This paper presents a comparative study of two philosophical trends. Therefore, it has been organized in two parts: process theology and Sadrian Transcendent Philosophy. Process theology appeared in the 20th century as one of the developmental thought processes followed More
This paper presents a comparative study of two philosophical trends. Therefore, it has been organized in two parts: process theology and Sadrian Transcendent Philosophy. Process theology appeared in the 20th century as one of the developmental thought processes followed by philosophers in the field of religion. Given all the arguments and conflicts existing in the Middle Ages and Modernity’s atheism, its followers sought to present a new version of theology in which various notions such as God, His pre-eternity, His Power, the existence of evil in the world, the relationship between God and the world of being, and the relationship between the changing world and God are revisited. This new school, which was established by Alfred North Whitehead and expanded by Charles Hartshorne and David Ray Griffin, is presently studied in western academic centers as one of the prevalent theological and religious schools. In general, this school has made two contributions to the field of philosophy: 1) presenting a new version of theology, the conformity of which with holy texts is questionable; 2) presenting a new form of ontology and the quality of God’s relationship with the world.
The Transcendent Philosophy was initially founded by Mulla Sadra and developed at three stages: the Avicennan stage of the understanding of existence, gradation of existence, and the individual unity of existence. Although Mulla Sadra has not distinguished these three stages from each other in his magnum opus, al-Asfar, the evolution of his ideas in his various treatises attest to this developmental process. Through discovering the principiality of existence, he proceeded to generalize his understanding of existence from the level of concept to the level of referent. Finally, he presented a new model of God’s relationship with the world of being, which can be practically explored based on the development of his philosophical thoughts. This new approach to the concept of existence affected most theological concepts in the field of religion and prompted him to provide a new version of theology. The writer believes that, unlike Mulla Sadra’s system of individual unity, which is in the process of change, his gradational system is a relatively complete one. It is noteworthy that there is a relative conformity between the fundamental principles of the graded unity of existence and those of the Christian process theology. Of course, as explained in the paper, the Sadrian school is much more efficient and accurate than process theology in understanding religious and comparative teachings. Therefore, in addition to posing the discussion of process theology and its new achievements concerning religious concepts, the present paper compares this school with Mulla Sadra’s system of gradational wisdom and explores it strengths and weaknesses.