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Verbum et Ecclesia

On-line version ISSN 1609-9982

Abstract

BUITENDAG, Johan. Panentheism: A functional and inductive endeavour in the dialogue between science and religion. Verbum Eccles. (Online) [online]. 2014, vol.35, n.2, pp. 1-11. ISSN 1609-9982.

Panentheism is an approach that gains more and more popularity in both systematic and practical theology, as well as in philosophy. But what lies at the heart of panentheism? Could panentheism be the key to a valid contemporary understanding of God and creation? This article aims at illuminating the richness of panentheism whilst at the same time exploring whether this construct could enhance the interdisciplinary dialogue. The author of this article departs from the premise that it is the task of systematic theology to understand reality in a collective enterprise, together with other disciplines and even other sciences. A constructive empiricism could, when combined with the notion of social constructionism, lead to an understanding of reality where reality is more than mere idealistically conceived. Truth is therefore to be replaced with a pragmatic but value-laden concept of understanding. Therefore panentheism and both epistemology and ontology have to be reconsidered. It is the opinion of the author that panentheism can enrich both the dialogue between disciplines as well as the interaction between practical and systematic theology. However, panentheism then has to be even more radical and steer clear of the traditional meaning of space and time.

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