"Autobiographies of great nations are written in three manuscripts – a book of deeds, a book of words, and a book of art.
Of the three, I would choose the latter as truest testimony." - Sir Kenneth Smith, Great Civilisations

"I must write each day without fail, not so much for the success of the work, as in order not to get out of my routine." - Leo Tolstoy

I have never believed that one should wait until one is inspired because I think the pleasures of not writing are so
great that if you ever start indulging them you will never write again. - John Updike

"The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another; and his humblest hour
is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it." - J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

R.E. Slater - The Becoming of God

The Becoming of God
by R.E. Slater

Winter's long spell finally has broken
slumbering woods shed snowy coats
in trailing wispy billows blizzard-like
upon the frozen ground below and below.

My spirit too, in this way, is casting off
any remaining tendrils of frozen clutter
stopping life from imagining wonder,
hope, or care, in a world dead to wonder.

Dead things in a live world becoming undead
under the warmth of God's radiating Spirit
undoing both church and world's long history
of politics and war upon the spirits of men.

Languishing for a word of awe, of curiosity,
of the Divine nurturing life into a lost world,
lost in unbecoming dark thoughts, habits, and acts,
lost as a race of nonbeings in an evolving universe.

Rather than nouthetic beings embracing both
world and Spirit together as one, not two,
integral and integrating, unlives made separate
by church misapplying religion for gospel.

A gospel of oneness in Christ, oneness in God,
oneness in Spirit divine to a living cosmos
becoming all in one and one in all,
reminders that winter's hold can break.

Must break if world without end can be
imagined again, hoped again, breathed again,
as in Eden of old - before there was man,
before there was death, before, before, life everlasting.

R.E. Slater
March 5, 2019
May 24, 2020

@copyright R.E. Slater Publications
all rights reserved

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Ecotheology is a form of constructive theology that focuses on the interrelationships of religion and nature, particularly in the light of environmental concerns. Ecotheology generally starts from the premise that a relationship exists between human religious/spiritual worldviews and the degradation of nature. It explores the interaction between ecological values, such as sustainability, and the human domination of nature. The movement has produced numerous religious-environmental projects around the world.
The burgeoning awareness of environmental crisis has led to widespread religious reflection on the human relationship with the earth. Such reflection has strong precedents in most religious traditions in the realms of ethics and cosmology, and can be seen as a subset or corollary to the theology of nature.
It is important to keep in mind that ecotheology explores not only the relationship between religion and nature in terms of degradation of nature, but also in terms of ecosystem management in general. Specifically, ecotheology seeks not only to identify prominent issues within the relationship between nature and religion, but also to outline potential solutions. This is of particular importance because many supporters and contributors of ecotheology argue that science and education are simply not enough to inspire the change necessary in our current environmental crisis.

Image result for ecotheology and process   ECO-THEOLOGY, CLIMATE JUSTICE AND FOOD SECURITY   Introducing Evangelical Ecotheology: Brunner, Daniel ...

Ecotheology and the Role of the Church - Pittsburgh Theological ...

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Missing Bland Crowder - Open Horizons

Missing Bland Crowder

Why Sustainability Needs Poetry

I can never hear the word “sustainability” without also hearing the word “sustenance." That’s because about fifteen years ago an English professor at Hendrix College, Ashby Bland Crowder, taught me to hear the word that way. 

Bland was in a working group of faculty interested in what we called SAGE: “the sustainability and global education initiative.” We were sitting in what was then called the Raney Building. There were about twelve of us. Many who were present were from the natural and social sciences, and they naturally thought of sustainability in terms of resource management and responsible public policies. Sustainability was about what we “do” with “the environment,” as if the environment was something outside us, consisting of all that was not human: land and water and plants and animals and atmosphere.

Isn't Sustainability Connected with Sustenance?

Bland was himself an environmentalist in the sense my science friends would understand and appreciate. He was very much concerned with protecting the more-than-human world, and that’s one reason why, when he died, donations were to go to the Environmental Defense Fund. (You can read about him here.) But Bland also knew that sharp divisions between “the environment” and “human life” missed something very important. We humans are within, not apart from, the larger web of life; we are creatures among creatures on a small but beautiful planet. And he knew that truly sustainable societies need people whose minds and hearts are sustainable, too. 

In our gathering that day he casually asked: “But isn’t sustainability connected with the word sustenance, and don’t we need sustenance, too.” He wasn’t talking about physical sustenance alone; he was talking about moral and spiritual sustenance: kindness, awe, wonder, play, imagination, hope, honesty, compassion, care, a love of life. And of course he was right. In our meeting we were forgetting the human and cultural side of sustainability. With his simple question, he opened our minds toward a wider, gentler, more inclusive way of thinking. A more sustainable way of thinking.

You Need to Shift into Second Gear

Bland was a scholar of poetry. He loved language and words. I was a new father at the time, and I found that I didn’t have the time to read novels, so, a former English major myself, I started to read poetry because (so I thought) it would take less time. But I felt that I wasn’t reading it rightly. I was too intent on finding “meanings” quickly. So I asked Bland if he could advise me on how to read poetry.

