Thursday, May 29, 2008

Process Theology and Feminist Wicca

In her new book, Hidden Circles in the Web: Feminist Wicca, Occult Knowledge, and Process Thought, Denver priestess and theologian Constance Wise argues that process theology is uniquely appropriate for Paganism.

When we speak of the "Web of Being," she writes, "the interconnectivity of events posited by process though is so expansive across both time and space that it can scarcely be grasped by human thought. On the other hand, process cosmology provides a clear way to talk about the Web (114)."

Process thinkers' understanding of deity leans towards the abstract. It is not "hard polytheism." But process thought does offer a useful and challenging way to think about inter-connectedness and the Goddess.

It is the fourth book in AltaMira's Pagan Studies series.

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Blogger Jordan Stratford+ said...

It's fascinating to me that an(other) pagan theologian would see the affinity between process theology and paganism, as the former is so close - near identical - with Gnostic theology, between which you yourself (and others) have attempted to illustrated a chasm.

Wow, here's hoping nobody ever has to edit that sentence, I've been gardening and have had too much sun.

For all intents and purposes, process theology IS Gn theology, and while I absolutely agree that this is completely compatible with pagan theology, I'm pleasantly surprised to see others agree.

6:00 PM  
Anonymous Chas S. Clifton said...

I would say that Wise's Goddess thealogy is, as I said, far from the hard polytheism of many Pagans.

However, perhaps you could suggest the topic for her next book.

10:01 PM  
Blogger Yvonne said...

Interesting, as process theology was partly developed by Charles Hartshorne, who, though he wasn't a Unitarian, was very much in demand as a speaker at Unitarian churches. And there are lots of crossovers between Unitarianism and Paganism (including Emerson as you noted previously, but also Iolo Morgannwg, and of course CUUPS and UESN).

2:12 AM  
Anonymous Scott said...

While I would agree that Wise is by no means a hard polytheist, she describes her process theology position within the text as "henotheist" - her characterization of the Goddess as sacred convention implicitly acknowledges the existence and ontological equivalence of other such conventions. This position could easily be incorporated into a truly polytheistic process theology.

12:45 PM  

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