Quotes & Sayings

We, and creation itself, actualize the possibilities of the God who sustains the world, towards becoming in the world in a fuller, more deeper way. - R.E. Slater

There is urgency in coming to see the world as a web of interrelated processes of which we are integral parts, so that all of our choices and actions have [consequential effects upon] the world around us. - Process Metaphysician Alfred North Whitehead

Kurt Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem says (i) all closed systems are unprovable within themselves and, that (ii) all open systems are rightly understood as incomplete. - R.E. Slater

The most true thing about you is what God has said to you in Christ, "You are My Beloved." - Tripp Fuller

The God among us is the God who refuses to be God without us, so great is God's Love. - Tripp Fuller

According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater

Our eschatological ethos is to love. To stand with those who are oppressed. To stand against those who are oppressing. It is that simple. Love is our only calling and Christian Hope. - R.E. Slater

Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger

Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton

I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – Anon

Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII

Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut

Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest

We become who we are by what we believe and can justify. - R.E. Slater

People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – Anon

Certainly, God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater

An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater

Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann

Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner

“Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh” means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14) or, conversely, “I AM who I AM Becoming.”

Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton

The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens, we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – Anon

The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul

The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah

If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – Anon

Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson

We can’t control God; God is uncontrollable. God can’t control us; God’s love is uncontrolling! - Thomas Jay Oord

Life in perspective but always in process... as we are relational beings in process to one another, so life events are in process in relation to each event... as God is to Self, is to world, is to us... like Father, like sons and daughters, like events... life in process yet always in perspective. - R.E. Slater

To promote societal transition to sustainable ways of living and a global society founded on a shared ethical framework which includes respect and care for the community of life, ecological integrity, universal human rights, respect for diversity, economic justice, democracy, and a culture of peace. - The Earth Charter Mission Statement

Christian humanism is the belief that human freedom, individual conscience, and unencumbered rational inquiry are compatible with the practice of Christianity or even intrinsic in its doctrine. It represents a philosophical union of Christian faith and classical humanist principles. - Scott Postma

It is never wise to have a self-appointed religious institution determine a nation's moral code. The opportunities for moral compromise and failure are high; the moral codes and creeds assuredly racist, discriminatory, or subjectively and religiously defined; and the pronouncement of inhumanitarian political objectives quite predictable. - R.E. Slater

God's love must both center and define the Christian faith and all religious or human faiths seeking human and ecological balance in worlds of subtraction, harm, tragedy, and evil. - R.E. Slater

In Whitehead’s process ontology, we can think of the experiential ground of reality as an eternal pulse whereby what is objectively public in one moment becomes subjectively prehended in the next, and whereby the subject that emerges from its feelings then perishes into public expression as an object (or “superject”) aiming for novelty. There is a rhythm of Being between object and subject, not an ontological division. This rhythm powers the creative growth of the universe from one occasion of experience to the next. This is the Whiteheadian mantra: “The many become one and are increased by one.” - Matthew Segall

Without Love there is no Truth. And True Truth is always Loving. There is no dichotomy between these terms but only seamless integration. This is the premier centering focus of a Processual Theology of Love. - R.E. Slater


Note: Generally I do not respond to commentary. I may read the comments but wish to reserve my time to write (or write from the comments I read). Instead, I'd like to see our community help one another and in the helping encourage and exhort each of us towards Christian love in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior. - re slater

Friday, May 28, 2021

An Interview with Process Theologian Philip Clayton

Philip Clayton is a Professor of Theology at the Claremont School of Theology and the 2010 Metanexus Senior Fellow. In these interviews with William Grassie, Clayton discusses his intellectual and spiritual journey, religion and science, the confluences and boundaries between, religious pluralism, Big History, Sir John Templeton, the Humble Approach, and more.

Interview with Philip Clayton, Part 1 5

Interview with Philip Clayton, Part 2 5

Interview with Philip Clayton, Part 3 5

Interview with Philip Clayton, Part 4 5

Interview with Philip Clayton, Part 5 5

Philip Clayton: What is panentheism?

Meet Philip Clayton, Process Theologian

Before I knew Philip Clayton as an ecologist I knew him as a process philosopher and theologian who strove to be connective to the church and practical to society. 

Philip's interests, like my own, are large and varied, and the lists of his book titles near the bottom of this post will show the amount of material he has digested in his lifetime in order to reach out to as many people as he could.

At this moment Philip is invested with the Institute for Ecological Civilization and works to connect and share it's Whiteheadian process perspective practically into the grand idea of human ecological societies with as many environmental groups as he can.

Before this time Philip was associated for many long years with the Claremont Graduate School of Theology. One of his latest books asks the reader to consider what an ecological civilization might look like? I tried this once with a group of state and national politicians and failed miserably. They showed no interest in the topic and very little desire to be involved in creating the foundations for an expansive ecological civilization.

