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Alfred North Whitehead by Norman Pittenger

Dr. Pittenger, philosopher and theologian, was a senior member of King’s College, Cambridge for many years, then Professor of Christian Apologetics at the General Theological Seminary in New York City, before retiring in 1966. Published by John Knox Press, Richmond, Virginia, 1996. This material was prepared for Religion Online by Ted and Winnie Brock.

Among philosophers of this century Alfred North Whitehead has been a seminal thinker for an increasingly influential concept in the theological world.

To Whitehead, God is in the world, or nowhere, creating continually in us and around us.

Chapter 1: Life
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.

Chapter 2: Thought
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.

Chapter 3: Significance
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.

Brief Bibliography

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