Re: [asa] Re: Endgame

From: Gregory Arago <>
Date: Sat Jan 31 2009 - 13:44:57 EST

Thanks, George. I'll have to let it be at that and am pleased with your reply. Tonight I head to Finland and tomorrow morning to India for a conference on Science and Technology. Teilhard de Chardin and I would be able to have an amicable conversation over tea or juice or beer and Chinese rice, but I'm afraid his excessive evolutionism (as ideology) crosses the line with me. Thanks for pointing out at least one way your thought differs from his. Wave to the future! Cheers, Greg

--- On Sat, 1/31/09, <> wrote:

From: <>
Subject: Re: [asa] Re: Endgame
Received: Saturday, January 31, 2009, 8:36 PM

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, <>
> 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.
> starters, he's certainly not a theologian of the cross. But not
> he said was wrong, &
> I think his understanding of the future of evolution in terms of the
> idea of the Body of Christ is pretty much on target. If you want to
> 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
> warning about Teilhard's teachings from Rome and his 'exile'.
> >  
> > Yes, I know that what you say is part and parcel of your position
> 'process theology' and the role that Teilhard de Chardin plays in
> process theology. I just don't get the impression that your view is
> 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
> his 'threat to the human identity' which was identified by the
> and you seem to be marrying this with your particularly Lutheran
> Please correct me if I'm wrong. If you haven't found a balance yet
> 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
> type of
> > union Paul speaks of in I Cor.12 doesn't wipe out individuality
> > 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
> family
> > or friends and see the person really come alive?
> >
> > & Teilhard distinguishes in several essays between his view of
> 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
> 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
> > hard, and dangerous, to suggest that there isn't also an ongoing
> > preservation of individual identity. To me, this is where the
> 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 13:45:36 2009

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