Embracing Thanatos-in-Eros: Evolutionary Ecology and Panentheism [Book Review]

Sophia 49 (2):271-283 (2010)
If Panentheism’s core thesis, that God is in the world, is to animate a spiritual approach to life, then we have to account for the way in which God is in the destructive or thanative dimensions of life. From the perspective of evolutionary ecology the universe is imbued with creative and destructive energies. The creative drive can be termed eros as creation occurs through the expansion of relational unities, holons. The destructive drive is termed thanatos and is the drive to sever connection. An argument is developed from the perspective of evolutionary ecology to show how thanatos serves eros, serves the evolutionary unfolding of higher orders of communion. I suggest there are healthy and pathological expressions of the thanative drive. God within the thanative invites us to embrace the transformative potentials of suffering by integrating thanatos-in-eros. God as eros invites us to develop expanded modes of connection, inter-subjectivity and communion
Keywords Evolution  Ecology  Eros  Thanatos  Panentheism
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