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THE VARIETY OF PANENTHEISMS

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Abstract.

In this article I review the efforts of eighteen scientists and theologians, recorded in this book, to describe the relation of God to the universe during a conference sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation at Windsor Castle in 2001. Theologians from several branches of Christian faith articulate their understanding of panentheism, revealing a considerable diversity. I deal with each author in relation to six issues: the way God acts, how God's intimate relation to the world is to be described, the relation of God to spacetime, whether God is dependent upon the world, what type of language is used, and the problem of dipolar panentheism. I identify significant differences between these authors, suggest where fruitful dialogue is possible, and distinguish between intelligibility and plausibility in comparing dipolar panentheism with other types.
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Keywords: Alfred North Whitehead; Charles Hartshorne; God; God-world relation; John Templeton Foundation; Trinity; analogy; body of God; cosmology; dipolar panentheism; divine agency; evil and God; metaphor; metaphysics; naturalism; panentheism; pansyntheism; process-relational thought; relativity physics; science; spacetime; theism; theology

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Professor of Theology Emeritus, Christian Theological Seminary, 5129 N. Illinois St., Indianapolis, IN 46208.

Publication date: 2005-09-01

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