Process Thought, Hildegard Of Bingen And Theological Tradition
By Constant J. Mews
Concrescence, Vol. 1 (2000)
Introduction: Like any intellectual movement worth its salt, process thought has generated its own search for ancestors. Charles Hartshorne once suggested that its earliest progenitor might be Pharaoh Ikhenaton (1370 BCE) whose hymns speak of God `fashioning himself’ through creation. Yet while Hartshorne considered that Wordsworth `anticipated one aspect of the kind of religious metaphysics I believe in’, he considered that technical philosophy had only begun to develop such arguments over the last hundred years. In general, Hartshorne was critical of classical monotheist belief, at least as it developed in the medieval period. He once commented: `Medieval anti-process theology may eventually be seen as but an interlude, a detour from which religious thought has happily returned to the main highway.’ An attentive critic of the philosophical arguments raised by St. Anselm and St. Thomas, Hartshorne leaves the general impression that medieval theology was excessively tied to static notions of `supreme being’ rather than more to dynamic ideas of `continuous becoming’.