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PROCESS THEOLOGY

A view of reality including what Christianity calls God, which sees everything still in the process of becoming what it will be, but nothing really is. It is called theology because it is a form of evolutionary pantheism which postulates a finite god who is becoming perfect, but is not (as Christianity believes) infinite and all-perfect from eternity. It is called "process" because it claims that the universe (including God) is moving toward completion, without identifying what this completion is or when or whether it will be reached. On these terms nothing is stable, nothing certain, because nothing really is. There are no determined moral laws, no absolute norms of conduct, no certain principles of thought, and no means of knowing anything. There is no "thing," since what people call "things" are moving functions that keep changing in their very being. Everything, including the thinking mind, is ever becoming what it was not and ceasing to be what it was.

Not all adherents of what is called process theology are consistently evolutionary pantheists. But once they postulate a finite god who is still growing in perfection, logically all the rest follows. The main contributors to present-day process thought were skeptic David Hume (1711-76), the philosophers Georg Hegel (1770-1831), Herbert Spencer (1820-1903), Henri Bergson (1859-1941), and Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947), and the Marxist writer Ernst Bloch (1885-1977).

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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