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eBook What is process theology? (Deus books) ePub

by Robert B Mellert

eBook What is process theology? (Deus books) ePub
Author: Robert B Mellert
Language: English
ISBN: 080911867X
ISBN13: 978-0809118670
Publisher: Paulist Press (1975)
Pages: 141
Subcategory: No category
Rating: 4.5
Votes: 390
Formats: lrf mbr lrf txt
ePub file: 1481 kb
Fb2 file: 1379 kb

FREE shipping on qualifying offers. Pages are clean and unmarked except a few have a little underlining. Cover is clean but has some wear.

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Items related to What is process theology? (Deus books). Mellert, Robert B What is process theology? (Deus books). ISBN 13: 9780809118670. What is process theology? (Deus books).

Paperback, Deus Books, 141 pages

What is Process Theology?: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead, and How it is Being Applied to Christian Thought Today. by. Robert B. Mellert. Paperback, Deus Books, 141 pages. Published January 1st 1975 by Paulist Press. What is Process Theology?: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead, and How it is Being Applied to Christian Thought Today.

What is Process Theology? Robert B. Similar books and articles. Added to PP index 2015-02-13. This article has no associated abstract. Whitehead, Alfred North Process theology. Alfred North Whitehead in 20th Century Philosophy. Total views 0. Recent downloads (6 months) 0. How can I increase my downloads? Downloads. Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.

In book: The Student's Companion to the Theologians, p. 91-501. process theology are listed. What Is Process Theology? Robert B. The Spirit and the Forms of Love. Cite this publication. Shannon C. Ledbetter. God's Power: Traditional Understandings and Contemporary Challenges.

Process theology and process philosophy are collectively referred to as. .C. Robert Mesle, in his book Process Theology, outlines three aspects of a process theology of liberation:.

Process theology and process philosophy are collectively referred to as "process thought. Process theology soon influenced a number of Jewish theologians including Rabbis Max Kadushin, Milton Steinberg and Levi A. Olan, Harry Slominsky and, to a lesser degree, Abraham Joshua Heschel. There is a relational character to the divine which allows God to experience both the joy and suffering of humanity. God suffers just as those who experience oppression and God seeks to actualize all positive and beautiful potentials.

In particular, Homo Deus takes a forward looking approach as to what the future might hold for our species providing many thought-provoking (and often quite chilling) ideas for what the future might look like.

Process-relational theologians integrate implications of a thoroughly interdependent universe into . St. Louis, Chalice Press, 1993.

Process-relational theologians integrate implications of a thoroughly interdependent universe into how we live and express our faith. We are convinced that everything is dynamically interconnected; that everything matters; that everything has an effect. Thus this booklet presents a Christian process theology that makes the most sense to me, but you will find some of these other ways of developing process theology in the attached bibliography.

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Book by Mellert, Robert B
At the time this book was published in 1975, Robert Mellert was a professor of theological studies at the University of Dayton.

He wrote in the Preface, “This little book is written as a reply to my many friends who have asked me… ‘What is process theology?’ I have never really known how to respond to that question briefly and politely… Now, at least, I can tell them where they might get started. It is my hope that this volume might help to ‘bridge the gap’ between the professional philosophers and theologians and the many other persons who are looking for a basic familiarity with process theology but who do not have the time to struggle with the complexities of the process system as a whole.” (Pg. 8)

He suggests, “[Philosopher Alfred North] Whitehead is becoming important for Christian theology because he provides us with such an enlightened perception of reality. He sees reality in a way that makes sense to our contemporary mind. Those who, like Whitehead, see reality in terms of process and organism, and who likewise believe in a special revelation that comes to man in the Christian tradition, will seek to integrate what they believe with what they see. This is precisely what Augustine did with the philosophy of Plato and what Thomas Aquinas did with the philosophy of Aristotle.” (Pg. 16-17)