He said something very simple: “You need to shift from third gear to second gear. No need to hurry. Let your reading be relaxed and thoughtful.” In a way, Bland was telling me something a little more about the “sustenance” needed in a sustainable society. Such a society needs people who are less compulsive, less hurried, not always on the way toward a happiness that never quite arrives. It needs people who find wisdom in patience, in listening, in the wisdom of what is slow and beautiful.
These two lessons from Bland have been with ever since: “Sustainability includes sustenance” and “In order to read poetry you need to shift into second gear.” As I consider his recent departure, I miss my teacher, but I carry with me these lessons and many others: his presence, his easy laugh, his slow gait, his smile.

by Jay McDaniel
March 2, 2019

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Amazon Link

How should we believe in God today? If we look beyond our little lives to the vast cosmos, we may even ask: Why all that? And even if we spiritually feel the universe: Why believe any religion? After all, there are many; and haven't they contributed to the predicament of humanity? Process theology gives provocative answers to these questions: how we are bound by the organic cycles of this world, but how in this web of life God shines even in the last, least, and forgotten event as the Eros of its becoming and as its mirror of greatness; why anything exists: because it is from beauty, for harmony and intensity, and through a consciousness of peace rising from our deepest intuitions of existence. We can change: not only in our thoughts and lives, but even in the way we experience this world. This book introduces such a new way of experiencing, thinking, and living. Based on the fascinating work on cosmology, religion, and civilization of Alfred North Whitehead, this book develops the main theses of process theology and elucidates it as a theopoetics of mutual care for the unexpected, the excluded, the forgotten, and a future society of peace. - Roland Faber, Professor of Process Studies at Claremont School of Theology and Professor of Religion and Philosophy at Claremont Graduate University.


*Faber has been influential in the ongoing development of process philosophy and theology through organizing annual conferences since 2007 in Claremont. His own research focuses on constructive and deconstructive theology, postmodern and process philosophy, poststructuralism and mysticism, theopoetics and eco-process theology and interreligious studies (particularly transreligious discourse). He announced joining the Bahá'í Faith in 2014.

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What is TheoPoetics?

Theopoetics is an interdisciplinary field of study that combines elements of poetic analysis, process theology, narrative theology, and postmodern philosophy. Originally developed by Stanley Hopper and David Leroy Miller in the 1960s and furthered significantly by Amos Wilder with his 1976 text, Theopoetic: Theology and the Religious Imagination. In recent times there has been a revitalized interest with new work being done by L. Callid Keefe-Perry, Rubem Alves, Catherine Keller, John Caputo, Peter Rollins, Scott Holland, Melanie May, Matt Guynn, Roland Faber, and others.


Theopoetics suggests that instead of trying to develop a "scientific" theory of God, as Systematic Theology attempts, theologians should instead try to find God through poetic articulations of their lived ("embodied") experiences. It asks theologians to accept reality as a legitimate source of divine revelation and suggests that both the divine and the real are mysterious — that is, irreducible to literalist dogmas or scientific proofs.

Theopoetics makes significant use of "radical" and "ontological" metaphor to create a more fluid and less stringent referent for the divine. One of the functions of theopoetics is to recalibrate theological perspectives, suggesting that theology can be more akin to poetry than physics. It belies the logical assertion of the Principle of Bivalence and stands in contrast to some rigid Biblical hermeneutics that suggest that each passage of scripture has only one, usually teleological, interpretation. The dismissal of the aesthetic as a living part of language has turned the academic enterprise of biblical studies and theology into a language more at home with lawyers than poets. Theopoetics is the art of using words and thoughts that speak to the reader in an aesthetic and existential way to inspire spirituality in the reader.
Whereas those who utilize a strict, historical-grammatical approach believe scripture and theology possess inerrant factual meaning and pay attention to historicity, a theopoetic approach takes an allegorical position on faith statements that can be continuously reinterpreted. Theopoetics suggest that just as a poem can take on new meaning depending on the context in which the reader interprets it, texts and experiences of the Divine can and should take on new meaning depending on the changing situation of the individual.

Notable publications


  • Ricoeur, Paul (1976), Interpretation Theory: Discourse and the Surplus of Meaning, Fort Worth: Texas Christian Press, ISBN 0-912646-59-4.
  • Wilder, Amos Niven (1976), Theopoetic: Theology and the Religious Imagination, Philadelphia: Fortress, ISBN 0-7880-9908-6.
  • Alves, Rubem (2002), The Poet The Warrior The Prophet, SCM Press, ISBN 978-0-334-02896-3.
  • Cruz-Villalobos, Luis (2015). Theological Poetry. Foreword by John D. Caputo [1]
  • Hopper, Stanley Romaine; Keiser, R Melvin (1992), Stoneburner, Tony, ed., The Way of Transfiguration: Religious Imagination As Theopoiesis, Westminster John Knox Press, ISBN 0-664-21936-5.
  • Faber, Roland (2003), Gott als Poet der Welt: Anliegen und Perspektiven der Prozesstheologie [God as Poet of the World: Concerns and Perspectives in Process Theology] (in German), Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, ISBN 3-534-15864-4.
  • Miller, David L (2006), Hells and Holy Ghosts: A Theopoetics of Christian Belief, USA: Spring Journal Books, ISBN 1-882670-97-3.
  • Miller, David L (2005), Three Faces of God: Traces of the Trinity in Literature & Life, USA: Spring Journal Books, ISBN 1-882670-94-9.
  • May, Melanie A (1995), A Body Knows: A Theopoetics of Death and Resurrection, Continuum International Publishing, ISBN 0-8264-0849-4
  • Keller, Catherine (2003), The Face of the Deep: A Theology of Becoming, Routledge, ISBN 0-415-25649-6
  • Bronsink, Troy (2013), Drawn In: A Creative Process For Artists, Activists, and Jesus Followers, Paraclete, ISBN 1557258716
  • Harrity, Dave (2013), Making Manifest: On Faith, Creativity, and the Kingdom at Hand, Seedbed, ISBN 1628240229
  • Keefe-Perry, L. Callid (2014), Way to Water: A Theopoetics Primer, Cascade, ISBN 978-1625645203
  • Garner, Phillip Michael (2017), Theopoetics: Spiritual Poetry for Contemplative Theology and Daily Living, Wipf and Stock, ISBN 9781498243742

See also

External links

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