The Promise of a Process Feminist Theory of Relations
by Nancy B. Howell
Nancy B. Howell is Acting Executive Director of the Center for Process Studies. 1325 N. College Ave., Claremont CA 91711. She is a doctoral candidate at the Claremont Graduate School. The following article appeared in Process Studies, pp. 78-87, Vol. 17, Number 2, Summer, 1988. Process Studies is published quarterly by the Center for Process Studies, 1325 N. College Ave., Claremont, CA 91711. Used by permission. This material was prepared for Religion Online by Ted and Winnie Brock.
Feminists have entered a productive period in which constructive attempts at post-patriarchal theories of relations are being formulated and imaged in light of women’s experience and ideas. The thesis of this essay is that a promising feminist theory of relations may be based upon the organic philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead. The basis of this thesis is that there is complementarity between Whiteheadian philosophy and feminist thought from which may emerge a theory of relations adequate to promote a radical reconstruction of ecological and human relations. Whitehead’s doctrine of internal relations supports and advances women’s new visions of inter-relationships. Suggesting the potential for a Whiteheadian feminist theory of relations, however, involves both positive and negative evaluation of process philosophy from the perspective of feminist thought and women’s experience. Hierarchical features of Whitehead’ s philosophy should be modified in response to feminist concerns.
Constructive feminist energies have recently been directed toward imaging feminist theories of relations. From Mary Daly’s proposal of "Be-Friending" in Pure Lust to Janice Raymond’s construction of a feminist philosophy of female friendship in A Passion for Friends, feminist theorists have created -- and remembered -- relational worldviews which reflect the importance of sisterhood as a paradigm for interconnectedness. For other feminists, critical analysis of patriarchal modes of relating and experience of sisterhood as an alternate mode of relating have led to confrontation of hierarchical structures of relations. Women have chosen to address the heterorelational problematic directly by suggesting a reconstruction of female-male relationship (see, for example, Margaret Farley’s Personal Commitments). Reflecting beyond humanocentric relationships, women are equally concerned with women’s bond with nature. The centrality of the issue of the connection of humans and nature is pervasive, but it is especially evident in ecofeminism, a vital movement among women for environmental justice (including such practical theorists as Charlene Spretnak, author of The Spiritual Dimension of Green Politics).
A general interest among women in the construction of a feminist theory of relations, however, does not reflect a consensus. Instead, it reflects the diversity of women’s perspectives apparent in all areas of feminism. Especially with respect to the topic of relationality, diversity of images and ideas should not only be expected, but encouraged as a contribution to the multiversity. Radical change in the dominant patriarchal pattern of relationships may require the suggestion of a multiplicity of alternatives to male-defined hierarchy. A variety of concrete options will be necessary for opening the way to real, novel possibilities in human relating.
I propose that the philosophy of organism constructed by Alfred North Whitehead may provide a basis for a feminist theory of relations. An over-arching reason for experimenting with process philosophy as a contribution to feminist construction of a new view of relations is that it provides a cosmology radically different from dominant mechanistic and patriarchal world views. I suggest that it is inadequate to work, however critically, within the dominant worldview. A change in worldview will more adequately take account of and emerge from feminist concerns. In addition, a new worldview will be necessary to effect the radical changes required by feminism. While process philosophy is not a prefabricated feminist theory of relations, it provides a worldview which is compatible with feminist perspectives in several respects, and the complementarity of feminism and process philosophy suggests the fruitfulness of Whiteheadian metaphors for feminist theory.
