Anton Vladimirovich Tihomirov Doctor in theology, Theological seminary of the Evangelical-Lutheran hurch (derevnya Novosaratovka, 140, Leningradskaya oblast’, Russia, 193149)
Tihomirov A. V. Oscillations of love. Relationship of Law and Gospel in the context of the theology of the process (on the example of the theology of Katherine Keller), Religiya. Tserkov’. Obshchestvo. Issledovaniya i publikatsii po teologii i religii [Religion. Church. Society: Research and publications in the field of theology and religious studies], Saint-Petersburg, 2018, vol. 7, pp. 18–43.
The author examines the basic principles of the modern theology of the process inspired by the philosophy of the process of Alfred Whitehead. It is studied on the example of theology of a prominent representative of this trend, our contemporary Katherine Keller. In process theology, the world and God are understood as being in constant interaction that finally remains open. It openly denies the omnipotence of God. In relations with the world, He can act as a suffering and receiving power. The main focus of Keller’s analysis of creativity is the consideration of the dialectic of Eros, as the inspiring and impelling power of God, and Agape, as God’s saving mercy. At the same time, the author analyzes this pair of concepts in the context of the relationship between Law and Gospel in classical Lutheran theology. The author shows that, although some representatives of the theology of the process understand the relationship of Eros and Agape as a reflection of Luther’s distinction between Law and Gospel, it is still difficult to find a direct correspondence between these pairs of concepts. In Luther’s understanding, Law is opposed to Gospel, while Eros and Agape in the theology of the process complement each other and strive to complete fusion. It is noted, however, that Keller does not openly refer to Luther and does not argue with him, focusing her criticism on the teachings of Jean Calvin. Nevertheless, the author emphasizes that the ideas developed in the framework of the theology of the process can have a consoling character in the face of questions and doubts of a modern man, i.e. under certain conditions, to fulfill a purpose similar to the aime of the Martin Luther’s distinction between Law and Gospel.