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

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Process Theology and Radical Theology Compared as Alike and Different

Process Theology and Radical Theology
Compared as Alike and Different

by R.E. Slater

I thought it might be helpful to elucidate the corollaries between process theology and radical theology and found an article that can speak of a religious faith like Christianity in the post-Christian sense of its character, ends, and objectives which Christianity, as an institutionalized religion, has not accomplished in itself. Rather, it holds onto all the things which it should let go as a more faithful radical theology will say time and again. And to which gives radical theology its modus operandi when the church fails in speaking for the divine who burns with love and loving creation.

For myself as a process Christian, reclaiming my Jesus faith through a theology of Love and Loving engagement with the world, I can sympathize with radical theology's observations without necessarily exchanging my faith for non-faith. And like radical theology, any seriously self-examining religious theology - even that of Christianity to it's past doctrines, dogmas, and practices - must go through a deconstruction period when fallen into those broken spaces burdened to become more than it is in it's current missions and teachings.

I find these periods of spiritual penitence extremely helpful. It is why the historic church has burned itself down time-and-again when searching to fulfill Christ's mission to love "self and neighbour". Albeit, more often in unloving ways and directions; and, sometimes correctly when observing it's present outcomes in the world and community.

Process Christianity, like Emergent Christianity and Progressive Christianity before it, is this era's latest response to Trumpian Evangelical harm, oppression, bigotry, and refusal to respond positively to social and environmental justice in equitable reformative seeking socio-ecological balance and reclamation. Something a process Christian would expansively describe as a socio-economic, socio-religious, multi-ethnic and multi-cultural, ecological society in the making. That both church and government, business and society, can find spiritual renewal by driving towards healthier practices of fair-and-equal living with one another when rebuilding societies toward the goals of ecological civilization where all faiths and beliefs work together - rather than apart and at war with one another - towards loving justice and graceful community building.

Even as parts of Christianity truly seeks to repent and repurchase itself from its present wreckages so too does radical theology claim the same task but without God, Jesus, the church's Christian heritages, etc. Rather, radical theology approaches altruistic societal living and interpersonal healing from bad religion misspeaking spiritual truths (sic, I like the term eusocialism in action). Radical theology does so through a humane-and-humanitarian perspective of modern man swapping the church's iconography of words, pictures, and symbols for that of radical theology stripped of God but using God language.

In radical theology's epistemological streams it correctly teaches the harming influences of bad religion when attempting to reset - or reframe - the religious personage within the present streams of living fuller lives than before in the church as one's being is filled with higher outlooks, causations, dispensations, and economies of itself. A type of spirituality which is unlinked from religion in order to see the processual streams of living water displacing around their beings. Essentially, radical theology is doing what the church does not do - inspire and give hope.

This later, of course, describes process theology perfectly as abounding living streams abiding within the greater creational streams present in the the divine Being of God's Self which releases us from the bondage of this world's unloving acts, actions, teachings, and attitudes, into the loving, healing, generative streams of which the ministry, passion, cross, and resurrection of Christ speaks. One might say in a radical theological expression that "Jesus realigned himself and his followers" with God's living streams of abundant life everywhere present in Edenic resurrections of this life's reclaimed light from dark places.

This, in essence, is what process theology is doing when keeping to the Christian faith but re-synergizing and re-energizing it's doctrines, dogmas, and mission with infusively new urban language which plunges it's newer penitents into Jesus' living steams of water in fundamentally effusive, and radically Jesus-living, faith that wished to live the Christian faith in better and more constructive constructs from what the Church had become in it's polluted streams of disease-ridden, guck and blight unhealthy to drink, disseminate, or distill in any form.


R.E. Slater
June 29, 2023

Radical Sacramentality: The Promise Of A Public Radical Theology

In this article, I argue that a radical public theology that sheds its religious garment in a kenotic exocentric movement toward the world functions as a radical sacrament that is both faithful to its Christian origins and relevant to Western culture.