When feminists have spoken personally about the relevance of Whitehead’s philosophy to womens’ experience, their reasons for relating process thought to feminism have been grounded in conceptual and experiential intuitions. Penelope Washbourn experienced process thought as an encouragement for her feminist questing:
It was process thought that taught me to be a feminist, certainly it was process thought that taught me to be interested in questions concerning women and religion. Perhaps I could say now in retrospect that my being drawn to the study and development of a process mode of thinking may also have been related to an unconscious awareness that it offered me not only a more viable theological and philosophical framework than any other, but also an opportunity to integrate my identity as a woman within a religious framework. (DFE 83)
Marjorie Suchocki discovered an experiential identification with Whitehead’s philosophy. Whitehead was a philosopher who seemed to have experienced the world in much the same way that Suchocki had, and his perception of the nature and dynamics of the world was expressed in a comprehensive metaphysics which seemed meaningful to Suchocki in light of her experience. In a personal sense, Suchocki subjected Whitehead’s philosophy to the criterion of fitness to women’s experience and concluded, "I came to it not as an interesting speculative system, though it is surely that, but from my need to understand my world in holistic terms through a conceptuality which fits my experience" (OM 62-63).
Valerie Salving found in process thought a conceptual framework for her emerging feminism. Following the awakening of her feminist consciousness, Salving found that process philosophy provided a conceptual framework within which to interpret the profound transformations taking place in her life. Whitehead’ s philosophy suggested an androgynous vision which confronted the nonandrogynous ideal which had previously shaped Salving’s life. The coincidence of feminist awareness and process thought led Salving to draw two conclusions.
On the one hand, not even an intimate acquaintance with Whitehead’ s ideas is capable of creating feminist consciousness; such consciousness arises out of certain kinds of life experience, explored in dialogue with other women. On the other hand, feminist consciousness, once awakened, seeks a conceptual framework for self-understanding, and process philosophy may provide such a framework. (AL 12-13)
Thus, the compatibility of feminism and process thought rests in two dimensions. First, process thought "rings true" to women’s experience by virtue of its comprehensive ability to take account of women’s experience. Second, process thought provides a conceptuality within which women may understand and interpret their experience. While Whitehead’s process philosophy is not a feminist philosophy, it may contribute one interpretive tool to women who desire a holistic understanding of women’s experience.
Methodologically, experience is the feature which links process philosophy and feminist thought. Valerie Saiving recognized that Whitehead affirmed the expansiveness of experience both in his epistemology and in his conceptuality itself. Mary Daly’s assessment of process philosophy is more reserved. Daly’s affirmation of process philosophy in Beyond God the Father prefaced the warning that women must beware of easy acquiescence to prefabricated theory, since the essential aim of feminist theology/philosophy is to elicit, express, and interpret women’s experience (BGF 189). Valerie Saiving has noted, however, that the sentiment expressed by Daly is present in Whitehead. In the first place, the experiencing subject is the primary datum for process metaphysics (AL 13).1 In the second place, Whitehead himself held no allegiance to systems at the expense of experience. In Modes of Thought, Whitehead praised William James for the character of his intellectual life, which was "one protest against the dismissal of experience in the interest of system" (MT 4). In addition, Whitehead was willing to work within a philosophical framework without being imprisoned by it. Recall, also from Modes of Thought, that Whitehead lamented the fact that there are traps in the pursuit of learning. It is easy to become consumed by details, which lead us into closed systems of thought and blindness to the limitations of those systems. In this passage, Whitehead reminded us of an important principle – "In order to acquire learning, we must first shake ourselves free of it" -- and, through a criticism of John Stuart Mill, Whitehead explained that the danger is that we may inherit a "system before any enjoyment of the relevant experience" (MT 7-8). These priorities advocated by Whitehead are relevant for feminist theorists (even for those of us who look to Whitehead for philosophical suggestions). Experience precedes theory.
Whitehead’s criticism of substantialist philosophies led him to broaden the range of experience included in his metaphysics. Hence, Whitehead insisted upon the inclusion of every variety of experience. One passage from Adventures of Ideas is often quoted to indicate the infinite range of experience to which Whitehead referred. "Nothing must be omitted, experience drunk and experience sober. . . ." (AI 226). The lengthy list of experiences which completes this passage suggests the diversity and intensity of experiences to which philosophy must be held accountable. If Whitehead can be taken seriously here, feminists must conclude that the range of experiences which funds philosophy includes women’s experience. Making this point explicitly, Valerie Saiving has amended "experience female and experience male" to Whitehead’s list (AL 12).