In hindsight, I think the best we may do is to affect our local communities, schools, and government. Being myself involved for many years in implementing ecological policy for my community as a citizen volunteer has shown the positive impact it can have on many organizations, corporations, and educational bodies.

But efforts like these, in order to be successful, will take a lot of people with a shared vision, a lot of organizations, and a lot of effort. To those like Philip who have made process theology practical to the religious, scientific, and educational communities around the world we say thank you for your time and effort. It was not easily purchased... but there will be many hearts and souls who will carry on the tradition of mending lives to the earth and the earth back into lives.

R.E. Slater
May 28, 2021


As a scholar, Philip Clayton (Ingraham Professor, Claremont School of Theology) works at the intersection points of science, philosophy, and theology. As an activist (president of EcoCiv.org, President of IPDC), he works to convene, facilitate, and catalyze multi-sectoral initiatives toward ecological civilization.


As a scholar, Philip Clayton works at the intersection of philosophy, theology, and science. Although he continues to work on fundamental questions that arise within each of these fields and at their intersections, his more recent focus has turned increasingly to the intersection of climate science, ethics, religion, and social philosophy, or ecotheology. 

Clayton holds the Ingraham Chair at Claremont School of Theology, where he directs the PhD program in comparative theologies and philosophies; he is also affiliated faculty at Claremont Graduate University. A graduate of Yale University, he has also taught at Williams College and the California State University, as well as holding guest professorships at the University of Munich, the University of Cambridge, and Harvard University. He has published two dozen books and some 350 articles.

Philip is President of the Institute for Ecological Civilization (EcoCiv.org), which works internationally to support multi-sector innovations toward a sustainable society through collaborations between governments, businesses, policy experts, and NGOs. He is also president of the Institute for the Postmodern Development of China, which works with universities and government officials to promote the concept of ecological civilization through conferences, publications, educational projects, and ecovillages. He has previously served as a Dean, Provost, and as the Executive Vice President of a small university. In 2018 he helped to organize the Justice track for the Parliament of the World’s Religions.

Philip enjoys cycling, refereeing competitive soccer, and wilderness camping with family and dog.

* * * * * * * *

The present trajectory of life on this planet is unsustainable, and the underlying causes of our environmental crisis are inseparable from our social and economic systems. The massive inequality between the rich and the poor is not separate from our systems of unlimited growth, the depletion of natural resources, the extinction of species, or global warming. As climate predictions continue to exceed projections, it is clear that hopelessness is rapidly becoming our worst enemy. What is needed—urgently—is a new vision for the flourishing of life on this planet, a vision the authors are calling an ecological civilization. Along the way they have learned that this term brings hope unlike any other. It reminds us that humans have gone through many civilizations in the past, and the end of a particular civilization does not necessarily mean the end of humanity, much less the end of all life on the planet. It is not hard for us to conceive of a society after the fall of modernity, in which humans live in an equitable and sustainable way with one another and the planet. This book explores the idea of ecological civilization by asking eight key questions about it and drawing answers from relational philosophies, the ecological sciences, systems thinking and network theory, and the world’s religious and spiritual traditions. It concludes that a genuinely ecological civilization is not a utopian ideal, but a practical way to live. To recognize this, and to begin to take steps to establish it, is the foundation for realistic hope.



What Is Ecological Civilization?

The Institute for Ecological Civilization
promotes civilizational change
for the long-term wellbeing of
people and the planet.​


We work to connect, catalyze and incubate urban water solutions globally.

We work with global networks to transform economic systems in favour of human and ecological wellbeing.

We reimagine human communities to build more interconnected systems.

We build networks with thought leaders and experts worldwide to solve root causes of complex social and environmental challenges.

Dismantling institutional racism is not peripheral; it’s an integral part of building ecological civilizations. We join the ongoing protests demanding justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others, and an end to the violence against Black bodies. we echo their urgent call to find ways that our various organizations and movements can do more to integrate anti-racism into our programming and to actively stand up for racial justice.


EcoCiv promotes civilizational change for the long-term wellbeing of people and the planet.


The present trajectory of life on this planet is unsustainable, and the underlying causes of our environmental crisis are inseparable from our social and economic systems. The massive inequality between the rich and the poor is not separate from our systems of unlimited growth, the depletion of natural resources, the extinction of species, or global warming. Social and environmental movements require an orientation that is neither too narrow and short-term, nor too abstract and long-term to offer concrete guidance. Formulating the requirements for the flourishing of life in all its forms ― an ecological civilization ― will provide the roadmap that leaders need and will ground a hope that stimulates the necessary reforms.