I’ve written three previous articles on the need [for] Christianity and its theology to become radically public. This publicness pertains to both Christianity’s praxis and discourse. In my first article, “Faith, Atheism, and Beyond,” the argument is that Christian discourse, particularly Christian theology, needs to move beyond the faith vs atheism divide to regain its voice again. In my second article, “Christianity and Atheism: The Necessary Publicness Of Faith,” I argued for a further elaboration of the need for the publicness of Christian discourse. My argument was largely based on a brief analysis of both the history of Western thought and Christianity’s bad track record with regard to it's calling throughout history. In my third article, “The Publicness of Christian Discourse As Divine Movement”, I further elaborate my argument by means of a few examples and a reference to the incarnation. This is the fourth and final installment of my mini-series on the necessity of the publicness of the Christian faith and especially its discourse.


My argument is a work in progress. Running a content marketing firm doesn’t allow me to absorb a lot of books and spend a lot of time pondering, constructing, and theologizing. Luckily there are hot showers for inspiration and Saturday pm moments of frenzied typing. So there goes.

This is how I will proceed in this article. I will first describe 5 general movements or changes that I see as necessary for Christian discourse to regain a public relevance in the Western discourses on culture, economics, and politics. After that, I will focus on the sacramental nature of the Christian community. I will attempt to interpret it in a radical way, i.e. with regard to its roots and with regard to the anti-traditional tradition of radical theology.

My own amazing discovery as I was dissecting the elements and charting the trajectory needed to achieve public relevance, was that the move toward radical theology is at once a retrieval of one of the most basic and fundamental aspects of the Christian tradition.

Theology’s task is to reveal the sacramentality of embodied life. This is at once its theological injunction and its practical path toward regaining its public function. In other words, theology’s lack of publicness is a failure at the heart of current theological discourse itself (not to mention Christian existence).

Five Changes Western Christianity Needs To Make

When I argue for changes, it is always up to individual Christians and Church organizations how much they want to change and to what extent they have been awakened to the need for change as well as the potential that resides within their religion’s repository. But here are 5 changes that I consider absolutely essential:

1. Goodbye to Organized Religion

There needs to be a massive shift from an ancient framework of reference to a new one. To be precise, a religious framework needs to make room for a non-religious one. This is not a sell-out to a secular world but an acknowledgment of the secular nature of the civilization that has emerged out of the Enlightenment. Christianity needs to face the truth about its backwardness and disastrous contribution to the political situation that birthed the Enlightenment. It needs to see how its dogmatic and authoritarian attitudes stood in the way of progress and positive developments in science.

At the same time, Christianity should do so while affirming the religious nature of all human talk and praxis. There is a huge difference between religion and religiousness. Religiousness drives humanity and gives birth to religions, philosophies, science, art, and ideologies alike. Religion is but one specific instance of religiousness and so is secularity. But the move must nonetheless be made. In fact, I’d like to say that Christianity needs to discover its own secularity.

2. A Change in the Concept of God

There needs to be a massive shift in the concept of God, or better even, the conceptualization of what concepts are. The word “god” is a mere signifier; a signifier for the unknown that nevertheless was encountered in ethical resolves as well as religious and existential experiences. The fact that entire books were wrapped around such calls, experiences, and insights doesn’t make it more concrete than what initially gave rise to the books.

Moreover, “gods” are constructions. They are things we put together to perform various functions: to be an oracle, the foundation of ethics, a means to power, a way to overcome one’s enemies, a way to regulate the various classes of society and the social traffic between them, and to order society in a certain hierarchy. Gods are human artifacts.

The fact that the secular gods are no longer products of religion but cultural, economic, or social necessities, speaks both to the fact that gods remain important but also to the fact that they are always constructed. And no god is more constructed than the sovereign who presides over the papal and Calvinistic distribution of power. Gods are machines, “perpetuae mobilae,” self-propagating “eternal” devices that operate without the need for being fed with energy. All they require is our imagination.

For this reason, functional atheism (instead of committed metaphysical atheism like that of the New Atheists) might be a good baseline, as Heidegger shows in his “Bing and Time.” But given the religious nature of human thought and action, even atheism, as well as secularism and free-market capitalism, have religiosity inscribed into them. Perhaps, we’ll better stick with the nomenclature of gods and goddesses.

3. A Change In Christianity’s Project

Western Christianity has for many centuries been about one thing: truth discovery. As a truth discovery project, including truth’s preservation, categorization, proclamation, and defense, Christianity has been in the business not of sharing a gospel of peace but a rule of power.

