The Shadow of the Cathedral : On a Systematic Exposition of Mormon Theology
Element : A Journal of Mormon Philosophy and Theology
The Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology
In this paper I will consider what it means for a theology to be systematic, outlining why some Mormon thinkers consider this approach to Mormon theology to be both practically and ethically inappropriate. I will then turn to defenses of systematic theology utilizing the philosophies of Alfred North Whitehead and Friedrich Schleiermacher to present the idea of an "open system." An open system retains the basic infrastructure of a systematized exposition of theology but is structured to allow creative novelty to continually reshape and redefine the system. Hence, the system is as much eventive as it is systematic. Finally, I will compare open systems that allow for novelty with the Mormon idea of continuing revelation, which allows for the divine will to directly inform and guide Mormon thought and practice.