He acknowledges, “It is indeed a difficult task to ‘switch gears’ from a theology based on static, spatial models alone, such as the ESSENCE of God, the NATURES of Christ, and the SUBSTANCE of bread and wine, to a theology that is concerned with spatio-temporal models, such as CHANGE in God, Christ BECOMING divine, and the on-going PROCESS of revlation. It is also difficult to change from an analytic approach… to a more synthetic approach, where everything, including God, is ultimately explainable with one set of categories and is integrated with the reality of the whole. And yet, such concepts are not so strange to one who believes that God is alive and that religion ought to integrate and influence the dynamics of human living. Both Scripture and tradition contain much data to support the use of process models in the development of a Christian theology. Whether such a theology will ultimately find more acceptance among scholars and believers than the ‘substance theologies’ of the past can only be tested by the passage of time.” (Pg. 18-19)

He points out, “Ideally… the solitariness that inspires religion in man extends beyond the individual to the universal. The values that are intuited in the formation of character in the private feelings of a men are not isolation from a more general picture of the world. Character requires that one’s individuality merge with the universe. Ultimately, says Whitehead, ‘religion is world-loyalty.’ … it is readily apparent that the religious spirit is very important to Whitehead and to his way of thinking.” (Pg. 35)

He notes, “Whitehead … inverts the way in which traditional theology understands religion. In the latter, one starts with a proof for the existence of God. Then one argues that man must acknowledge [God’s] supremacy… For Whitehead, one starts with religion, not with God. It is because of the experience of the religious along with the secular that there is more at issue in the world than the world itself. The reality of God is thus intuited from reality as a whole. Man is thus religious first, and a believer second. Religion is not a consequence of this believing, but a condition for it. What about God in Whitehead’s religion? So far there has bene scant mention of God at all.” (Pg. 37)

He observes, “there are some significant advantages in Whitehead’s explanation. First, he suggest to us a God that comes more from the exigencies of reason than from the psychological needs of man or the uncharted beginnings of his varied traditions. As such, his God is less vulnerable to attacks of skeptical rationalists. Furthermore, Whitehead’s God is concretely alive and active in the world as one who comforts, loves and understands… Finally, Whitehead’s notion of God does seem to be an adequate way of understanding and explaining the biblical images of God, and perhaps it is even more suitable for this task than the God of Plato or Aristotle, Augustine or Thomas. For the Christian, this may be the most persuasive reason of all.” (Pg. 49-50)

He admits, “Both Teilhard and Whitehead have been criticized on this point for suggesting that ultimately God includes the world in himself. Such a notion treads dangerously near pantheism, which has never been acceptable to Christian faith.” (Pg. 59-60) But he continues, “The process theologian’s God… agrees with traditional theism and differs from pantheism in maintaining God’s individuality---that he is more than the structure and totality of the cosmos and that he is in one sense distinct from it. It agrees with pantheism… in maintaining God’s immanence from the world—that he is in all reality and that all reality is in him… This is the middle way of panentheism. It is a way never formally considered by the Christian faith… The chief advantage of panentheism over traditional theism is that it more adequately describes the divine immanence in the world without compromising the divine transcendence.” (Pg. 61)

He points out that in traditional theology, “how the transcendent God bridges the gap to become immanent, and why his grace touches some events and not others, are left to the realm of mystery. Process theology, on the contrary, provides the believer with a God who is equally immanent and transcendent. In fact… the difficulty does not even arise. God is really in the world…He touches each actual entity, not from the outside, but from within the process itself.” (Pg. 62)

He argues, “can we say that the explanations of process theology are generally compatible with Christian beliefs regarding body and soul?... note that the traditional body-soul distinction generally associated with Christian belief is more a Hellenic distinction than a biblical one… This distinction is the basis for the theory that man is a composite of matter (called the body) and an informing principle of life (called the soul). But this explanation does not exclude the possibility of other distinctions which also shed light upon the biblical revelation about man and which may give rise to other theories, such as the Whiteheadian one we have described.” (Pg. 73)