The cognitive thrust has always been in the service of power. Whoever is right has the right connection with the divine. Whoever has the sole claim to being connected with the divine is the divine’s representative and rightful heir. Once you understand this, European history becomes relatively easy to understand.

The cognitive must be replaced, I believe, with an embodiment of the gospel (whatever that term means, but I’m freely using it here anyway). Embodiment of the gospel implies automatically a renunciation of power because the One whose gospel we aim to embody was the powerless prophet, the god who died.

4. A Change In The Understanding Of Christ

About that prophet who was the god who died. I strongly believe that we need to make the move from a literal understanding of Jesus as the Son of God to a metaphorical understanding of Jesus as God. (In what I say here, I don’t mean to draw a boundary around what is possible with the figure of Christ, I’m merely pointing in a possible direction of which the defining characteristic is what it points away from, namely, mythological religion.)

Why do I propose this move? (a) Because the notion of “Son of God” is completely meaningless unless it refers to some action figure in a superhero movie. (b) Because the term was always meant metaphorically in the first place (does God the Father have a body with sexual organs? No? Then “Son of God” is a metaphor–geez, how hard can this be?) (c) Because a metaphorical understanding of “Son of God” gets us so much closer to the idea behind it.

Jesus is the harbinger of a new form of being a new form of existence. With him, we come to the realization that the gods we always worshiped were fashioned after human imagination and therefore constructs. With Jesus, a new concept of god breaks through (yes, within a religious framework) in which we see god as weak and powerless.

With Christ, the eternal, immortal, omnipotent, all-knowing dies and is obliterated on a cross. In Jesus, as the Word become flesh, we see the god we constructed materialized as the antithesis of our religious imagination. In Jesus, we realize that the idea of god is manifested in self-giving love. We now understand that this divine passion we so desire and crave is something we can’t stand being enfleshed. And yet, there it is.

And thus, with Jesus, we have a non-religious concept of god. The constructed god is kenotically obliterated, exocentrically expressed outward to humanity in the flesh, and away from religious constructions of gods and idols. Our hope is fulfilled in Christ and it frightens us. Jesus represents the new humanity that exists in the flesh in exocentric selfhood. We recoil at the invitation to participate in this new godhood.

5. A Change To Exocentricity

Continuing along the thread of exocentricity, i.e. the move away from the center of the self as a defendable unit of consciousness, our religion, Christianity, needs to be reconciled similarly exocentrically. Exocentricity is a word that means: out of or away from the center.

Our religion is not about secret insider knowledge that talks about being born again as something you can’t understand but need to experience, about the mysteries of Christ, about the secret practices of faith, mystical experiences, or the hidden treasures of our teachings. Bollocks.

Christian truth is publicly available truth. Truth as interpretation of the world, truth as the call for justice, truth as a path to meaningful selfhood, truth as the way of Christ that leads from the self to the other. And what about God? Oh, God became flesh, remember. There is no remainder.

Christian truth is (or ought to be) a contribution to the ongoing search of Western civilization to the meaning and purpose of human life, and to the ideas of what it is to be a human community. It is a prophetic antithesis to the standardized practices and societal structures that always tend to become a constrictive system that eventually squeezes the life out of the little ones. Christian truth speaks truth to power and speaks of the way of Christ as a path toward a new humanity, i.e. the kingdom of God.

Hence there is no arcane discipline as Bonhoeffer suggested. Instead, there is openness, accountability, and, if must be, a cross on a hill.

Radical Sacramentality

All of the above transformations, in spite of their seemingly blasphemous radicality, points in the direction of something that is at the very heart of Christianity: incarnation, kenosis, sacramentality. The central issue is that theological discourse needs to deliver on the sacramental nature of human flesh and all of creation as it is encoded in the doctrine of the incarnation.

One might think that I’m basically kicking the legs from under Christianity with the five points above. But I’m not. I’m retrieving their essence in my call for a radical sacrament. A brief discussion of the following words I used in my opening sentence will make this clear: religious garment, kenotic exocentric movement, radical sacrament.

