God the Created
Pragmatic Constructive Realism in Philosophy and Theology
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Develops a creative and provocative new model of God that brings together insights from both process theology and ground-of-being theology.
In God the Created, Benjamin Chicka develops a method of inquiry and program for theology that he labels "pragmatic constructive realism." While influenced most heavily by American pragmatism, especially that of Charles S. Peirce, Chicka’s method draws upon a variety of sources, ranging from Plato to Karl Popper, Paul Tillich, and the field of biosemiotics. Chicka presents pragmatic constructive realism as a means of moving past binary debates between realism and antirealism in both philosophy and theology, and its fruitfulness is displayed by examining the philosophical theologies of John Cobb and Robert Cummings Neville. The result of that engagement is a novel hypothesis about God that embraces legitimate criticisms of both process theology (Cobb) and ground-of-being theology (Neville) while integrating insights from both ways of thinking. God's transcendence and immanence, indeterminacy and determinacy are fully affirmed. The entire argument serves as an example of why a fallible and pluralistic form of theology, one that embraces and learns from difference instead of trying to eliminate it, is important for the future of theology.
Benjamin J. Chicka is Lecturer in Philosophy and Religious Studies at Curry College.
"Remarkable in its clarity, forcefulness, and orientation, Chicka's book belongs on the shelf of every person concerned with process thought." - Robert Cummings Neville
"This book goes beyond careful and critical description to creative formulation, and is itself a significant contribution to systematic theology. If, as I believe, the reality and nature of God is a question of great importance not only to members of the Abrahamic tradition but also for the 'spiritual but not religious,' clarifying where that debate stands is a major contribution to our culture." — John Cobb
"God the Created is an exciting and ambitious book, written by an important new voice in philosophical theology. Benjamin Chicka provides an illuminating comparative analysis of two giants in contemporary theology: Robert Cummings Neville and John Cobb. He also introduces a creative and provocative model of God and, even more significantly, puts forward a bold and promising program for the future of theology, which he calls 'pragmatic constructive realism.' Anyone interested in contemporary philosophical theology needs to read this book and grapple with its potent arguments." — Demian Wheeler, author of Religion within the Limits of History Alone: Pragmatic Historicism and the Future of Theology