Re: [asa] Re: Endgame

From: <>
Date: Sat Jan 31 2009 - 12:36:09 EST

Gregory -

Instead of breaking into the thread to interrogate me about my supposed proclivities for process theology, why not try to address the theological & scientific points at issue? E.g., You might talk about the merits of Teilhard's use of the Pauline Body of Christ image, his analogy with the formation of multicellular organisms in evolutionary history, & his argument that thepe of union he envisions does not abolish but heightens individuality?

Of course Teilhard "sounds like" Buddhism sometimes. Sometimes he doesn't & he takes pains at some points to distinguish his views from that. You'll have to find the references yourself - I am "writing away from books" as they say & will be for awhile.

& of course my views about Teilhard have changed since the mid-60s when I first encountered him, & more importantly, since I first gave him serious theological attention something like 25 yrs ago. If you want to see one example of both + and - attitudes to his theology in an older paper of mine, look at my paper "A Theological Argument for Evolution" in PSCF (then JASA) in 1985 or 86.

Rome was right to be wary of his views about original sin in particular & as a Lutheran I am even more so. But again I emphasize - & PLEASE - try to grasp & retain this - that the fact that I see some parts of a person's theology as helpful does not mean that I accept everything - and vice versa.

& BTW - I have said several times here that the humn/social sciences need to play a significant role in science-theology dialogue. But that doesn't mean that they are somehow the wave of the future and that everthing done in that dialogue to this point will be made obsolete by their involvement.



---- Gregory Arago <> wrote:
> Here I go again, George. And there you continue with your usual, un-updated message. Glad to know that we are still persons of our generation and not just robots.
> It is not surprising to me in the least that you didn't directly answer *any* of my three questions in the previous message. You danced, and I dance, and that's fine too!
> In your opinion, George, is your view of process theology 'evolving'? Or is it settled? Pierre Teilhard de Chardin obviously deserves a paper or thread from you as for your Lutheran-Catholic views of evolution, science and faith. I'm absolutely certain that you'll cite a previous paper you've written on this topic if it is available.
> Otherwise, the 'endgame' we can say is already really 'ended.' E.g. there'll not be another superbowl xlii. There are many who mix up history with 'evolution,' as Popper warned. Surely you'll acknowledge this, though it is neither a natural scientific (physics) nor theological recognition.
> I agree with your view, George: "the 'endgame' isn't simply humanity but humanity indwelt by God."
> And so welcome to social-humanitarian thought! We've been thinking about this for ages!
> Gregory (from Russia en route to India)
> --- On Sat, 1/31/09, <> wrote:
> From: <>
> Subject: [asa] Re: Endgame
> To:
> Received: Saturday, January 31, 2009, 5:46 AM
> To quote Reagan, "There you go again." My "position toward
> process theology" is that I have fundamental problems with it but don't reject everything that
> process theologians say. Anything more "toward process theology" in
> what I say is due to a lack of discernment in my readers.
> & I agree that there's plenty wrong with Teilhard's theology. For
> starters, he's certainly not a theologian of the cross. But not everything
> he said was wrong, &
> I think his understanding of the future of evolution in terms of the Pauline
> idea of the Body of Christ is pretty much on target. If you want to criticize
> that you should do it on its own ground & not haul in claims about his
> crypto-Buddhism &c.
> In particular, consider whether you're taking Paul's imagery in I
> Cor.12 & Rom.12 as well as Col.1:15-20 seriously.
> Shalom,
> George
> ---- Gregory Arago <> wrote:
> > Hi George,
> >  
> > It happens that I'm one who thinks David O.'s concern is
> legitimate. Do you deny that Pierre Teilhard de Chardin sometimes sounds
> 'just like Buddhism'? You say in one sentence that he
> 'distinguishes' himself but you don't say how or when or where.
> I've been reading Teilhard himself recently. And of course you know the
> warning about Teilhard's teachings from Rome and his 'exile'.
> >  
> > Yes, I know that what you say is part and parcel of your position toward
> 'process theology' and the role that Teilhard de Chardin plays in
> process theology. I just don't get the impression that your view is settled
> on this yet. Is yours a settled view, George, or a view in process (of
> formation)? Is your view 'evolving'?
> >  
> > You seem to defend Teilhard's provocative paleoanthropology, his
> process ideas, his excessive evolutionism (though I might be mis-speaking here),
> his 'threat to the human identity' which was identified by the Vatican,
> and you seem to be marrying this with your particularly Lutheran theology.
> Please correct me if I'm wrong. If you haven't found a balance yet in
> this endeavour it would not be surprising - it is an extremely difficult
> task! Especially so if one is not a biologist or a sociologist...
> >  
> > En route to something more mysterious than rational,
> >  
> > Gregory 
> >
> >
> > --- On Sat, 1/31/09, <>
> wrote:
> >
> > From: <>
> > Subject: Re: Endgame (Was RE: [asa] Jerry Coyne's ...)
> > To: "David Opderbeck" <>
> > Cc: ""
> > Received: Saturday, January 31, 2009, 2:03 AM
> >
> > Read what Teilhard actually says about it. He makes the point that the
> type of
> > union Paul speaks of in I Cor.12 doesn't wipe out individuality but
> > intensifies it. He says that union "differentiates,"
> "personalizes," and "creates." (Sorry I don't have the
> > refs here.) Have you ever had the experience of knowing someone who
> seemed to
> > be just a boring nonentity until you had a chance to observe him/her with
> family
> > or friends and see the person really come alive?
> >
> > & Teilhard distinguishes in several essays between his view of the
> human
> > future & the type of picture one has in Buddhism.
> >
> > & when all is said and done, what are we to do with the Pauline
> picture of
> > the Body of Christ? Maybe we should take it seriously. It is not just an
> > abstract idea of unification but a picture of a corporate entity of which
> Christ
> > is the head - i.e., the source of life.
> >
> > ---- David Opderbeck <> wrote:
> > George -- not sure where you're going with the "corporate
> entity" idea.
> > While there's a corporateness to our eschatological future, it seems
> > hard, and dangerous, to suggest that there isn't also an ongoing
> > preservation of individual identity. To me, this is where the "omega
> point"
> > starts to sound just like Buddhism.
> > >
> > > David W. Opderbeck
> > > Associate Professor of Law
> > > Seton Hall University Law School
> > > Gibbons Institute of Law, Science & Technology
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Received on Sat Jan 31 12:36:36 2009

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