An Exocentric Kenotic Religionless Movement

If the Word became flesh, Christianity has done a great job of turning the flesh into word again, hiding the flesh of the Christ behind shrouds of doctrine, layers of religiosity, and traditional sedimentation. Christianity needs to shed its doctrine, its religious appearance, its traditionality in order to retrieve afresh the Christian Gospel.

As a radically exocentric movement, as discussed under point 5 above, Christianity, i.e. the Christian movement, the Church, Christian discourse, needs to become a kenotic community. Kenosis is the technical term in Christianity to point to the movement of the Christ as he emptied himself to become one of us. Nothing was left of his equality with God, Paul says in his Epistle to the Philippians (see New Testament), as he became a slave to all of humanity.

Just like his identity and origin were obliterated as he was nailed on the cross, so our Christian identity and Christian tradition need to be relinquished as we seek to be to our world what Christ was to his (because revelation is today and not 2000 years ago). This is what it means to be religionless.

Becoming the Sacrament

Thus we become the true sacrament to the world. What is a sacrament? A material substance that becomes the bearer of divine grace. “This is my body and my blood,” Christ said as he shared bread and wine. Christ’s body was the sacrament of divine grace in order that our frail and mortal human bodies might become sacraments of grace and love and peace in this world.

By letting go of Christianity as a religion without the need or desire to protect our belief system we can be relevant again for the world. Without the need to provide arguments for the existence of the Christian God or even the divinity of Jesus and by adopting the radical kenotic move into the world without remainder–just as Christ came without remainder–we become the sacrament.

-  jdk

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December 29, 2020

October 25, 2019

March 18, 2019


Wednesday, June 28, 2023

R.E. Slater - Gods After Gods

Gods After Gods

by R.E. Slater

Not long ago I put together a series of articles on metamodernism and contemporary radical theology. I suggested that process theology is much more comfortable in postmodernism and goes-to-die in modernism. Metamodernism is the pendulum which swings between the two *syncretically (*adverb; "combining or bringing together different philosophical, religious, or cultural principles between polarizing sides"). Example: "A vs B may grant --> AB, Ab, aB, ab"

Secondly, I also suggested there is a lot of similarity between process theology and radical theology where they both focus on one's faith and the good which it can do or, may not do, amongst church communities and individual works of grace and mercy. Ideally, they each stress acts of love and loving humanitarianism set within a creational world which responds best to love and not to unloving acts of indifference, unkindness, unthoughtfulness, carelessness or, harming acts of cruelty, feudel systems of discrimination, subversion, racism, genderism, xenophobia, and so.

We might term process and radical theologies as theologies which drive towards truer forms of loving faith than simply religious forms resting in their icons, idolatries, and illicit bigotries. The icon may be the Bible, God, Faith, Tradition, Church Orthodoxy, etc. In the Old Testament Aaron built a Golden Calf to represent God which God judged this act as idolatrous.

Though Aaron and Israel's act were well intention it missed the point that Israel did not know how to break from iconic religious belief held in socio-religious forms and functions which are a meaningless kind of belief measured by submittal to a god or power but not to a life reflecting loving service to others rather than to its iconography of itself.

In YHWH, Israel was to discover that it's God is a loving God who serves and sacrifices God's divine Self to that of creation - and to humanity within that creation - in continual acts of generative worth, salvation, valuation, and resurrection.

Creating a Golden Calf but made of God a brute judge and divine adversary more willing to bring curses and harm upon the earth and humanity; and when done, to then leave in abandonment to his creation.

Process theology in particular says "Not so." That God remains faithfully present to creation and all within it from the stars and moons to the sparrows and mankind. Ther is no other God than thus kind of God whose is unlike any image man might make of God. In God is loving sustenance, sustainability, helps, guidance, and divine empowerment to love others and nature where we couldn't before. This is process faith.

No less does radical theology teach to ideals of loving sacrificial service but from an atheistic perspective... that we and the universe is all that there is and within those cosmic-terrestrial-earthly structures lie all sorts of archetypical forms of goodness, badness, spirituality, human v societal ability-v-inability, including psychoanalytical sociological forms.

Now, as a process theologian, I am interested in what a radical theologian is saying. Why? Because perhaps they are seeing something that I am not willing to admit or address. Similarly with avowed atheitists. They are not my enemy but in some sense my outside eyes-and-ears to my own consuming faith journey. Their faith may be faith in the self or faith in humanity or faith in some cosmic sense but is not a faith in God, per se. Though again, No mere human can journey life "beyond" God as God is inextricably present in all of creation.

