Recent Articles:

``Are You Pro-Life When life Hurts?'' In Life and Learning XV; Proceedings of the Fifteenth University Faculty for Life Conference at Ave Maria Law School, 2005, ed. Joseph W. Koterski, SJ. Published by University Faculty for Life, at Georgetown University.

``Distributed Ontologies and Systems Ontologies'' Pacific Coast Theological Society Journal, October 2010.

``Material Differences Between History and Nature.'' International Philosophical Quarterly 44 (2004 June) 185-200. About differences between history and nature, with physics taken as the prototype of the natural sciences. (Biologists may complain.) Historians and natural scientists ask different kind of questions about reality, and they construe the world under different ontologies accordingly. Here is the abstract.

``Naturalism, Naturalism by Other Means, and Alternatives to Naturalism,'' Theology and Science, Vol. 1 no. 2 (2003/Oct) 221-237. This paper was actually written after ``Material Differences,'' above.

``History, Relativity, and Pluralism''
Budhi (Manila) VI, nos. 2 and 3 (2002) 223-234.
The paper argues that critical history, cultural and historical relativity, and religious pluralism are, respectively, species of exposure, limitation, and need, (see the Trinity paper, below), and are thus to be welcomed as bearing blessings instead of received as threats to religion.
If your local theological library doesn't get Budhi (it should, it's a first-rate Jesuit journal in English, with excellent articles, usually much more sophisticated that my own contribution), email me at app -at- jedp -dot- com, and perhaps I can get a copy to go out in email.

The Trinity and the Indo-European Tripartite Worldview, The paper was written with Edward C. Hobbs, in aid of laying out his theology of the Trinity and reconstruction of its origins in the perspective of the history of religions. As Published in Budhi, III, nos. 2-3 (1999), pp. 1-28.

"Critical and Confessional Responsibility in Theology," a paper prepared for the 1996 Autumn Pacific Coast Theological Society meeting, Nancy Howell's response can be found at

In the discussion it became clear that the hinge concept that ties together the two halves of the paper, at paragraph 63, at the start of Section 8, is the commitment to take all of life as good, even its pains. In 1994, in the course of discussions at California Right to Life, I wrote a three-page summary of the principle. For what it is worth, here it is:
"A Simple Pro-Life Theology."

There have been developments since then. The Supreme Court declined to intefere with legislative deliberations on euthanasia (probably it was right), and euthanasia was all but legalized in Oregon. Some comments on the history and logic of euthanasia in America today: "Euthanasia in America Today"

A paper on the promise of H. Richard Niebuhr's theology, from the PCTS meeting, Spring 1994:
"The Fertility of Niebuhr's Idea of Monotheism"

"Theological and Religious Pluralism: Pluralism in the Biblical Context"; This paper is by Edward Hobbs, prepared for the Autumn PCTS meeting in 1973, this paper is on the web site of the Pacific Coast Theological Society.

A paper from September 1994 that was originally posted to Philosophical Preprints (and is no longer there). It was available by ftp from, in the directory /pub/preprints/Phil\_of\_Language/Porter.Counter-performative\_Speech\_Acts: When Failure is Success: Counter-Performative Speech Acts