Rebalancing the Poles in Mark C. Taylor’s (A)Theology.

UNCP Author/Contributor (non-UNCP co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Dr. David H. Nikkel, Professor of Religion & Department Chair (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke (UNCP )
Web Site:

Abstract: Mark C. Taylor’s After God offers resources for constructive theology, or (a)theology, asit develops an ontology of complexity. Taylor posits two poles pertaining to self-organizingwholes: (1) that of the formation of structures and (2) that of destabilizing ordisrupting structures. While Taylor prioritizes the destabilizing pole, this article arguesthat this preference is misguided and offers a corrective intended to yield a more viabletheology of complexity. It makes its case in terms of both theology/metaphysics andnatural science. It concludes that when it comes to God or the divine, an equal valorizationof the structuring and destabilizing poles commends itself, while in the case offinite creation, our experience of reality supports a priority to the structuring pole.Attendant to this second conclusion, Taylor’s position results in too close an entailmentof the human with the divine. Finally, this article argues that Taylor’s emphasis on thedestructuring pole discourages the most effective means to confront our contemporarysituation ‘‘far from equilibrium,’’ a situation so well depicted by Taylor, namely, throughreforming Christianity and other world religious traditions.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2013
Taylor, Mark C., chaos, complexity, destabilizing pole, dipolarity, dualism, God, the divine, monism, possibility, self-organization

Email this document to