The immutable God as UR-Qr and the problem of evil: Reinterpreting the Thomistic and process-relational models of theodicy in terms of eschatological theo-en-pantism

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Philosophy

Subject Categories



College of Liberal Arts



Thesis Adviser

Rolando Gripaldo

Defense Panel Chair

Claro Ceniza

Defense Panel Member

Moises Andrade
Daniel Kroger, OFM
Brian Douglas Elwood
Basilio Balajadia


This dissertation proposes a response as to how an immutable God could be related to a world which happens to be full of evil and suffering.In this study, the researcher formulates a different kind of theodicy that will above all involve the reinterpretation of Thomistic (Aquinas) and Process-Relational (Whitehead and Hartshorne) models of theodicy in accordance with the framework of Van der Veken's eschatological theo-en-pantism.Taking into account the result of the critical evaluations of Aquinas's, Whitehead's, and Hartshorne's models of theodicy, i.e., the need to retain the transcendence of God and while at the same time showing His real and mutual relationship with the world, by reinterpreting these models within the framework of eschatological theo-en-pantism, has given us conceptuality of an immutable and transcendent God who is very much involved in the world as its Ultimate Reality - Religious Qualification (UR-Qr). This means then that the transcendent and immutable God is not to be totally identified with the world since God is not yet all in all, but only as its religious qualification. Within the framework of eschatological theo-en-pantism therefore, the transcendent cycle of God (God as not yet) corresponds to Aquinas's Ipsum Esse Subsistens (the immutable God's immanent motions), Whitehead's primordial nature, Hartshorne's abstract aspect, while the inner cycle of creation (God as already in) corresponds this time to Aquinas's operation of God as outside of Himself (transient motions), Whitehead's consequent nature, and Hartshorne's concrete aspect. Reinterpreting these theodician models in this manner, thereby shows that there are genuinely reciprocal relations between God and the world. In this sense, it could even be said that the immutable God is intrinsically, though freely constituted by His relation with the world.

In response to the main problem, therefore, the researcher contends that God is an immutable God, i.e., He is transcendent--since God is not yet all in all in the world or even in the whole of the universe. The reason for this, as explained, id quo majus cogitari nequit (IQM), or as it was designated IQM(UR), characterized by Creativity is not good enough to be a God. Nonetheless, as the world's religious qualification, God is also said to be already in the world. As part of IQM(UR) which is all-inclusive, God is not said to be outside IQM(UR). In view of the problem of evil, God, therefore, remains to be immutable and transcendent--not viewed in terms of classical theism's doctrine of divine immutability or even perhaps in an Aristotelian sense--but as a transcendent being who assures the freedom of all His creatures and whose love is unchangeable and thus capable of alleviating man's suffering as the world's UR-Qr.The researcher believes that his work is a significant contribution to neo-Thomism, in the sense of Process Thomism, where God--albeit transcendent and immutable--as the religious qualification of the world, is in the process of completely purifying the latter's imperfections. God, who is already in the world, will ultimately be all in all in the world. The author believes he has succeeded in clarifying Van der Veken's position and in demonstrating that it is the best position so far, over those of Aquinas, Whitehead, and Hartshorne, with respect to God's immutability and His relation to the existence of evil in the world.

Abstract Format






Accession Number


Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F Henry Sy Sr. Hall

Physical Description

343 leaves ; Computer print-out


God; Good and evil; Thomists; Theodicy; Realized eschatology; Philosophers

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