Ever since I was in college, how I think about God, and how I at least allegedly experience God, has been deeply informed by process philosophy and theology. (My first exposure was through a book I was reading in a course on science and religion—Ian G. Barbour’s Myths, Models, and Paradigms. It’s now available online, and I still commend it.) The two most influential process thinkers in the twentieth century were Alfred North Whitehead and Charles Hartshorne. Many process theologians take one or the other of these thinkers as the final word on the subject and try to force their theologies into their terminology (which especially in Whitehead’s case can be obscure and forbidding to the novice). I recommend reading them. But process thought is a much broader movement than the works of either Whitehead or Hartshorne, as you can see from the online Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article. So in the following blog entries I’m not following anybody else’s terminology exactly, and even my own terminology shifts sometimes (also compare here, here and here), as I keep looking for more direct ways to communicate a way of seeing things that, while odd at first, doesn’t have to be forbiddingly complicated.
Note, however, while my lifelong faith experience has been deeply informed by process thinking, it did not and does not start or end there. So I recommend reading this post first:
Process Theism from Several Angles
Responses to Other Readings
Other Tangential Topics for the Curious