More likely, i) a faith either moving away from God or, ii) a faith needing to explore God from outside one's traditional faith community, are a few reasons some move to atheism. And in those wilderness treks some will stay close to the "metaphysical line" while other atheists must move to extreme directions from that line because of what they have seen or experienced.

The Death of God theologican Thomas J.J. Altizer would be such a type as he tried to reconcile God's death in Jesus within the forms of Christianity and Nietzschean Nihilism. I find his biography quite interesting as he struggled with the church's theodicy of good v evil. For Altizer, I'm not sure if God's onotological Being-ness ever died for him as much as God's presence in the church and the world. 

Paradoxical? Not really. I find God more present as my reality even as that reality seems so deeply lacking in the church and the world. But does that mean God is not here with us? The great ills and sufferings of the world seems to reiterate to us God's absence even though I subscribe to the belief that God is actively active in our deeply conflicted world. The fault lies in ourselves in not loving.

So then, when approaching radical theology I find the lives and words of radical theologians struggling publicly out-loud with what we may also be struggling with without a willingness to admit or recognize our failures within those admissions.

However, my caution to radical theology is to consider process theology instead. I find the Divine in process theology's subjects; love throughout process's foundations; and the need to practice-and-live what one believes and preaches... that is, in humanitarian ways of helps and service. Not in divisive politics of religion and culture, unless, of course, to speak against it and lead towards healthier forms of political expression. Expressions which can lean into loving service within multi-ethnic and polyplural multi-cultural forms of expansive democracy which I describe  as ecological societies and civilizations led by all the best of business, technology and eusocial humanitarian efforts.

I'll leave you with one a dialogue I had this week re radical theology. The dialoguer is a dear friend to me and one who is truly, in all aspects, a faithful Christian seeking a better faith than the one we currently are seeing in anti-democratic, and authoritarian, Trumpian Evangelicalism....

First my friend's statement and then our dialogue within his fuller discussion:

The main reason I connect with Caputo's (and others) Radical Theology is its complete dedication and dependence on justice, the justice perfectly illustrated and demonstrated by Jesus. The justice that is too radical for many/most Christians to implement in their faith or their lives.
Here is a nice summary of Radical Theology
1) Radical Theology is parasitic to Confessional Theology… on its behalf. Radical Theology is being faithful to what is harbored in the name of ‘God’ – the event & not the tradition on the tradition’s terms.
2) Radical Theology reserves the right to ask any question. Because Confessional Theology is accountable to a tradition & its institutions there will be places where questions\conversations\operating conclusions will serves as “conversation stoppers.” Places in which that activity of critical thinking puts one out of the building. (ex. Trinity or Same Sex Marriage)
3) Radical Theology seeks to be EXPOSED to the Event w/in the Confessional Theology tradition but not PROPOSE a new articulation of the tradition.
4) Radical Theology rejects both the apathetic silence about the Big Other & the theist\atheist debate about the Big Other. The Big Other does not exist.
5) Radical Theology displaces the boundaries & certainty of ‘belief’ w/in Confessional Theology – the “how” w/out articulating another ‘what.’ Why? Whatever the ‘what’ is w/in a tradition doesn’t correlate to ‘how’ it is enacted.
6) Radical Theology affirms the Event contained IN but not BY Confessional Theology.
7) Radical Theology is a material (therefore a political) theology. God’s insistence is about our existence, here in the world, in relationships, & not about our continued or reanimated existence elsewhere. Radical Theology is about faith enacted for this world, not faith in another.
😎 Radical Theology leaves the logos of Confessional Theology behind for theo-poetics. For the Radical Theology there is no divine-logic to be learned or sacred syllogisms to be mastered. When ‘words’ are used to close the circle around the truth, the poet protests ‘words’ enslavement… their 'demonic' possession [so, to say] of the impossible possibilities that vanquished on behalf of the actual – the certain – the final – the verdict of Confessional Theology.