The inclusiveness of the experience which Whitehead wished to embrace in his philosophy was affirmed earlier in Process and Reality: "Philosophy may not neglect the multifariousness of the world -- the fairies dance, and Christ is nailed to the cross" (PR 338/513). Narrowness in the selection of experiential evidence for philosophy results in serious distortions, and this evil is born of several sources.
This narrowness arises from the idiosyncrasies and timidities of particular authors, of particular social groups, of particular schools of thought, of particular epochs in the history of civilization. The evidence relied upon is arbitrarily biased by the temperaments of individuals, by the provinciality’s of groups, and by the limitations of schemes of thought. (PR 337/512)
Feminists would support this statement by reference to patriarchal philosophies which are narrow and limited by virtue of the exclusion of women’s experience from their range of data. It is also inadequate for women’s experience to be co-opted into patriarchal schemes of thought which preserve system at the expense of experience. The unjustified exclusiveness and narrowness of experiential evidence is not merely to be augmented by the inclusion of other experiences (for example, women’s experience). An inclusive philosophy is urged beyond the status quo in fashioning ideals by movement between two contrasts -- permanence and flux, order and novelty. This movement suggests that the result of being inclusive of the vast range of experiences is a dynamic philosophy which promotes and reflects change.
In addition to the priority of experience in process philosophy, many feminists have noted the importance of Whitehead’ s attempt to overcome classical dualisms. Mary Daly first noted, in Beyond God the Father, that Whitehead eliminated the Creator-creature dichotomy by replacing the notion of God the Creator with the view that God is with all creation. Daly described Whitehead’s thought as a unity of technical and ontological reason, intended to overcome the dualism of intellectuality and shallow objective consciousness. In addition, Daly pointed toward the encouraging character of Whitehead’s denial of the duality of purposive human existence and non-purposive nature (BGF 189).
More recently, Dorothee Soelle has recognized the promise of process philosophy for a non-dualistic theology of creation. Soelle has suggested that the traditional distinction between God and the world is captured in a set of "godly"/"worldly" dualisms -- Creator/Created, Lord/Servant, Maker/Made, Artist/Artifact, Will or form/Stuff or matter, Cause/Effect, Subject/Object.
The problem with the supposedly unbridgeable gap between the creator and the created is that it has been transposed, for example, into sexist dichotomizing, in which we ascribe "godly" characteristics to the male and "worldly" characteristics to the female. The ontological concept is used in a sexist sense. Indeed, many injurious dichotomies flow out of our positing an unequivocal separation between God and humanity. Must we subscribe to this imperialistic concept of creation? Is there not a different way of construing creation and the relationship between God and the world? (TWL 24)
Soelle’s obvious answer is that there is a way to overcome the God/world dichotomy (and attendant dualisms) through a non-imperialistic re-conception of God. Soelle has credited Whitehead and process thinkers with the advancement of one option which images God as dynamic and relational with respect to the world.
In part, Soelle’s assessment of process philosophy has embraced the idea of process and dynamism itself, a feature of Whitehead’s philosophy which is essential to relationality and, hence, another aspect of Whitehead’s thought which is compatible with feminism. Soelle has highlighted the importance of becoming as an ontological category in contrast to the category of being. Becoming-ontology gives priority to process instead of substance and thereby affords a more suitable conceptuality for a theology of creation. Becoming-ontology also lifts relationship into centrality; so that events, life, and life’s processes constitute reality in its interrelatedness (TWL25).
Because process philosophy is essentially a relational philosophy, it has in common with feminism an emphasis upon the interconnectedness of persons and of humans with nature. Feminism, particularly with respect to sisterhood, has felt the importance of interrelatedness for each individual self-actualization. The doctrine of internal relations in process thought suggests a philosophical interpretation of the importance of relationships for the becoming of an individual event, including a person-in-the-making.
Internal relations are distinct from external relations in that they are essential for the creation and existence of events, while external relations are not essential to the character of the events (or substances) to which they usually refer. In external relations, substances first exist and then enter into relationships. The essential nature of a substance is not affected by its relations. Internal relations are those relationships which constitute both living and non-living events with respect to their character and existence. Events owe their very existence to a particular occurrence of relationships within a spatio-temporal location.