He suggests, “Jesus prehended God at every moment of his life in such a way that his relation to God partially displaced his experience of self, so that in fact Jesus would have experienced himself as both human and divine… Therefore, the self that Jesus experienced throughout his life was a moment by moment integration of the human and divine in his own person. This is, of course, the maximal statement a process theologian can make about Jesus… Thus, Jesus is unique either in the unique composition that he experienced as his ‘self’ or in the fact that no other person has ever achieved such total relation with God. Either way, process theology can accommodate the Christian seeking a philosophical explanation of the person of Jesus.” (Pg. 83-84)

He explains, “In Whitheadian philosophy, the processive and relational aspects of reality are described in terms of nexus of actual occasions… The Church, then, is a nexus of its individual members in time and space. As a nexus, these individual elements are joined together in a single fabric, called the Church, or assembly of the people of God.” (Pg. 93) Later, he adds, “Sacraments can be described in Whiteheadian language as positive prehensions of the Jesus-event. Prehensions… are concrete ‘feelings’ or ‘experiencings’ of the past… Applied to sacraments, it means that the Jesus-event is causally efficacious during those occasions when the sacraments are administered in his name.” (Pg. 102)

He asks, “Does this doctrine of immortality, which Whitehead calls ‘objective immortality,’ correspond to the faith expectations of those who seek reassurance of an afterlife, a place of eternal happiness, or a heaven? In some fundamental ways, at least, I think that it does. The basis for their belief is the impossibility of man’s conceiving of himself as not being. The one absolute and certain experience that endures throughout his entire life is the experience of being in the present, recalling the past, and anticipating the future. One experiences a profound continuity with oneself in space and time.” (Pg. 123)

He concludes, “the basis of Christianity is … [found in] the acts of faith that Jesus inspired and has continued to inspire in his own person throughout the centuries. The significance of Jesus can only be understood in relation to his followers. The same is true of God… the process theologian will want to explain how God and the world are inter-related and how the significance of God is derived from the world. Process theologians, therefore, generally hold that God is in some sense dependent upon the world and that in that sense he is subject to the changes that take place in the world. Hence, God, like the world, is temporal.” (Pg. 131)

He continues, “The contribution of process theology to Christian faith is that in its perception the Christian does not have to compromise his belief that God is personal and loving for the sake of his belief in the perfection of God… it can explain divine love in terms that are fully compatible with our human experience of love, and it can explain divine perfection in terms that correspond to our own experience of change and growth. The process theologian sees God’s love as personal, extending to each actual entity and individually and freely. God… offers the full range of possibilities without moral or religious imperatives, so that each entity can choose for itself what it will become.” (Pg. 134)

This book will be a very helpful introduction for those (particularly Christians, and more particularly Catholic Christians) looking for such a brief presentation.
Personally, I believe we need God today for a couple of simple reasons. The idea of God appears to be the concept that connects the most people to our common humanity most passionately. In practical terms, you could say it works better than any other idea we know. Second, our acknowledgement of God keeps us in touch with our humility. It reminds us that individual human beings are not the highest or ultimate creations of our Universe.

Back in the 19th Century, some determinist-minded scientists introduced our culture to the idea that everything is matter subject to forces of energy. The law of gravity replaced God in the minds of some.

20th Century theories about Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, and organic life appear to have overturned that determinism but that word has not reached everyone yet. Now, it appears that there is uncertainty and free will in the Universe after all. Life as we know it is about making good choices. But, most of us are still bogged down the 19th Century dualism; Science over here and Religion over there.

So, Process Theology is about finding ways for these two disparate fields of knowledge to communicate with each other again.

Robert Mellert's little book is a very important contribution to that effort. Many of the books on Process Theology are not very easy to read. This one is more than readable. It's enjoyable. As a practicing Catholic, Mellert relates the fundamental concepts of process theology to traditional Christian Theology. I believe these are the kinds of ideas that can bring rationally-thinking seekers back into the churches.

We need someone to bring this important book back into print!
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