Myself - I put up similar observations a few weeks back but do not get #4, the "Big Other not existing"... unless it means exactly what it means. Too, I responded to this list positively using process theology with the exception that process asserts God's presence in all things. Thus my question re #4. Thx xxx.
Xxx - I was surprised in my own pilgrimage how easily I adapted to the idea that God does not exist. All concepts of God are human constructs, and none of them attract me, although Process Theology would be at the top of that list. Human constructs of the divine are going to be from the realm of experience of humans, so their God must have being. I just see God as being beyond existence, and outside of human comprehension. A metaphysical God is typically an opportunity for trouble, at least in the history of the Earth.
Myself to Xxx. Ok. I needed to hear this from someone who knows radical theology better than I. In many, many ways the version of process theology I've adopted - and have been writing up - is similar to, if not sympathetic to, radical thought except for the absence of God or [theism's] extreme transcendence part. The first because its simply impossible to prove atheism. And the second will find panentheistic process theology admitting to God's transcendence beyond creaturely understanding but in that case this kind of Other-Worldly God is worthless in It's absence. Hence process leans fully into inextractable presence while not denying Otherness. And to the Archetypes and psychological analyses of Radical Theology, I think it has helped to distinguish a "loving living faith" from an "unloving religious faith." And if speaking evolutionarily, I could also make the case that our sentient perceptions and sensory conscious awareness of the world hides from us the ontological dynamisms going on all around us. We live in our own human "holograms"... which help us survive and move us to act lovingly or unlovingly. But, I write for people and not for Gods, if you will... for practicality in faith and faiths full of practical love. Thank you for the help!
Xxx to myself - I have found solace in Panentheism, I often see in mentioned from the Radical theologians. The good thing about Radical theology is there is no need for certainties, doctrines, or creeds. Pure unadulterated open-mindedness.


R.E. Slater
June 28, 2023

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Gods after God
An Introduction to Contemporary Radical Theologies

Paperback : 9780791466407, 186 pages, June 2006
Hardcover : 9780791466391, 186 pages, January 2006

Paperback $31.95
Hardcover $95.00

An erudite but eminently readable guide to contemporary radical theologies.


Gods after God provides an accessible introduction to a wide range of contemporary radical theologies. Radical theology can be defined as talk about the divine that rejects the notion of God as a supernatural personal consciousness who created the world and who intervenes in it to accomplish his purposes.

In addition, radical theologies tend to reject the absolute authority of traditional sources of guidance such as the Bible and the tradition of a church.

Richard Grigg demonstrates that there is a discernible stream of radical theologies beginning in the seventeenth century and continuing to the present. He explores a host of rich and lively contemporary radical religious positions, including the radical feminist theology of Mary Daly, the deconstructive theology of Mark C. Taylor, the religious naturalism of Ursula Goodenough and Donald Crosby, the pragmatist approaches of Sallie McFague and Gordon Kaufman, the Taoist interpretation of Jesus of Stephen Mitchell, and the feminist polytheism of Naomi Goldenberg.

This in-depth examination asks, in unflinching terms, what challenges radical theologies face and whether they have a realistic chance of surviving in American society.

Richard Grigg is Professor and Department Chair of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Sacred Heart University. He is the author of many books, including Imaginary Christs: The Challenge of Christological Pluralism, also published by SUNY Press.

Other Books By Richard Grigg

Related Resources (click anywhere to go to titled work)

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Climate Change & Us; WSF: Brave New Prehistoric World; WSF - Rewriting the Story of Us

This diagram by the study authors shows how climate change driven by astronomical forces — such as tilt in the earth’s axis and changes in the shape of the Earth’s orbit around the sun — has influenced ice ages and consequently, human evolution. Photo: Nature

Climate change and us: What really shaped
human evolution last 2 million years

Climatic shifts determined where food was available, driving
migration and adaptations, according to the study

Published: Thursday 14 April 2022

[edits & arrangements mine - re slater]

Ancient humans likely evolved in response to climate shifts by settling and adapting to newer habitats, according to a new study.

Climate change driven by astronomical forces — such as tilt in the Earth’s axis and changes in the shape of the Earth’s orbit around the sun — has influenced how much solar radiation reaches the planet, the study published in Nature noted.