Internal relations are instrumental in the creative process. Creativity is instantiated in each event, when through internal relations the many become one and are increased by one. Each concrescing event is a subject which prehends or feels the past. The concrescing event creates itself in freedom by taking account of objective data from the past and a divine persuasive lure toward rich experience which influences the way in which an event constitutes itself. When the event concresces as an actual occasion, it contributes to the actualization of future events.
Beverly Harrison has applied this philosophical perspective to a feminist Interpretation of creativity, freedom, and relationality.
In feminist terms, God is not the One who stands remotely in control, but the One who binds us and bids us to deep relationality, resulting in a radical equality motivated by genuine mutuality and interdependence. In a community transformed by this utopian vision, power would be experienced as reciprocity in relation. In other words, our individual power to act would be nourished and enhanced by mutual regard and cocreativity.
Freedom, when understood as the power of creativity, achieves its consummate expression in deepened community . . . . To be free means possessing the power to imaginatively interact with others, to give and to receive, to act upon and to suffer (that is, to be acted upon), to participate with others in cocreating a world. (ORC 99-100)
Harrison empowers sisterhood with the suggestion that freedom is the power of creativity. The power of creativity is not diminished by interconnectedness, because it is a power rooted in relationality, mutuality, and cocreativity. This is an empowerment born of the relationship of women with each other and with God.
Whiteheadian feminist Catherine Keller has applied the doctrine of internal relations to the patriarchal problem of separate and soluble selves. The separate self is the illusion that persons are discrete, disconnected, autonomous selves (for example, the "self-made man"). The soluble self is the stereotypical role of women in patriarchy which binds and dissolves women into the role of relationship makers and keepers. Whitehead’ s doctrine of internal relations provides a conceptuality for relational selfhood which arises from a multitude of relationships (indeed, the person herself is a society). Keller has argued that this conceptuality affirms both relationality and selfhood while eliminating the dualistic choice between soluble selfhood and separate selfhood.2
The organic worldview weaves together the concepts of internal relations, subjectivity, freedom, creativity, and prehension (feeling). The doctrine of internal relations has the potential for additional fruitful applications and expressions of feminist concerns.
Finally, of further interest to feminists is the postmodern understanding of God proposed by process philosophy. God is a participant in the reality described by the dynamic process ontology. God is in relationship, not incidentally or accidentally, but essentially. As such, aseity is no longer a viable descriptor for God, since every action is an interaction which implies change. Potentiality is appropriate to God’s experience in itself and to God’s influence upon free entities. In the dynamic character of God is the capacity to affect and to be affected. Thus, it is meaningful to speak of mutuality and interrelatedness between God and the world.
With respect to the formulation of an understanding of God, Whitehead and feminists are united in the creative effort to supersede traditional theism. In Process and Reality, Whitehead explicitly rejected the idea of God as ruling Caesar, ruthless moralist, and unmoved mover for the Galilean vision.
There is, however, in the Galilean origin of Christianity yet another suggestion which does not fit very well with any of the three main strands of thought. It does not emphasize the ruling Caesar, or the ruthless moralist, or the unmoved mover. It dwells upon the tender elements in the world, which slowly and in quietness operate by love; and it finds purpose in the present immediacy of a kingdom not of this world. Love neither rules, nor is it unmoved; also it is a little oblivious as to morals. It does not look to the future; for it finds its own reward in the immediate present. (PR 343/520-521)
Whitehead’s refusal to accept imperial ruler as a metaphor for God found expression in Modes of Thought as well. The ancient world borrowed characteristics from ‘touchy, vain, imperious tyrants" to describe God. This history still influences contemporary civilized religion to envision gods as dictators. As Whitehead observed, only in Buddhism and the Christian gospels are there scattered repudiations of this image of divinity (MT 68).
