Please explain the theory of Process Theology. I am intrigued by the idea that God could be glad or sad when something happens to us. What is the story?
Actually, Process Theology usually refers to
a particular school of Protestant thought,
and is basically a subdivision of liberal
Protestantism, though Teilhard de Chardin
came perilously close. I studied theology
at a uni that was known for cutting edge
Process Theology (until recently). Therefore
I can recommend this link as ‘authentic to the
witness of the Process people’ (that phrase
is derived from the theological method of
Schubert Ogden, a prominent
As far as God experiencing emotion with respect to human experience, the answer is Jesus, fully God and fully man.
Jesus at the Incarnation (Annunciation) got a complete rational human soul, consisting of:
*]versus the Apollinarian heresy that claimed the divine Logos replaced Jesus’ human mind
*]settled at the First Council of Constantinople (381)[/LIST]
*]a human will
*]versus monothelitism which says Jesus had only a divine will
*]settled at the Third Council of Constantinople (681), which basically ratified the reigning Pope’s teaching of Christ’s two wills as dogma, not the first time a sitting Pope’s Christology was dogmatised in Council (eg Pope Leo the Great’s Tome)[/LIST]
*]and human emotions
*]thankfully nobody seems to have contradicted that one, so
*]no need for an ecumenical council to sort it – so far.[/LIST]
[/LIST]Basically, the Incarnation is the end to a theology of divine apatheia (Greek notion of apathy as necessary attribute of deity). And the Father certainly suffered the loss of His Son, and the Spirit is the source of transformation of human emotion. Bottom line, Catholic dogma affirms that God is sad or glad for us.
Thanks for the site. I’ll add it to my ever growing pile of things to read in full…lol…
[FONT=Book Antiqua]"PROCESS THEOLOGY: An approach to theology inspired by the philosophical thought of Alfred North Whitehead and Charles Hartshorne, with Shubert Ogden as one of its main proponents. Process theology rejects the classical picture of God as immutable [unchanging] and transcendent [beyond his creation] in favor of a God who is partly evolving with and in relation to the created world. The problem of evil looks different in such a context. Since process theologians do not necessarily think of the natural order as created out of nothing ex nihilo], evil may be partly due to the recalcitrant nature of that order, in which God works pursuasively along with his creatures for the good. Process theology should be distinguished from open theism, which questions the classical doctrine of divine foreknowledge, though there are points of similarity between the two theologies" [/FONT](C. Stephen Evans, Pocket Dictionary of Apologetics & Philosophy of Religion [IVP, 2002], pp. 96-97).
In short, process theology is an early 20th-century Protestant philosophical invention that should be avoided by any faithful Catholic. Interesting to think about, though.