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By Jeff Astley, Ann Loades, David Brown

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Kenneth Surin, 'Process Theology', in David F. ), The Modern Theologians: An Introduction to Christian Theology in the Twentieth Century, II, Oxford, Blackwell, 1989, pp. 103-6 'Process theology' designates more than one theological movement or school. Most of its adherents are based in the United States, where it has taken three main directions, all of which have as their starting-point the metaphysical system adumbrated by Alfred North Whitehead. The philosophico-theological movements or tendencies constitutive of process theology came to real prominence in the 1960s.

Whitehead (18611947) is the seminal influence. During his fellowship at Trinity he collaborated with Bertrand Russell on Principia Mathematica, but by the time he produced Process and Reality he had already accepted a professorship of philosophy at Harvard. There Charles Hartshorne was one of his assistants. In 1928 Hartshorne moved to the philosophy department at the University of Chicago, where he remained until 1955. It was largely thanks to him that Whitehead's often difficult ideas were popularized in theology, and by the sixties a whole stream of books were appearing on the subject, of which John Cobb's A Christian Natural Theology and Schubert Ogden's The Reality of God are typical.

It is as true to say that God is one and the World many, as that the World is one and God many. It is as true to say that, in comparison with the world, God is actual eminently, as that, in comparison with God, the World is actual eminently. It is as true to say that the World is immanent in God, as that God is immanent in the World. It is as true to say that God transcends the World, as that the world transcends God. It is as true to say that God creates the World, as that the World creates God.

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