"The Not-Yet God" by Ilia Delio
A Reflection and Review by Jay McDaniel
I am a Christian deeply involved in interfaith communities. I look for books that Jews, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, and others might explore together as springboards for thought and conduits for friendship. "The Not-Yet God" by Ilia Delio is such a book. I am also a member of an adult Sunday School class in a local Methodist Church. I am on the lookout for books that might be helpful for my Sunday School class. Here, too, "The Not-Yet God" is such a book.
Let me explain. On the one hand, with its emphasis on Christian theologians and teachings, "The Not-Yet God" is relevant to Christians with its novel understanding of Christ and the birth of Christ in the human heart. It offers new ways of thinking about Christ, God, Church, and Christian spirituality.
On the other hand, with its focus on a religion of tomorrow that understands God as the sacred Whole of the universe and spirituality as respect and care for the planet, "The Not-Yet God" is relevant to people of all faiths. She speaks of a church of the planet, but she could as easily have said a sangha of the planet, or an umma of the planet, or a temple of the planet. Her hope, and mine as well, is that people of many faiths, and people without any faith, might find some of the ideas she proposes important, helpful, and inspiring.
I am also a process theologian, as is she, although she is much more influential and talented than I. I am chair of the Board of Directors of the Center for Process Studies, on the advisory board of Process and Faith, and active in the Cobb Institute for Process and Practice - all of which seek to introduce process ways of thinking to the general public. I am always on the lookout for books that I might share with people in study groups who want to learn about the process tradition. "The Not-Yet God" is such a book.
Delio is a unique kind of process thinker: weaving together insights from Teilhard de Chardin, Whitehead, Hartshorne, Carl Jung, David Bohm, Marshall McLuhan, Cynthia Bourgeault, and many others. The subjects she addresses, too, are unique, especially computer technology and artificial intelligence. She is one of the very few who have developed theologically sensitive and appreciative approaches to AI as a potential partner in helping bring about a better world. As part of the process family, she is among our pioneers in charting new ground - a very Whiteheadian and Teilhardian thing to do.
I offer below two pieces that may also be relevant to such groups: a short essay called "Process and Christogenesis" and a review of "The Not-Yet God."
This is not the first time I've written on her remarkable work. You might also be interested in:
- To Love More Radically: Ilia Delio, John Cobb, Teilhard, Whitehead, Buddhism, and Generative AI
- God is the Whole of every whole: Teilhard de Chardin, Ilia Delio, and Process Theology
- Omega Now: The Ongoing Eschatological Resurrection of all Things in the Divine Life
- Jay McDaniel