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Process Philosophy Explained

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Here is another link. The slides for a presentation of classes based on the book "Process Theology: A basic Introduction" by C. Robert Mesle. Soderstrand has added some material. There are nine lessons so you can do one at a time and maybe not all of them. The first chapters are arguments with concepts of a theistic God and the problems of theodicy.


Process Theology

A Short Course

Michael A. Soderstrand

Mayflower Sacred Scriptures Class

August 29 – November 14, 2010

Based on the textbook: C. Robert Mesle, Process Theology A Basic Introduction, Chalice Press, St. Louis, MO, 1993 (final chapter by John B. Cobb, Jr.)



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Hopefully this is not an overload.


From my notes from the sources I have mentioned and one more http://philipclayton.net/files/papers/GodBeyondOrthodoxy-r3.pdf. It will be obvious that some of process theology's ideas have been around for 100 years or more. To be brief I have chosen more interesting notes.


Jesus Did Not *have* To Die

"Jesus and God redeemed from this sad event the good that could be gotten. It would have been better if everyone had responded by becoming like Jesus. But since everyone did not, God and Jesus creatively drew from the tragedy the best they could, working to prepare the way for God's continuing call to us all. So successful was this redemptive process that Christians have come to view the cross of Christ as God's greatest victory, and as the paradigm of how good can be redeemed from suffering."


Process Theism: God

God is Love. God is the Supremely Related One, sharing the experience of every creature and being experienced by every creature.


At every moment of your becoming, God prehends [remembers] your valuations and your most intimate responses. God takes them up into divine life. And God becomes different as a result. At the next moment of your becoming, God offers back to you those valuations, and the experiences of all other living things, but now valued and interpreted from the divine perspective. The becoming God becomes a part of the becoming you."


Special status and responsibility for humans

Humans have crossed a crucial boundary into consciousness, into abstractions, into the ability to

anticipate the distant future and consider a wide range of complex possibilities – Hence, moral freedom becomes possible and we as humans have a special responsibility to the universe.


Process Theology on disease and healing.

Disease cells have no feelings of sympathy; hence, GOD’s influence on them is limited. Process Theology does not rule out the possibility of individual cells (both disease and immune) responding to GOD but GOD has more influence on us to get our mind and body to work together for healing.


No freedom - No Universe - No God

1. Freedom is an inherent feature of reality.

2. The universe is the becoming of events that are self-creative, from quarks to human minds.

3. Freedom IS NOT a gift of GOD – no freedom means no universe and no GOD.

4. Freedom is simply a FACT – something that no one can overrule.

5. But GOD does want to eliminate suffering – but he must do this through the evolutionary process and persuasion.




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Yvonne, Jenell,

Here is a link to the article I quoted above. It is process thought primarily applied to science. The main theme is that everything is internally related as well as externally related. The study of the external relations is what most people call science. To do science from the viewpoint that everything is internally related changes the way observations are and experiments are done.


Why I became a Panexperientialist


The Center for Process Studies is not just about theology.





Those links are gold Dutch. You have opened up a wee door which I never knew existed. I feel some reading coming on!





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  • 2 weeks later...

What Do Process Thinkers Believe? 20 Key Ideas More info at the website

  1. Process: The universe is an ongoing process of development and change, never quite the same at any two moments
  2. Interconnectedness
  3. Continuous Creativity: This continuous creativity is the ultimate reality of the universe.
  4. The Ten Thousand Things: The natural world has value in itself and that all living beings are worthy of respect and care.
  5. Ethics: Humans find their fulfillment in living harmony with the earth and compassionately with each other.
  6. Novelty: Humans find their fulfillment in being open to new ideas, insights, and experiences that may have no parallel in the past.
  7. Thinking and Feeling: The human mind is not limited to reasoning but also includes feeling, intuiting, imagining; all of these activities can work together toward understanding.
  8. The Self as Person-in-Community: Human beings are not skin-encapsulated egos cut off from the world by the boundaries of the skin, but persons-in-community whose interactions with others are partly definitive of their own internal existence.
  9. Complementary Thinking: To be "reasonable" is to be empirical but also imaginative: exploring new ideas and seeing how they might fit together, complementing one another.
  10. Theory and Practice: Theory affects practice and practice affects theory; a dichotomy between the two is false.
  11. Primacy of Persuasion over Coercion
  12. Relational Power: This is the power that is experienced when people dwell in mutually enhancing relations
  13. The Primacy of Particularity: There is a difference between abstract ideas that are abstracted from concrete events in the world, and the events themselves.
  14. Experience in the Mode of Causal Efficiacy
  15. Concern for the Vulnerable
  16. “Evil” is a name for debilitating suffering from which humans and other living beings suffer, and also for the missed potential from which they suffer. Evil is powerful and real; it is not merely the absence of good.
  17. Education as a Lifelong Process
  18. Religion and Science are both human activities, evolving over time, which can be attuned to the depths of reality.
  19. God: The universe unfolds within a larger life – a love supreme – who is continuously present within each actuality as a lure toward wholeness relevant to the situation at hand.
  20. Faith: Faith is not intellectual assent to creeds or doctrines but rather trust in divine love.

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