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Process Theology: A Guide for the Perplexed (Guides for the Perplexed) Paperback

ISBN-13: 978-0567596697 ISBN-10: 0567596699 Edition: 1st

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Process Theology: A Guide for the Perplexed (Guides for the Perplexed) + Process Theology: An Introductory Exposition + On the Mystery: Discerning Divinity in Process
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Product Details

  • Series: Guides for the Perplexed
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury T&T Clark; 1 edition (May 26, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0567596699
  • ISBN-13: 978-0567596697
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,642 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

'Process theology comes in many forms. Some technical philosophical forms confuse more than enlighten. Bruce Epperly offers his own form of process theology in accessible narrative and confessional prose. The anecdotes, case studies, and stories bring alive process perspectives on crucial issues of our time. This book should further establish and expand process theology's standing as a persuasive alternative for making sense of God and the many dimensions and questions of our existence.' -Thomas Jay Oord, Ph.D. Author of 'The Nature of Love: A Theology' (Chalice) and 'Defining Love: Philosophical, Scientific, and Theological Engagement' (Brazos) (Thomas J. Oord)

'Unbelievable: Bruce Epperly really succeeds at communicatingprocess theology in its full breadth and depth, in ways that will satisfynewcomers and advanced students alike. Yet he does it almost wholly without theuse of technical terms! Epperly's writing flows beautifully. It's laced withpersonal examples and replete with its own Whiteheadian moments, such as "Realityis profoundly ecological" or "In each moment, we are artists of our experience".... Perhaps the best in-depth introduction to process theology available fornon-specialists.' - Philip Clayton, Ingraham Professor, ClaremontSchool of Theology, USA (Philip Clayton)

'Given that process theology (PT) has earned a reputation for being one of the least accessible theological movements, Bruce Epperly does a good job in helping to clarify the main arguments and translating the vocabulary into something akin to everyday usage.' (The Church Times)

'Process theology comes in many forms. Some technical philosophical forms confuse more than enlighten. Bruce Epperly offers his own form of process theology in accessible narrative and confessional prose. The anecdotes, case studies, and stories bring alive process perspectives on crucial issues of our time. This book should further establish and expand process theology’s standing as a persuasive alternative for making sense of God and the many dimensions and questions of our existence.' -Thomas Jay Oord, Ph.D. Author of 'The Nature of Love: A Theology’ (Chalice) and 'Defining Love: Philosophical, Scientific, and Theological Engagement’ (Brazos) (Sanford Lakoff)

'Unbelievable: Bruce Epperly really succeeds at communicatingprocess theology in its full breadth and depth, in ways that will satisfynewcomers and advanced students alike. Yet he does it almost wholly without theuse of technical terms! Epperly’s writing flows beautifully. It’s laced withpersonal examples and replete with its own Whiteheadian moments, such as “Realityis profoundly ecological” or “In each moment, we are artists of our experience”.… Perhaps the best in-depth introduction to process theology available fornon-specialists.’ - Philip Clayton, Ingraham Professor, ClaremontSchool of Theology, USA (Sanford Lakoff)

'Given that process theology (PT) has earned a reputation for being one of the least accessible theological movements, Bruce Epperly does a good job in helping to clarify the main arguments and translating the vocabulary into something akin to everyday usage.’ (Sanford Lakoff)

About the Author

Bruce Epperly is Professor of Practical Theology and Director ofContinuing Education at Lancaster Theological Seminary, Pennsylvania, USA.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A. J. Roberts on June 26, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Of the seven or eight other introductory texts I have read on process theology, this one by Bruce Epperly is perhaps the best overall, even though it does not replace the others. This is a strong claim to make for someone who appreciates the works of John Cobb and Marjorie Suchocki, both of whom have written many classic books on process theology. But one of the great strengths of Epperly's introductory level book is in his synthesis of many of the most important ideas of other leading Christian process-relational thinkers from the last few decades, including Cobb and Suchocki, but also David Ray Griffin, Charles Hartshorne, Catherine Keller, Bernard Loomer, Thomas Jay Oord, Robert Mesle, Lewis Ford, Jay McDaniel, Monica Coleman, and last but definitely not least, Bruce Epperly himself. Additionally, he quotes widely from the complex works of Alfred North Whitehead throughout the book, highlighting some of his most memorable passages and explaining them in a way that makes them more accessible. A second strength of this book is due to Epperly's emphasis in practical theology. He is concerned, first and foremost, with the way in which process theology works within the lives of individuals and communities, impacting churches and preaching. This adds up to a real gift in clear communication, but also great sensitivity to the actual lives of people outside the academy, leading him to concentrate less on complicated academic debates and more on issues like prayer, life after death, ethics, and holistic healing practices.Read more ›
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Patricia A. Farmer on May 31, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In Process Theology: A Guide for the Perplexed, Bruce Epperly has accomplished the near impossible: making process theology accessible, clear, and fully alive to people of faith and spiritual sensitivity. Comprehensive in scope and vividly fresh in presentation, this book brings the transforming power of process theology to life.

Near the beginning of the book he asks the reader some telling questions: "Do our images of God encourage creativity or destruction? Do they inspire love or hatred? Are they defined primarily by loving partnership or by coercive power?" With these big questions, Epperly challenges the reader to think and feel and re-imagine God in the Whiteheadian image of "the poet of the world."

While all of Epperly's books are written from a process-relational viewpoint, this one is special in that it unveils the full-blown philosophical world view that underlies the hope he has always inspired in his readers. He begins by offering the reader a concise history of process theology, tracing its origin in Whitehead's philosophy and its later development by Hartshorne, Cobb, Griffin, Suchocki, Loomer, and others. Then, using his gift of expressing big ideas in the language of simple elegance and metaphor, Epperly explains the basic tenets of process theology, with special emphasis on the problem of evil and suffering, the power of prayer, the teleology of beauty, the human condition--or what he calls "The Adventurous Self'--as well as a full range of theological issues such as Christology, Trinity, and the Bible. The reader's journey continues through the application of process theology to such areas as ethics, science, the church, and the afterlife.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Robert Cornwall on February 17, 2012
Format: Paperback
Christianity is one of the more complex faith traditions, with its embrace of doctrines such as the Trinity and the divinity of Christ, so even on a good day enquirers can be left perplexed. Process Theology, which takes much of its inspiration from the philosophical musings of a British mathematician/physicist, can leave even those acquainted with and comfortable with basic Christian doctrines perplexed and confused. Thus, a primer that would translate and explain for the uninitiated the intricacies of this theological system is most welcome. This is especially true at a time when many Christians are looking for a system that makes sense of the world of the 21st century, especially concerning the relationship of faith and science. Although many people continue to embrace premodern religious beliefs, many others find these beliefs, especially relating to a divine being that supernaturally sweeps in and adjusts things from outside the universe to be incompatible with reality as they know it. Of course, it's not only science that poses challenges; it's the problem of evil as well. Process Theology, with its sense of openness to the future and its rejection of an all powerful divinity seems to offer a more compelling vision - if only we understood the vocabulary!

In this book Bruce Epperly, himself a Process Theologian who studied at one of the leading centers of Process Theology (Claremont), but who also writes with a pastor's heart, provides us with a primer that seeks to translate and explain the ideas and vocabulary that form Process Theology. One of the reasons why this system is both controversial and difficult to understand is that it starts with a modern philosophical system that challenges traditional ways of seeing the world and the divine.
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