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God, Process, and Politics

September 15–16, 2017
Naperville, Illinois

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 string theory, quantum leaps, and relativity. 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?

Photo of Karen Bray

Karen Bray (Ph.D., Drew University) is an Assistant Professor of Religion and Philosophy at Wesleyan College and a candidate for Unitarian Universalist minister. She is interested in how secular institutions and cultures behave theologically. Her work has been published in various academic journals

Photo of Hollis Phelps

Hollis Phelps (Ph.D., Claremont Graduate University) is Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at Mercer University. He is the author of Alain Badiou: Between Theology and Anti-Theology and co-editor of Beyond Superlatives: Regenerating Whitehead’s Philosophy of Experience and Religion and European Philosophy.

Program Details

Process and the Bible

Orthodox Christian theology consistently affirms that God creates the world out of nothing, thus making the world subordinate to an all-powerful and otherworldly God. Process theology conceives of God as intimately related to the world. God evolves with creation as it emerges out of the boundless depths of chaos. How might the paradigm of process theology change our understandings of God, each other, and the world?
(Bray & Phelps)
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?
(Bray & Phelps)
Saturday, 1:30–2:30 pm

Q and A with Karen and Hollis

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


DuPage Unitarian Universalist Church

Local Contact and Information

All events at:

DuPage Unitarian Universalist Church
1828 Old Naperville Road
Naperville, IL 60563

For local information, contact:

Reverend Tom Capo


All Sessions

  • Individual Rate $75
  • Pre-registration Rate (by September 1st) $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.