The Institute for Ecological Civilization works with allies and global leaders to design solutions for the well-being of people and the planet. By convening experts from across the major sectors of society, we have been able to catalyze groundbreaking explorations of the ways that current systems and structures need to be transformed. Ultimately, our goal is to work with leaders to shape the policies that, when implemented, will bring about a sustainable, ecological civilization.

Working at the intersection of theory and practice, we amplify narratives of hope that motivate, guide, and direct. As humanity works its way from social and environmental threat toward an ecological society, only the transformative vision of a positive new story will suffice. Where hopelessness arises, we call others to join us in walking toward ecological civilization, one step at a time.


~ more may be found at the end of this post ~

* * * * * * * *

Philip Clayton (philosopher)

  (Redirected from Philip Clayton (theologian))
Philip Clayton (born 1956) is a contemporary American philosopher of religion and philosopher of science. His work focuses on the intersection of science, ethics, and society. He currently holds the Ingraham Chair at Claremont School of Theology[1] and serves as an affiliated faculty member at Claremont Graduate University.[2] Clayton specializes in the philosophy of science, philosophy of biology, and philosophy of religion, as well as in comparative theology.


As an administrator in higher education, Clayton served as Dean of the Claremont School of Theology, and as Provost and Senior Vice President of Claremont Lincoln University, which at that time was an interreligious university.[3] He was Principal Investigator for the Science and the Spiritual Quest project from 1999 to 2003.

Within the natural sciences, Philip Clayton’s research has focused on emergent dynamics in biology and on the neural correlates of consciousness in neuroscience. He has co-authored or edited a number of publications with physicists, chemists, and biologists, analyzing emerging natural systems and exploring their significance for the study of religion. He works in particular on the philosophical and religious implications of emergence theory. In this field his books include Mind and Emergence: From Quantum to Consciousness and In Quest of Freedom:The Emergence of Spirit in the Natural World. He was also editor of The Reemergence of Emergence. He has also published extensively in the field of science and religion, and served as the co-editor for the Oxford Handbook of Religion and Science.

Philip Clayton received a joint PhD from Yale in the philosophy of science and the philosophy of religion. He has also held a variety of invited guest professorships at other universities, including the University of Munich, the University of Cambridge, and Harvard University.[4] As Fulbright Senior Fellow and Humboldt Professor he studied with Wolfhart Pannenberg in Theology and in Philosophy with Dieter Henrich and Lorenz Puntel. He later co-edited the English Festschrift for Pannenberg and translated Pannenberg’s work into English.

Philip Clayton has taught at Haverford CollegeWilliams College, and Sonoma State University. His international lectureships include India,[5] Great Britain,[6] France,[7] and China.[8] He speaks and writes extensively on issues at the intersection of science, religion, ethics, and politics.[9][10]

Authored works

  • Explanation from Physics to Theology, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989.
  • God and Contemporary Science, Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdman’s, 1998.
  • The Problem of God in Modern Thought, Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdman’s, 2000.
  • Mind and Emergence: From Quantum to Consciousness, Oxford University Press, 2004.
  • In Quest of Freedom: The Emergence of Spirit in the Natural World, Göttingen: Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, 2007 (English edition 2009).
  • Adventures in the Spirit: God, World, and Divine Action, Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2008.
  • Transforming Christian Theology: For Church and Society, Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2009.
  • The Predicament of Belief: Science, Philosophy, and Christian Minimalism, Oxford University Press, 2011.

Select edited works

  • Science and the Spiritual Quest: New Essays by Leading Scientists, London and New York: Routledge, 2002.
  • In Whom We Live and Move and Have our Being: Panentheistic Reflections on God's Presence in a Scientific World (with Arthur Peacocke), Eerdman’s, 2004.
  • Evolution and Ethics (with Jeff Schloss), Eerdman’s 2004.
  • The Re-Emergence of Emergence: The Emergentist Hypothesis from Science to Religion (with Paul Davies), Oxford University Press, 2006.
  • The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Science (with Zachary Simpson), Oxford University Press, 2006.
  • Practicing Science, Living Faith: Interviews with Twelve Leading Scientists (with Jim Schaal), New York: Columbia University Press, 2007.
  • Panentheism across the World's Traditions (with Loriliai Biernacki), Oxford University Press, 2014.


External links

* * * * * * * *



Explanation from Physics to Theology:  An Essay in Rationality and Religion (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989).  German translation:  Rationalität und Religion. Erklärung in Naturwissenschaft und Theologie, trans. Martin Laube (Paderborn: Ferdinand Schöningh, 1992).

Das Gottesproblem, vol. 1:  Gott und Unendlichkeit in der neuzeitlichen Philosophie, composed in German (Paderborn: Ferdinand Schöfningh Verlag, 1996).

God and Contemporary Science (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press and Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998).

The Problem of God in Modern Thought (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000)

Mind and Emergence:  From Quantum to Consciousness (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004).  