John B. Cobb, Jr., and David Ray Griffin have expanded the list of metaphors which are unacceptable in a Whiteheadian conception of God to include five: God as cosmic moralist, God as the unchanging and passionless absolute, God as controlling power, God as sanctioner of the status quo, God as male (PT 8-10). Clearly, the sentiments of feminists and Whiteheadians are similar in their rejection of traditional theism and in their effort to discover metaphors for God which are more inclusive of diverse experience.
In the Whiteheadian understanding of God, new paradigms of power and love have been envisioned in ways which may be informative for feminism. In Plato’s writing, Whitehead found what he proclaimed to be one of the greatest intellectual discoveries in the history of religion – "that the divine element in the world is to be conceived as a persuasive agency and not as a coercive agency" (AI 166). Along with the insights of Charles Hartshorne, Whitehead’s concept of persuasion (in contrast to coercion) has formed the basis for development of both divine and social images of power. John B. Cobb, Jr. described this divine persuasive power as the means of exercising power over the powerful. Divine persuasion "depends rather on relations of respect, concern, and love, and the vision of a better future" and "is a balance between urging toward the good and maximizing the power -- therefore the freedom -- of the one whom God seeks to persuade" (GW 90).
Bernard Loomer formulated an idea of relational power based upon the process-relational view of reality and in contrast to a linear or unilateral conception of power. Linear power is unidirectional power which is intended to produce an effect in another by virtue of a capacity to "influence, guide, adjust, manipulate, shape, control, or transform the human or natural environment in order to advance one’s purposes (TCP 8). Relational power, on the other hand, is grounded in mutuality. It assumes the capacity to influence others and to be influenced by others. Thus, if one is powerful, one is able to include in oneself feelings and values of others without passivity or loss of identity. Relational power is active openness. "Our openness to be influenced by another, without losing our identity or sense of self-dependence, is not only an acknowledgement and affirmation of the other as an end rather than a means to an end. It is also a measure of our own strength and size, even and especially when this influence of the other helps to effect a creative transformation of ourselves and our world" (TCP 18). While these formulations of divine persuasive power and relational power are not without problems for some feminists, they do represent alternatives to coercive, hierarchical power patterns and are suggestive of feminist reformulations of power in the context of mutuality. As one example, Rita Nakashima Brock has made use of Loomer’s understanding of relational power in her construction of a theology of erotic power (PPS 17-35).
William J. Hill has specifically addressed the topic of divine love in the Whiteheadian conceptuality. In his analysis, he found in Whitehead a concept of divine love which lies in contrast to New Testament agape and medieval amicitia and which identifies with Platonic eros. In Adventures of Ideas, the primordial nature of God is referred to as Eros. The love implied by eros relates to the divine envisionment of possibilities for fulfillment in each occasion. Hill has suggested three structural points in Whitehead’s philosophy which support this interpretation of divine love. First, God’s relation to the world is neither strictly free nor creative, since both God and the world are necessary. Second, God’s motive with respect to loving the world is God’s own satisfaction. Third, values realized in the world immediately perish and are preserved in God in such a way that they fund God’s own creative becoming. Hill has also suggested that the strength of this view of love is God’s involvement in the suffering of the world (TGL 258-259).
Hill has certainly selected the relevant features of Whitehead’s concept of God which support the concept of divine eros; however, Hill’s interpretation tends to diminish the rich vision intended by Whitehead. Whitehead’s point was certainly that God is relational, but if God’s power is persuasive, then God’s loving relating is directed toward maximal freedom and creativity for the world. Such love can only be directed toward entities which represent other centers of power. In its immanence, this love lures toward novelty and participates in every creative moment. In the second and third points, Hill has shifted the discussion to the consequent nature of God, which clearly deviates from an application of Eros to the primordial nature of God. This is not entirely objectionable, since it is the genius of Whitehead’s metaphysics that God and the world are truly in relation such that "it is as true to say that God creates the World, as that the World creates God" (PR 348/528). If God and the world are related, then within the Whiteheadian conceptuality it must be expected that God will affect the world and that the world will affect God -- that the world will receive from God and that God will receive from the world.
