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An Introduction to the Process Understanding of Science, Society and the Self by Leslie A. Muray


Leslie A. Muray, Ph.D., teachest philosophy and ethics at Curry College in Massachusetts. He studied Process Theology under Dr. John Cobb at Claremont School of Theology. Published by The Edwin Mellen Press, Lewiston/Queenston, 1988. This material was prepared for Religion Online by Ted and Winnie Brock.


Preface
Writing for the non-specific reader, the author avoids theologically difficult procedures. He acknowledges those who have helped him in formulating his ideas of process thought.

Introduction
This book is dedicated to the drawing out of the implications in the understanding of the self, society, politics, psychology, the natural sciences, and education in terms of process thought.

Chapter 1: The Process Understanding of the Self
The process-substantialist view presents our basic substance as relational, as responsible, as seeking justice, as being creative, as seeking novelty and adventure, as not being fixed.

Chapter 2: The Process View of Society
The process-relational view projects the notion that unique individuals do create themselves and their societies, as profoundly shaped as they are by them, instead of being subsumed by an omnicompetent and all knowing state -- God.

Chapter 3: The Process Understanding of Politics
Process theologians argue for a "public" theology, not limiting truth claims to a confessional stance with its own internal criteria, but open to the public criteria of common human experience and rational inquiry.

Chapter 4: Process Thought and Psychology
The theories of modern psychology and process thought have much in common, but at the same time some differences. Process thinkers do not accept the prevalent substantialist and deterministic understanding of the self.

Chapter 5: Process Thought and Natural Sciences
In its encounter with the sciences, process thought has not only appropriated new scientific insights but has attempted a mutual transformation through which the sciences are liberated from the dominance of the mechanistic, deterministic, substantialist view into a holistic relational vision that is more coherent, consistent, adequate to the facts, and congruent with the best in the contemporary scientific enterprise itself.

Chapter 6: The Process Understanding of Education
The purpose of education is not to fill empty minds with knowledge but to teach life, motivation, a drive for beauty, harmony, intensity, contrast, and the richness of experience -- to seek a process-relational vision.

Conclusion
It is the substantialist view of reality and its devastating consequences from which we need to be liberated. Process theology provides this liberation. and is profoundly and personally applicable to the understanding of the self, society, politics, psychology, the natural sciences, and education.

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