Theology differs from philosophical or scientific inquiry in general by being concerned about man in relationship to God. The existentialist says with distressing simplicity that "existence precedes essence" and hence he concerns himself with man in his concrete situation rather than with the abstract idea of man. We have also seen that Protestant theologians have for the most part abandoned the scholastic urge to circumscribe experience in a logical system. In fact, we see nowadays almost a systematic effort to avoid constructing self-contained schematizations. There is in contemporary Protestant theology a general protest against the rigidity seemingly required by the urge to have the package of truth completely wrapped and tied tightly for fast and easy distribution. Recently the cogency of theology is judged by its open-endedness, its unwillingness to engage in subtle question begging for the sake of a tenuous intellectual security. It can be maintained that this kind of doubt or hesitation has itself, to a large extent, created the problem of meaning. [excerpt]
An excerpt from Hartshorne's book, Reality As Social Process: Studies in Metaphysics and Religion, has been removed due to copyright restrictions. Parts of this same edition of his book are available here.
This is the publisher's version of the work. This publication appears in Gettysburg College's institutional repository by permission of the copyright owner for personal use, not for redistribution.
Bloom, Robert L. et al. "7. Charles Hartshorne. Pt. XXIII: Theological Meaning." Ideas and Institutions of Western Man (Gettysburg College, 1958), 35-38.