Problems in Panentheism

Owen C. Thomas

in The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Science

Published in print April 2008 | ISBN: 9780199543656
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

 Problems in Panentheism

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There are some serious problems in the understanding and interpretation of panentheism in what has become a fairly widespread movement that has gathered under this banner. These problems arise from the fact that panentheism is not one particular view of the relationship of the divine to the world, but rather, a large and diverse family of views involving quite different interpretations of the key metaphorical assertion that the world is in God. The panentheism movement as a whole does not present a coherent view. There is one major exception to this vagueness in the concept of panentheism, and that is the interpretation found in the process philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead and Charles Hartshorne. The discussion also considers divine immanence, classical theism, soul–body metaphor, soteriological and eschatological panentheism, the problem of evil, divine action, theology and science, and the influence of the current romantic movement.

Keywords: panentheism; God; process panentheism; Alfred North Whitehead; Charles Hartshorne; romantic movement; divine immanence; classical theism

Article.  5952 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Religion and Science ; Philosophy of Religion

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