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God, Process, and Politics

Sept. 20-21, 2019

Elizabethton, TN

Western thought and political actions once rested on a three-tiered universe: God above, humans on earth, and spirits in the underworld. That universe has been replaced with advancing science, fractured and contested politics, and religious confusion and conflict. We need new language about God consistent with our universe. We need to reconsider how God is used in political discourse. Can process theology help this discussion?

Karen Bray (Ph.D., Drew University) is an Assistant Professor of Religion and Philosophy at Wesleyan College. She received her M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School in 2010 and her Ph.D. in Theological and Philosophical Studies in Religion from Drew University in 2016. Her research areas include continental philosophy of religion; feminist, critical disability, critical race, queer, political, and decolonial theories and theologies; and secularism and the postsecular. She is particularly interested in exploring how secular institutions and cultures behave theologically. Bray's work has been published in journals such as The American Journal of Theology and PhilosophyThe Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory, and Palgrave Communications and in volumes published by Fordham University Press and Palgrave Macmillan. Dr. Bray is also a candidate for ordination with the Unitarian Universalist Association.

Dr. Jordan E. Miller (Ph.D., Salve Regina University) is an interdisciplinary teacher and scholar who specializes in religion, social movements, and political resistance. He has a Ph.D. in humanities from Salve Regina University in Rhode Island and an M.A. in philosophy of religion from Boston University. Dr. Miller has been Stonehill Fellow in Religious Studies at Stonehill College (MA) and Visiting Assistant Professor of religion at Wheaton College (MA). He has taught in the undergraduate religious and theological studies department and the graduate department of humanities at Salve Regina University (RI), and the philosophy, religion, and American studies departments at Lebanon Valley College (PA). Both his work and teaching are interdisciplinary and intersect with religion, philosophy, and social movements.

Program Details

Political Theology 
Political theology gives us a new language for discussing religion and politics without resorting to simple oppositions that emphasizes how power and authority operate.

Friday evening, 7:30–9 pm

Process and Politics, I

The all-powerful God of classical theology is often used to support political ideologies of power, nationalism, and violence. In process theology, God does not hold power over the world but develops with the world. In process thought, human beings share responsibility with God for the shape of society and the future of life on earth.

Saturday, 9:30–10:30 am

Process and Politics, II

In a world that is interconnected and constantly in flux, process theology offers new models for thinking about justice, economics, and the environment. It moves political discussions away from individual concerns toward holistic models of human relationships and society. How might theology impact politics when it lets go of outmoded understandings of God?

Saturday, 11 am – noon

Process Theology and Our Current Situation

In this era of increasing political polarization, process theology both challenges and is challenged by the current realities of right-wing racism, xenophobia, nationalism, and "fake news". How might process theology us think through viable and ecologically sound alternatives for the future?

Saturday, 1:30–2:30 pm

Q and A

Both presenters will share brief concluding comments followed by Q & A.
Saturday, 3–4 pm


First Presbyterian Church, Elizabethton, TN

Local Contact and Information

All events at:

First Presbyterian Church, Elizabethton, TN

119 West F St.
Elizabethton, TN 37643
(423) 543-7737

For local information, contact:

Rev. Dr. Brian Wyatt
[email protected]

Discounted Hotel booking available here at Hampton Inn in Johnson City TN for a rate of $139 / night with code JSOR. (Discount expires August 23, 2019)

Download directions from hotel to church: FPC Directions


All Sessions

  • Individual Rate $75
  • Pre-registration Rate (by Sept 6) $60
  • Additional Family Members $50

Single Sessions

  • Friday Evening Lecture $20
  • Saturday Morning Workshop $30
  • Saturday Afternoon Workshop $30

Refunds are available until two weeks before the event if requested in writing, minus a $10 administrative fee. No refunds will be given after that date.