Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Burrell on the inanity of process theology

"Sara Grant in her book Towards an alternative theology. . . . characterizes the unique bond between Creator and creation as a non-reciprocal relation of dependence.  All our relations of dependence are, of course, reciprocal.  It's illuminated in the Arab world, where people's names change when they become parents.  Let's say a couple have a child called Rasheed.  The father then becomes Abu Rasheed, and the mother's name becomes Um Rasheed.  So it reminds us that even though you might think the child depends solely on its parents, they, of course, experience a whole new identity through the birth of their child.  So every relationship between us in the world is a reciprocal one.  In Thomas' view, it's only creation which entails a non-reciprocal relation of dependence.  And, of course, some modern theologians took umbrage at this idea, and invented process theology, which pictures God as changing along with the universe.  We needn't discuss the inanity of that."

David Burrell as interviewed by Rupert Shortt in God's advocates:  Christian thinkers in conversation (Grand Rapids, MI:  Eerdmans, 2005), 139.

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