“Reality is event, not substance. The Ultimately Infinite Real (whether named Void, Open, Being, Creativity, Good, gods, God) … is a verb, not a noun.”—David Tracy, Fragments: The Existential Situation of Our Time (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2020), p. 2.

Ever since I was in college, how I think about God, and how I experience God (at least allegedly), has been deeply informed by process philosophy and theology. My first exposure to it was through a book I was reading in a course on science and religion—Ian G. Barbour’s (still worth reading) Myths, Models, and Paradigms. And it was always hovering in the background of my two theological mentors, E. Frank Tupper, and especially David Tracy (quoted above) in both his early and most recent work. Although some would count Hegel as a process thinker, 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 respective terminologies, which especially in Whitehead’s case can be obscure and forbidding to the novice. (One notable exception, and my favorite introduction to process theology, is Catherine Keller, On the Mystery: Discerning God in Process [Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2008].) I recommend reading them. (And I especially recommend the self-described nerdy podcasts of Tripp Fuller.) 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:

Naming What Keeps Me Going

Process Theism from Different Angles

God in Process

The God We’re NOT Debating: Confessions of a Different Kind of Theist (from a 2008 Facebook discussion)

An Uncontainable World: Process Thought & Process God-Talk

A Fundamentally Interactive World: A Reflection Paper for Butler University’s Philosophy Club

Responses to Other Course Readings

The God Delusion & Panentheism

Process Theism & Paul Tillich’s Panentheism

Process Theism & Liberation Theologies

Sallie McFague’s Metaphorical Process Theism

Process Theism & Gordon Kaufman’s “Creativity”

Eric Reitan’s “Ethico-Religious Hope” & Process Theism

Some of John Caputo’s Best Friends Are Panentheists

Other Tangential Topics for the Curious

Preaching Panentheism

Secular Challenges to Progressive Christians

Portrayals of God in the Bible

Genesis 1: An Ongoing Dialogue

A Brief Commentary on the Nicene Creed

Triune God: Boundlessly Self-Othering Communion

What’s the Evidence for Process Theism?

Differing Versions of One Another: The Common Source of Moral and Theistic Devotion

Process Theism and Pantheism

On NOT Domesticating Transcendence in Process Theism

Interactive Nondualism: Process Thought’s Reframing of the Physical/Mental Binary

Process Thought’s Reframing of How We Think of Freedom & Determinism

Process Thought’s Reframing of How We Think of Absolutes

Process Thought’s Reframing of Spacetime

Process Theism & Slavoj Zizek’s Dialectical Materialism

The Shared Creativity Response to the Problem of Evil

Wondering about Prayer 

Process Theism on Resurrection & Transformation in God

The Resurrection of Jesus 

A Funeral Homily from a Process Perspective

God: All-Enlivening, All-Sustaning, All-Embracing—Not All-Controlling 

Everything Flows

Process Thought for Freethinkers and Other Naturalists, with an Optional Theological Afterward (This is pretty lengthy. I presented an abbreviated version of the first part to the local, “secular humanist” Center for Inquiry in 2009.)

Process Theism’s “Immanent Critique” of Martin Hagglund’s Atheism

1997 Lecture Notes on Philosophical Theology

An Ontology for Practical Wisdom (my most academically pretentious publication on process thought)