(ENTIRE BOOK) The shortest and simplest introduction to Whitehead — his life, his “process thought,” and Christian Process Theology.
BOOKS BY WHITEHEAD Science and the Modern World, I 925 Religion in the Making, 1926 Process and Reality, An Essay in Cosmology, 1929 (best read in conjunction with D. S. Sherburne, A Key to Whitehead’s Process and Reality, 1965) The Adventures of Ideas, 1938 Modes of Thought, 1938 All published by Cambridge University Press. BOOKS …
Whiteheadian thought offers a different way of looking at reality that requires rethinking the way we view God. It begins with a philosophy that endeavors to frame a coherent, logical, necessary system of general ideas that combines a creative and unique expression of the nature and unity of God. It can lead us to an understanding of our personal faith as well as the religious experience of mankind.
A brief biography of Whitehead’s life — his early years, his family, his writing and teaching, lectures, Process-Thought, and final years. Includes Charles Hartshorne’s interpretation of Whiteheadian thought.
Whitehead’s view of the nature of reality offers a new way of thinking about “things,” and suggest that reality is not composed of things but of self-creative events, individual units, having both physical and mental aspects, and being internally related to each other. This offers an alternative to the mechanistic view of the nature of reality, and substitutes creativity in place of determinism.
For Whitehead, the cosmic process — God — is characterized by change, dynamism, inter-relationships or “organic inter-penetration,” the presence of heights and depths of “importance,” and the quality of tenderness or love.
The author turns to Charles Hartshorne to interpret Whitehead’s concept of God as “the one who is worshiped.” Hartshorne suggests that “worship is the integrating of all one’s thoughts and purposes, all valuations and meanings, all perceptions and conceptions.” And God, the object of this worship, is “. . .the wholeness of the world, correlative to the wholeness of every sound individual dealing with the world.” This fits with the Whiteheadian world-view in which each individual entity is an integration of parts into a whole.
God himself is ‘in process’, in the sense that he is not abstractly eternal, utterly above and beyond all temporal succession. Rather, he is eminently temporal. God is seen not as primarily the ‘unmoved mover’ or ‘first cause’ or ‘absolute reality,’ but as the supremely related one. God in his consequent aspect is persuasive, sympathetic, affected by all that is not himself, inclusive of all possible good, supremely tender — indeed, God so portrayed is Love.
Relying on the work of Lewis Ford, the author traces the concept of God that emerges in the middle of Whitehead’s writings and develops from its atheistic/agnostic origins into a more fully developed conceptualization of God.
The author examines what Whitehead had to say about God in Process and Reality by dividing the discussion into two parts. First, the primordial or eternal nature of God as the principal of abstraction or originality and the source of the initial aim, and second, the consequent or temporal nature of God in which God, as part of reality, interacts with the rest of reality.