This spurred the Ice Age and the warmer interglacial periods, according to researchers. These climatic shifts determined where food was available, driving migration and adaptations, the study noted.
“Astronomically-forced past climate change determined where ancient humans lived and how their habitat and food-preferences changed over time due to adaptation,” Axel Timmermann, lead author of the study and director of the IBS Center for Climate Physics (ICCP) at Pusan National University in South Korea, told Down To Earth.
The researchers mapped the habitats of five human lineages: Homo neanderthalensis, Homo erectus, Homo heidelbergensis, African Homo — Homo habilis and Homo ergaster — and Homo sapiens.

Previous studies have investigated the link between climate change and human evolution. Even though the idea is old, there has been very little hard data to support this hypothesis quantitatively, Timmermann added.

The researchers tried to address this gap by combining data on well-dated fossil remains and archaeological artefacts. A supercomputer helped them reconstruct the earth’s climate history over the past two million years.

According to their analysis, Homo erectus and Homo sapiens had the most extensive habitats:
  • While Neanderthals were more concentrated in Europe,
  • the early African homo found refuge in eastern and southern Africa.
  • Homo heidelbergensis settled in southern Africa, east Africa, and Eurasia [(e.g., The Levant/India - re slater)], the study determined.
Though all five human species showed a preference for a particular habitat, they responded to climate shifts, the researchers highlighted.

For example, Homo heidelbergensis and Neanderthals had to migrate from Northern Europe when ice ages made the region cold and dry, Timmermann explained.

So, they moved south to the Mediterranean, which had enough food available. When glacial conditions ended, forests moved northward quickly, and so did animals and Homo heidelbergensis and Neanderthals, he added.

Timmermann and his colleagues also found that around two to one million years ago, early African hominins preferred stable climatic conditions, staying back in narrow habitable corridors.

Homo heidelbergensis, on the other hand, migrated and adapted to make use of a much wider range of available food resources in new environments. A major climatic transition about 800,000 years ago triggered this migration, the study found.

“Archaic humans either had to adapt to the new environment or migrate to different regions,” Timmermann said,

Homo heidelbergensis became global wanderers by reaching remote regions in Europe and eastern Asia, Elke Zeller, PhD student at Pusan National University and co-author of the study, said. “Climate conditions are strongly connected to food security,” Timmermann added.

The researchers also went a step further by documenting when and how one species developed into another. When major ice age cycles began, Homo heidelbergensis split into two groups: European and African, the study suggested.

Around 400,000-500,000 years ago, the European group may have gradually evolved into Neanderthals, Timmermann pointed out.

And around 200,000-300,000 years ago, the African group likely developed into the earliest Homo sapiens in the southern [(and eastern - re slater)] part of the continent, according to the study.

Persistent harsh climate conditions could trigger a gradual transition from one species to another, the expert added.

In the future, the team plans to gain a clearer picture of ancient humans by studying the impact of past climate change on human genetic diversity, Timmerman said.

* * * * * * *


Brave New Prehistoric World
Premiered May 4, 2023

Recent breakthroughs in dating ancient samples of DNA and human remains have led to a radical reassessment of human origins.
At least ten other early human groups–some with the cognitive capacity to make art, jewelry and herbal medicines–occupied the planet at the same time as our ancestors, Homo Sapiens, and some of their genomes live within us today.
Leading archeologists and paleoanthropologists join Brian Greene to discuss how these surprising new insights are transforming our understanding of early Humans.
This program is part of the Big Ideas series, supported by the John Templeton Foundation.
Participants: Rebecca Ackermann Thomas Higham Sheela Athreya Viviane Slon

* * * * * * *

Rewriting the Story of Humankind

0:02 / 1:40:51
Rewriting the Story of Humankind
Premiered Jun 9, 2023

What attributes set our species apart? Taming fire? Expressing artistically? Solving problems creatively? Recent discoveries that have already upended humankind’s origin story by expanding our family tree, are now challenging long-held assumptions about what makes us special.
Paleoanthropologist Lee Berger is a leading figure in these breathtaking developments and he joins Brian Greene to discuss how new discoveries are now rewriting human history.
This program is part of the Big Ideas series, supported by the John Templeton Foundation.
The live program was presented at the 2023 World Science Festival Brisbane, hosted by the Queensland Museum.