From a feminist perspective, why not affirm this mutuality of relationship and re-vision the divine eros? The redefinition of eros will then refer to an aim toward mutual satisfaction. Thus, God lures the world toward satisfaction and the world contributes to God’s satisfaction. God’s appreciation for the world becomes an Investment of Godself in its values and suffering, for God is willing to receive both into Godself. Eros, then, may be understood as creative, responsive, and empathetic. If God’s love is named eros by this definition, then the transformative power of God’s love as a paradigm for human loving feeds the feminist vision of mutuality.
To summarize, there are four major points at which feminists have made contact with Whitehead’s philosophy. First, feminists identify with Whitehead’s emphasis upon experience as the basis of metaphysics. Second, feminists can affirm the Whiteheadian attempt to overcome dualisms. Third, the doctrine of internal relations may suggest a concept and fruitful metaphors for feminist expression of relationality. Fourth, feminists can point to the Whiteheadian conception of God as an alternative to traditional theism. These compatibilities suggest that feminists may find it useful to interact with Whiteheadian thought in the re-vision of interrelatedness. Embracing this process of encounter itself embodies the potential for emergence of a process feminist theory of relations.
In spite of Whitehead’s sympathy for women’s issues and the compatibility of Whiteheadian thought and feminism, it is important to remember Mary Daly’s warning that feminists should beware of prefabricated theory. Whitehead’s philosophy of organism must also be examined for the patriarchal/hierarchical elements which it contains.
One question that feminists raise about Whitehead’s understanding of internal relations concerns the problem of relationships among contemporaries. Only external relationship pertain between contemporaries, because contemporaries cannot directly affect each other as they concresce. Contemporaries do not have internal relations. This means that Whitehead’ s doctrine of internal relations does not apply to inter-subjective relations. Internal relations always occur in subject-object interactions. The concrescing occasion is a subject which is constituted by its internal relations with actual occasions which function as objects. It is possible to speak about inter-subjective relations between enduring objects -- each enduring object may be thought of as a subject in relation to another enduring object which is a subject. Thus, humans have inter-subjective relationships. However, in microcosm, the internal relations taking place between the two enduring objects occur between subject and object. There are no inter-subjective relations among concrescing occasions. My feminist suspicion is that what we believe in microcosm is, in fact, what we practice in macrocosm. If internal relations are based upon subject-object interaction only, then Whiteheadians have not really overcome a dualism which may be used to justify treating others as means rather than ends. My intuition and the experience of other women would suggest that inter-subjective relations actually exist among contemporaries. Perhaps this is an area of experience which needs to be included in the Whiteheadian cosmology.
A more significant problem with Whitehead’s cosmology is the perpetuation of hierarchy. In one interpretation of Whitehead’s cosmology, Charles Birch and John B. Cobb, Jr., have discussed a hierarchy of value based upon Whitehead’s process philosophy. In the Liberation of Life, the hierarchy of value among living and non-living creatures is based upon the balance of intrinsic value (capacity for richness of experience) and instrumental value (LL 152-153). In some sense, value is assessed from God’s perspective, since value is related to the ability to contribute rich experience to the consequent nature of God.
According to Birch and Cobb, all events are both means and ends. Events have instrumental value, but all events have intrinsic value as well. Subjective experience at the level of sub-atomic particles, atoms, and molecules is negligible. The intrinsic value of these experiences is minimal. Since aggregates, such as rocks, are made up of sub-atomic particles, atoms, and molecules, intrinsic value is also limited for aggregates. Sub-atomic particles, atoms, molecules, and aggregates may be treated in terms of instrumental value only. The living cell has greater intrinsic value than aggregates, but cells may still be treated primarily as means. Plants have significant instrumental value, but the intrinsic value of plants is based largely upon the cumulative value of their cells. Plants may be used primarily as means. Animal life introduces the central nervous system and a much higher capacity for richness of experience. Animals cannot be treated merely with respect to their instrumental value -- they ought to be treated primarily as ends.
