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Symbols of Power – Preface

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by Herbert F. Vetter

© Herbert F. Vetter, 2000

Where Is God?

My theological education at the University of Chicago included work with Charles Hartshorne, the notable exemplar of the process oriented philosophy known as panentheism (not pantheism), which is admirably described in the current Encyclopedia Britannica.

Now that I am Minister-at-Large, Emeritus, of the First Parish in Cambridge, Harvard Square, I have found new freedom to focus some of my energy on visual art expressing the philosophical foundation of my ministry, which has included being a university chaplain at Harvard University as well as the director of the Cambridge Forum national radio and television public affairs broadcasts for some twenty years.

What have I wrought? Have I conveyed by geometrical color symbols something of the religious meaning of life which we experience as power and powerlessness?

Symbols of Power

Here you will find elemental symbols of the divine power in natural events:

God Is Energy: E = mc² = God;
Fire-Water-Earth-Air: God Is Deathless Power;
God Is Creative Power Eternally Evolving.

You will also find the symbol:

Let the Earth Live!—Logo of the Cambridge Forum.
I Listen To the Agony of God presents my version of the Jerusalem
Cross, painted red to represent the blood of divine-human suffering.

You will likewise find panentheistic affirmation that:

God Is Matter-Mind: Life, and the declaration that
Strife Is the Eternal Price of Freedom.

It was enabling for me to be invited to do a one person exhibit of my designs in the Andover-Harvard Library of the Harvard Divinity School.

When I am trying to grapple with abstract themes, I like to resort to visual art to enable me to think with precision. My hope is that this communication through visual symbols may be of some value to others engaged in process studies.

Herbert F. Vetter, April 2000
Cambridge, MA