.

    Again, it's worth referencing the effect of Azathoth in terms of Lovecraft's goals for horror stories listed in point one. By reducing the "Lord of All Things" to a gibbering wreck, it makes a nonsense of mankind's desire to see order and meaning in the universe. A God who created the universe for a fixed purpose, however unknowable, stands in opposition to this source of horror.

  3. Lovecraft himself was an atheist

    In a 1932 letter to Robert E Howard he wrote

    All I say is that I think it is damned unlikely that anything like a central cosmic will, a spirit world, or an eternal survival of personality exist. They are the most preposterous and unjustified of all the guesses which can be made about the universe, and I am not enough of a hairsplitter to pretend that I don't regard them as arrant and negligible moonshine. In theory, I am an agnostic, but pending the appearance of radical evidence I must be classed, practically and provisionally, as an atheist.

    Lovecraft scholar S. T. Joshi goes further, noting in an interview:

    Lovecraft constantly engaged in (more or less) genial debates on religion with several colleagues, notably the pious writer and teacher Maurice W. Moe. Lovecraft was a strong and antireligious atheist; he considered religion not merely false but dangerous to social and political progress.

    It seems very unlikely that someone taking such a strong stance on the existence of God, especially in a far more religious age than our current one, would specifically seek to verify the reality of God in their fiction.


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