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Process and Secular Theology Essay

Religion can be defined as a way of life, or a set of practices which include both ritual as well as ethical behavior on the part of human beings, towards the supreme power or eternal power whom we call as the God. This essay illustrates the importance of theology, its nature, types and the views of various theologians like Bonhoeffer mainly on secular type of theology. This paper depicts a relationship between the secular theology and process theology which in turn shows the validity about the nature and existence of God.

Theology is a science that studies God in its entirety. It attempts to understand the greatest creation of God, particularly the human beings and the faith, love, and awe which human beings have towards the supreme power – The God. The science of theology is systematic and has its roots in the Bible, having its main source from the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. It uses the tools and methods of Christianity as a method of research. Theology also teaches about the ethics of Christian religion, preaching Christian education, church history and evangelism.

Coming to the main point on the views of theologians, people like Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Paul Tillich are well known for their contributions towards the understanding of theology, its various aspects and its relationship with other types of theological interpretations, such as the relationship between process theology and secular theology. Tillich had a lot of influence upon Bonhoeffer in areas such as church, theology in revelation and culture. Bonhoeffer at first thought revelation to be a dialectical one, such that it was also affected by the thoughts from Paul Tillich. Later, Bonhoeffer argues opposite to understandings in revelation propounded by Tillich. Bonhoeffer also argues, revelations make vivid distinctions among theological and philosophical anthropology. The opinion of Bonhoeffer shows that the revelations in theological type of anthropology support human are life to be guidance by grace and guilt. By contrast, philosophical anthropology, cannot adopt these points of view about existence of human but at the same time need to understand the existence as a form of unconditional type of threat against need of humanity. As per Tillich’s idea, religion would be a purer state of being and is always in the process of being grasped by some unconditioned facts. In his philosophy about religion Tillich describes elaborately about the faith and spirit of Human, and propound that faith would be unconditional and state of being concerned ultimately.


Process theologies refers to a family of theological ideas with origin from meta-physical orientation and are inspired by such orientation of the philosopher and mathematics expert Whitehead and American philosopher Hartshorne. The process theology agrees with the fact of God being immutable, eternal as well as impassible in nature, also the same do contradict with classical views by claiming the fact of God being somewhat mutable, temporal and also passible buy nature. But according to Tillich's theology, God's revelations to own creatures must be correlated with condition under which the creatures posses their being, that is, the condition of existence.  Process theologists are of the opinion that, God is the supreme power but he cannot dominate over a person’s freedom or liberty, nor he can do any magic so that laws of nature are not violated nor God can perform physical actions such as causing or halting a natural calamity like halting a flood. To this concept critics have argued that this make God not worshipful. Process theology is similar to that of neo-theism. According to the neo-theists God has the power which is finite and his conditional knowlege of the free creatures (finitism) does not allow him to destroy the evil.

Secular theology on the other hand is more similar to the theological movement known as neo-orthodoxy. Human life is constantly changing and this transformation in human life has occurred with the development of modern science and technology, with the advancement of science and technology the belief in God the supreme power is diminishing day by day. For example, in the past, bearing a child in a mother’s womb was considered as God’s grace, but now we are producing testable babies. Scientific advancement has made human being capable of dealing with own problems. In secular theology there is a movement in which God is considered as dead. Blitzer opines that once Jesus was crucified, the divinity ceased and he became a common man. According to Bonheoffer God always wanted his persons be as independent and hence he gradually left certain things to be done by man. But that did not mean that God did not exist at all. 



Shiner, Larry (1976). ‘The Concept of Secularization in Empirical Research’, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 6, no. 2, pp. 207-220.

Du Toit, & Cornel W. (2006). ‘Secular spirituality versus secular dualism : towards postsecular holism as model for a natural theology’, HTS : Theological Studies, vol. 62, no.4,, pp.1251-1268

Hamilton, W. A (1962). ‘Secular Theology for a World Come of Age’, Theology Today, 18, pp. 435-459

Tillich Paul, (1947). ‘The Problem of Theological Method: II’, The Journal of Religion, vol. 27, no. 1, pp. 16-26

Keightley David N. (1978). ‘The Religious Commitment: Shang Theology and the Genesis of Chinese Political Culture’, History of Religions, vol. 17, no. 3/4, pp. 211-225

Berger, Peter L. (1967). ‘A Sociological View of the Secularization of Theology’, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 3-16.

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