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  1. While attending seminary I encountered process theology and took a class on Whitehead’s Process & Reality. Anyone familiar with the tome won’t be surprised to learn we all struggled. Our professor–Franklin Gamwell, an ordained Presbyterian minister–was patient with us and, I sensed, had mastered learning how Whitehead’s metaphysic could inform one’s life and ministry. Two months into the struggle, the terminology and concepts began to take hold in my thinking, and I began to sense how it could bless my life. I’ve never cared much for metaphysics; it all seems so terribly contextualized and subjective. Besides, how can anyone speak with any definitiveness on such things as the nature of reality? However, Whitehead’s metaphysic informs his even more respectable ethic–and that interests me a great deal. In short, process theology (especially in Whitehead’s, Cobb’s and Suhoki’s senses) has helped me make sense of how I am to relate with the religious other. It helped me better understand how, I, a sixth-generation Latter-day Saint could not only maintain meaningful relationships with those in other denominations and traditions, but how I (and all of us) can work together for the common good–even compete for the common good. I was pleasantly surprised to not only see a Mormon Matters podcast on process theology but, upon listening, that it was present by such capable students of the tradition. My sincere appreciation to the effort and preparation involved.

  2. This podcast was not unlike listening to a couple of artist describe the color black when I don’t even know what red, green, blue, and yellow look like. (This is my fault, I admit.) I think having a podcast just laying out a broader overview of the different theological approaches popular today would have helped me to stay engaged and interested in your conversations. It would be nice if y’all brought on some non-process theologians to balance out the explanation y’all provided for the metaphysics of process theology. (Sometimes continental philosophers are too proud of how confusing their ideas are.)

    What are the alternate metaphysical theories that are popular these day in or out of theological circles? What about Plantinga? What about analytical philosophy? What do y’all find compelling about process theology besides its correspondence with Mormonism? (This seemed to be the major/only selling point brought up.)

  3. I’m putting out the scream. Dan and Jim, write the book. Please!! I am really starting to like this process theology stuff. I’m thirsting for more!

  4. This was great. I have been trying to parse Whitehead for awhile and this gave some great points to leap from. Thanks!

  5. Especially enjoyed the 2nd episode. Great, expansive paradigms being explored here. Dan, the Process Theology/Mormonism book would be awesome. I think a good philosophically/spiritually rigorous book written by you would be an excellent complement to your existing online corpus of work. I’m currently reading “A Cornel West Reader” and am amazed at the way his thoughts unravel in his writing. I keep thinking “Dan Wotherspoon should sit down and do something like this.” I see many similar intellectual and spiritual sensibilities between you and West.

    1. Post

      Thank you, so much, Eric! I’m sheepish to admit that I like your comparison–such a long way for me to go in my own scholarship and applications of rigorous thought, but at the level of “sensibilities” I can feel a bit more secure. You’re encouragement has my brain firing and heart singing this morning. Appreciate you, and this alert to the West reader. I will take a look and see if it might serve as model of sorts for what I may produce in writing in the coming years.

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