From the perspective of feminist consciousness, this hierarchy seems unlikely to effect the liberation of life that Cobb and Birch envision for nature. The hierarchy has been altered little from the patriarchal pyramid of domination, even though animals are afforded rights based upon attribution to them of intrinsic value. I would agree with Cobb and Birch that it is inappropriate to assign equal value to all events, but it may be possible to assess the value of events from the perspective of the primordial nature of God. When God generates an initial aim for each event, God’s aim is toward the richest possible experience for each moment. At that moment, each event is related to God as a unique instance of value. If the universe is understood in this sacramental perspective, our relative decisions about the value of all events in the world will be less dependent upon hierarchical formulas.
While Whiteheadian thought is not free of patriarchal and hierarchical elements, it is not a closed system. As feminist ideas and experiences are applied to process philosophy, it may be transformed and revised to more appropriately reflect the widest possible range of experience. I would propose that Whitehead’s organic philosophy is remarkably helpful for constructing a feminist theory of relations and that feminists may make a contribution to process thought by constructing a postpatriarchal process relational philosophy.
AL -- Valerie C. Saiving. "Androgynous Life: A Feminist Appropriation of Process Thought." Feminism and Process Thought: The Harvard Divinity School/Claremont Center for Process Studies Symposium Papers. Ed. Sheila Greeve Davaney. New York and Toronto; The Edwin Mellen Press, 1981.
BGF -- Mary Daly. Beyond God the Father: Toward a Philosophy of Women’s Liberation. Boston: Beacon Press, 1973.
DFE -- Penelope Washbourn. "The Dynamics of Female Experience: Process Models and Human Values." Feminism and Process Thought: The Harvard Divinity School/Claremont Center for Process Studies Symposium Papers. Ed. Sheila Greeve Davaney. New York and Toronto: The Edwin Mellen Press, 1981.
FBW -- Catherine Keller. From a Broken Web: Separation, Sexism, and Self. Boston: Beacon Press, 1986.
GW -- John B. Cobb, Jr. God and the World. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1969.
LL -- Charles Birch and John B. Cobb, Jr. The Liberation of Life: from the Cell to the Community. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981.
OM -- Marjorie Suchocki. "Openness and Mutuality in Process Thought and Feminist Action." Feminism and Process Thought: The Harvard Divinity School/Claremont Center for Process Studies Symposium Papers. Ed. Sheila Greeve Davaney. New York and Toronto: The Edwin Mellen Press, 1981.
ORC -- Beverly Wildung Harrison. Our Right to Choose: Toward a New Ethic of Abortion. Boston: Beacon Press, 1983.
PC -- Margaret A. Farley. Personal Commitments: Beginning, Keeping, Changing. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1986.
PF -- Janice G. Raymond. A Passion for Friends: Toward a Philosophy of Female Affection. Boston: Beacon Press, 1986.
PL -- Mary Daly. Pure Lust: Elemental Feminist Philosophy. Boston: Beacon Press, 1978.
PPS -- Rita Nakashima Brock. "Power, Peace, and the Possibility of Survival." God and Global Justice: Religion and Poverty in an Unequal World. Ed. Frederick Ferré and Rita H. Mataragnon. New York: Paragon House, New Era Book, 1985.
PT -- John B. Cobb, Jr., and David Ray Griffin. Process Theology: An Introductory Exposition. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1976.
SD -- Charlene Spretnak. The Spiritual Dimension of Green Politics. Santa Fe, NM: Bear & Company, 1986.
TCP -- Bernard Loomer. "Two Conceptions of Power." Process Studies 6:1 (Spring 1976).
TGL -- William J. Hill. "Two Gods of Love: Aquinas and Whitehead." Listening 14:3 (Fall 1979).
TWL -- Dorothee Soelle with Shirley A. Cloyes. To Work and To Love: A Theology of Creation. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1984.
1Saiving’s reference is to Alfred North Whitehead, Process, and Reality: Corrected Edition, ed. David Ray Griffin and Donald W. Sherburne (New York: Free Press, 1978), 16. See also 160.
2See especially chapter 4 of Keller, FBW.