German translation:  Emergenz und Bewusstsein. Evolutionärer Prozess und die Grenzen des Naturalismus (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, October 2008).  

Romanian translation, 2008.  Spanish translation 2011. Chinese translation, 2015. Korean translation in process.

Adventures in the Spirit:  God, World, Divine Action (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2008). Chinese translation underway.

In Quest of Freedom:  The Emergence of Spirit in the Natural World (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2009).  

German translation: Die Frage nach der Freiheit. Biologie, Kultur und die Emergenz des Geistes (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2009). 

French translation: Les origines de la liberté. L’Émergence de l’esprit dans le monde naturel, trans. Allesia Weil (Paris: Éditions Salvator, 2012).

Transforming Christian Theology:  For Church and Society (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2009). Danish translation 2011. Korean translation 2012. 

Religion and Science: The Basics (London: Routledge, 2011). Second edition, 2019. Swedish translation forthcoming.

The Predicament of Belief: Science, Philosophy, Faith, with Steven Knapp (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2011). 

Confronting the Predicament of Belief: The Quest for God in Radical Uncertainty, with Steven Knapp and eight critics, edited by James W. Walters, Philip Clayton, and Steven Knapp (Edmond, OK: Crowdscribed, 2014).

Spanish translation by Gorgias Romero García: Marxismo Orgánico: Una alternativa al capitalismo y a la catástrofe ecológica (Claremont: Process Century Press, 2016). 

Chinese translation, trans. Xian Meng,Guifeng Yu, and Lixia Zhang (Beijing: The People's Press, 2015): [美]菲利普克莱顿贾斯廷海因泽克著;孟献丽于桂凤张丽霞译:《有机马克思主义——生态灾难与资本主义的替代选择》, 北京:人民出版社,2015年。

Organic Marxism: An Alternative to Capitalism and Ecological Catastrophe, with Justin Heinzekehr (Anoka, MN: Process Century Press, 2014);

God and Gravity: A Philip Clayton Reader on Science and Theology, ed. Bradford McCall (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2018). 

What is Ecological Civilization? Crisis, Hope, and the Future of the Planet, co-authored
with Andrew Schwartz (Anoka, MN: Process Century Press, 2019).

Now What? Rebuilding the Sacred from the Rubble of God, co-authored with Claudia Pearce (in preparation).

Hope in an Age of Unbelief, with Steven Knapp (in preparation).

The New Socialism: Sacred and Secular Roots of a Transformative Politics, co-authored with Justin Heinzekehr (in preparation). 


The Theology of Wolfhart Pannenberg: Twelve American Critiques, co-edited with Carl Braaten (Minneapolis: Augsburg Press, 1988).

Science and the Spiritual Quest: New Essays by Leading Scientists, co-edited with Mark Richardson et al. (London and New York: Routledge, 2002).

Quantum Mechanics, vol. 5 of Scientific Perspectives on Divine Action, coedited with Robert J. Russell John Polkinghorne, and Kirk Wegter-McNelly (Vatican City: Vatican Observatory, and Berkeley: Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences, 2002).

In Whom We Live and Move and Have Our Being: Panentheistic Reflections on God’s Presence in a Scientific World, co-edited with Arthur Peacocke (Grand Rapids: Eerdman‘s, 2004).

Science and Beyond:  Cosmology, Consciousness and Technology in the Indic Traditions, co-edited with Roddam Narasimha, B. V. Sreekantan, and Sangeetha Menon (Bangalore, India: NIAS Publications, 2004).

Evolution and Ethics: Human Morality in Biological and Religious Perspective, co-edited with Jeffrey Schloss (Grand Rapids: Eerdman‘s, 2004).

The Re-emergence of Emergence:  The Emergentist Hypothesis from Science to Religion, co-edited with Paul Davies (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006)

The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Science, with associate editor Zachary Simpson (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006). Arabic translation, 2014.

Practicing Science, Living Faith:  Interviews with Twelve Leading Scientists, co-edited with Jim Schaal (New York: Columbia University Press, 2007).

All That Is: A Naturalistic Faith for the Twenty-First Century, in honor of Arthur Peacocke. (Minneapolis: FortressPress, 2007).

Panentheism Across the World’s Traditions, co-edited with Loriliai Biernacki (New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 2013).

Socialism in Process, coedited with Justin Heinzekehr (Anoka, MN: Process Century Press, 2017)

How I Found God in Everyone and Everywhere: An Anthology of Spiritual Memoirs, coedited with Andrew M. Davis (New York: Monkfish, 2018).

What’s with Free Will?  Ethics and Religion after Neuroscience, coedited with Jim Walters (forthcoming from Wipf & Stock, 2020).

Thought at the Edge of Collapse: Reception and Response in the work of Philip Clayton, Festschrift edited by Zachary Simpson (in preparation).