How did that controversy become so explosive? Well, one way was anti-open theists misrepresenting open theism to non-theologians, pastors and lay people, as, for example, belief that “God gives bad advice” and belief in an “ignorant God.” Many of them went directly to denominational conventions and got resolutions passed against open theism by frightening delegates by implying that open theism is a Trojan horse for process theology. (They would sometimes spend more time talking about process theology than open theism and allow the scared delegates to think they are basically the same.)
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This is not to say that you can't explore real issues in non-real SF and even fantasy. Or even real SF issues. Some great SF has done this entirely through allegory. Some SF is written not to be about the future at all, but the present, and simply uses an unrealistic future to tell a message about the present. That future need not be possible to deliver that message. But there is no denying that it helps.
The institute’s research was to be supra-disciplinary, not interdisciplinary. That is, research and theoretical approaches were to transcend separate disciplinary positions to create supradisciplinary social theory. The institute stressed on supra-disciplinary method of research because Marxism was “open-ended historical, dialectical theory that required development, revision and modification precisely because it was … a theory of contemporary socio-historical reality which itself was constantly developing and changing”. For the institute, such a research was urgent because of the emergence of fascism in Stalin’s Russia and the lack of working class revolutionary fervour despite the recurrent rises of capitalism.