Volume 48, Issue 1, Spring/Summer 2019
A New Process-Oriented Approach to Theodicy
In God of Empowering Love: A History and Reconception of the Theodicy Conundrum, David Polk proposes that the power of God should be understood as love that empowers rather than overpowers and that the process-relational metaphysics of Whitehead, Hartshorne, and subsequent Whiteheadian thinkers justifies this conception of God’s power as empowering love. I argue instead that, while Polk’s thesis cannot, strictly speaking, be philosophically justified within the conventional parameters of Whitehead’s metaphysical scheme, the latter could be modestly altered so as to justify divine power as empowering love. In what follows, I lay out my argument for a systems-oriented approach to the God-world relationship in which God as Trinity is both the transcendent origin and ultimate goal of the cosmic process (understood as an ongoing structured society of finite subsocieties and nexuses).