Process Theology or Process Yoga? Part 2 of 3

Process Theology or Process Yoga? Part 2 of 3


by Darren Iammarino

Point 2 (Too Academic): My primary concern with this second article is to suggest possibilities for moving process thought forward. This brings us to point number 2; for a listing of the four points, please refer to the previous blog post in this series: Process Theology or Process Yoga Part 1. The obvious move to make process thought less “academic sounding” would be to simplify and cut out all jargon. This, however, would be a major mistake and would crush the beauty of what thinkers like Whitehead and Hartshorne have accomplished. Instead, I propose an initial exposure to the most intriguing and fascinating aspects of process theory and then immediate examples of how theory can be utilized and put into action, as this very website espouses…a lived spirituality.

Whitehead himself proposes a rather Hegelian understanding of what he calls the rhythm of education, which has three components: romance, precision, and generalization. Following Whitehead, I think the most radical aspects of process thought serve to evoke wonder or romance, as he would say. People can make first contact with these concepts through a mixed media format. Textbooks and primary source material from Whitehead and Hartshorne have both failed to find a popular audience, and this was during an era when books were the only real option for disseminating the ideas. Things are different now.

Process ideas can and should be made accessible via the formats that the younger generation actually enjoys using.

  • Instagram
  • Youtube
  • Netflix
  • Podcasts/Pandora

There ought to be a main instagram account that pumps out daily picture quotes or quote graphics from relevant process thinkers with recognizable branded backgrounds on each graphic. There also should be images, graphs, and short videos on the instagram account that are relevant to process ideas along with a few well- entrenched hashtags.

As far as Youtube is concerned, the obvious point here would be a unique channel with longer instructional videos that are actually interesting and tied into current events. Getting content onto Netflix from the Whitehead Film Festival would be helpful, but in reality a short 10 episode series with a good budget behind it could be the easiest and quickest way to gain wide exposure to a new generation.

Lastly, podcasts matter because they can be produced quickly, are free and almost every millennial has earbuds in for a good portion of the day. By changing the medium process concepts automatically become less academic and cerebral in people’s minds even if the content is pulled straight from primary source material. Youtube videos and podcasts are a more compelling way to achieve a “precision” or depth of the material.

The Center for Process Studies has already begun to incorporate some of these ideas, but they cannot do it alone. It is up to all of us to “generalize” and help bring about this rebranding of process thought. We can repackage and reeducate the older generation on how to teach the material, as well as introduce a new generation to the truly groundbreaking concepts found within process-relational thought. I will address points 3 and 4 in Process Yoga Part 3The Christianity Conundrumcoming soon!

For more ideas on how to put process ideas into action check out Darren’s book Religion and Reality available via the following link: http://www.amazon.com/Religion-Reality-Exploration-Contemporary-Metaphysical-ebook/dp/B00FARXAO6/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1448348364&sr=1-3&keywords=darren+iammarino

2 Comments

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  1. Jay McDaniel

    I appreciate your desire to render process thought relevant to a younger generation. Patricia Adams Farmer and I have found the Fat Soul Manifesto especially engaging: toward this end; and I’ve had some very good luck in my own website — Jesus, Jazz, and Buddhism — with reaching out, among others, to musicians and music writers (Ann Powers, NPR columnists). For Fat Soul Manifesto, see http://www.fatsoul.org/. And for reaching out to musicians, see, for example, this piece on Sufjan Stevens: http://www.jesusjazzbuddhism.org/spirit-of-my-silence-sufjan-stevens-ann-powers-alfred-north-whitehead.html. We then share on Facebook (I know that’s a bit old fashioned) and have several pretty lively Facebook groups, including the Fat Soul Cafe: https://www.facebook.com/groups/719234491514930/. Still we need poccasts and digital stories. The one at the bottom of this page provides an example: http://www.jesusjazzbuddhism.org/fat-soul-international-a-manifesto.html. For my part, I think we need fresh metaphors (e.g.fat soul) and lots and lots of multi-faith. Looking forward to your next post on that, Darren. Thanks for all that you are doing.

    • Darren Iammarino

      Jay, I checked out your website and the Fat Soul Manifesto. I, not surprisingly, agree with the majority of what was written in the manifesto. I agree with your suggestion for more fresh metaphors and of course, with your suggestion for lots of multi-faith. I also liked your suggestion elsewhere about the usefulness of mindfulness language to reach out to millennials etc. You may want to check out my most recent post that was uploaded to the site today, December 28th. The ideas I put forth in the post come from my personal experience starting and acting as faculty advisor for a religious explorations group at SDSU. I have spent the better part of seven years compiling a list of various religious practices drawn from all the traditions that seem to work for people in the 21st century. I would be happy to share the various insights I have gained from the club, as well as my own personal spiritual practices over the years, as well as hear more about what you and others are up to within the community. As far as the academic side of things is concerned, I am with AAR and the open and relational theologies group, so that keeps me somewhat in the loop.

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