According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater
Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger
Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton
I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – anon
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII
Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut
Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest
People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – anon
Certainly God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater
An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater
Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann
Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner
Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14)
Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton
The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – anon
The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul
The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah
If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – anon
Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson

Friday, September 1, 2017

Alfred North Whitehead - Process and Reality: An Introduction


The Process Metaphysics of Alfred North Whitehead (*1861, †1947)


A short introduction to the process philosophy & process theology of Alfred North Whitehead (*1861, †1947),
containing several photos and 4 speakers, describing some core hypotheses of Whitehead's metaphysics.
The speakers are: John B. Cobb, David Ray Griffin, Charles Hartshorne and Rupert Sheldrake.


Alfred North Whitehead - Process and Reality:
An Introduction

I'm just getting started in a FaceBook study group studying Process Thought. If you would like to join with me follow the link below. Plan on about 3-4 months, lots of short videos, and a minimum of 4 process books by process thinkers, theologians, pastors, and pragmatists (I've listed these as well). Process thought is more of a 3rd-way philosophy than it is either a Western or Continental Philosophy. In a way, it acts as a bridge between the two major schools of thought. As a philosophy, it can be adopted into any outlook, religion, or people group. That means there is process thought found in every major religion - including Christianity. It is also pervasive - otherwise it could not be an embraced philosophy found throughout the world.

When it is applied to Christianity it seems to displace Calvinistic thought while emphasizing or highlighting Arminian thought. The former operates out of a closed view of the universe, time, and development. Everything in it's purview is static, impassive, transcendent, and disconnected to creation. Whereas in the latter view can be found just the opposite since a free will creation is emphasized over a deterministic one. Here everything is connected (including the Divine), alive, dynamic, living full or actualized lives in time's present space, is highly relational, and requiring our best efforts in living out love, hope, light, and life.


Process theology is a theology of Being/being when applied to the Christian religion. And a philosophy of attitude/outlook when applied to all religions - even agnosticism and atheism. Because it is a philosophy it can be affective or effectuating upon other philosophies like our Western sense of philosophy or, for Europeans, their Continental sense. The same is true for Middle Eastern, Hispanic, Asian, Indian, and Micronesian cultures. But it can also be affected itself by the other - as it would be when religion is applied to it from a variety of global perspectives.

Mostly, process thought seems to be postmodern process of discovering when embracing the global community of mankind, seeking to instill a respect and dignity across all races, genders, and sexes, and its willingness to accept that humanity is continually living "into" its transformative (social, spiritual, physical) evolution in remarkable ways.... Even when devolving or evolving as social beings in relationship to one another. It questions the past while always seeking to uplift, if not enlighten the past by informing our present humanity towards a future wholeness, order, and healing. Hence, the future may become more hopeful, more abundant in human relations, more loving, and just, when we give a mindfulness to the redemption the God of Creation has provided humanity through Himself, His Life, Death, and Resurrection.


In many ways, Process Philosophical Thought is the master teacher sharing with the world a way of life. Eastern religions operate deeply on this principle. It is something they have understood for centuries. Western civilizations however seem to be less spiritually thoughtful, more willing to disturb and destroy, more fully at liberty to overtake, overthrow, or profoundly change encountered societies to become more like its own. To change the balance of an ecology's abundant thriving across ceaseless eras. To essentially change the balance of any opposing ideologies to itself. This is generally true of both American and European progress. Process Thought cautions us to slow down, to rethink our ways, to resist the forces of "the dark side," and to be willing to change how we relate, not only to ourselves but towards those different from ourselves as we seek the spiritual in the heart of creation.

In sum, Process Philosophy/Theology sees us as beings in process with our Creator, in process with our world, in process with one another, and in process with ourselves. It is not unlike other philosophies of this nature but it superintends itself more holistically across all branches of philosophy and science. Practically, we are incomplete versions of ourselves ever evolving towards completion, renewal, and reaffirmation through rebirth, resurrection, and revival. It is above all a philosophy of peace, abundance, thriving, cooperation, adoration, beauty, healing, and undoing.

R.E. Slater
September 1, 2017


Process Thought Online Classroom with Jay McDaniel
(and a host of other interested students)

What is Process Thought?
A Short Course Introducing Whitehead's Philosophy and Helping
Readers Understand Passages from his book Process and Reality,
Featuring Twenty Short Videos in an online forum.


The Web link may be found here:
http://www.jesusjazzbuddhism.org/what-is-process-thought.html


4 Books to Read in the Study Group:



Process-Relational Philosophy: An Introduction to Alfred North Whitehead 1st Edition,
by C. Robert Mesle (publ date: March 1, 2008)


Mesle Book Blurb
Process thought is the foundation for studies in many areas of contemporary philosophy, theology, political theory, educational theory, and the religion-science dialogue. It is derived from Alfred North Whitehead's philosophy, known as process theology, which lays a groundwork for integrating evolutionary biology, physics, philosophy of mind, theology, environmental ethics, religious pluralism, education, economics, and more.

In Process-Relational Philosophy, C. Robert Mesle breaks down Whitehead's complex writings, providing a simple but accurate introduction to the vision that underlies much of contemporary process philosophy and theology. In doing so, he points to a "way beyond both reductive materialism and the traps of Cartesian dualism by showing reality as a relational process in which minds arise from bodies, in which freedom and creativity are foundational to process, in which the relational power of persuasion is more basic than the unilateral power of coercion."

Because process-relational philosophy addresses the deep intuitions of a relational world basic to environmental and global thinking, it is being incorporated into undergraduate and graduate courses in philosophy, educational theory and practice, environmental ethics, and science and values, among others. Process-Relational Philosophy: A Basic Introduction makes Whitehead's creative vision accessible to all students and general readers.

About Mesle
C. Robert Mesle is a recognized authority on process thought and the author of the acclaimed Process Theology: A Basic Introduction (1993), the most widely read introduction to process theology. A professor and chair of the philosophy and religion department of Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa, he received his PhD from Northwestern University. He is a board member of the International Process Network and the China Project of the Center for Process Studies and serves on the editorial boards of the American Journal of Theology and Philosophy and Process Studies. He resides in Lamoni, Iowa.



Process and Reality (Gifford Lectures Delivered in the University of Edinburgh During the
Session  1927-28) 2nd Edition, by Alfred North Whitehead (publ date: July 1, 1979)


Book Blurb
One of the major philosophical texts of the 20th century, Process and Reality is based on Alfred North Whitehead’s influential lectures that he delivered at the University of Edinburgh in the 1920s on process philosophy.

Whitehead’s master work in philsophy, Process and Reality propounds a system of speculative philosophy, known as process philosophy, in which the various elements of reality into a consistent relation to each other. It is also an exploration of some of the preeminent thinkers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, such as Descartes, Newton, Locke, and Kant.

The ultimate edition of Whitehead’s magnum opus, Process and Reality is a standard reference for scholars of all backgrounds.

About A.N. Whitehead
An English mathematician and philosopher, Alfred North Whitehead provided the foundation for the shool of thought known as process philosophy. With an academic career that spanned from Cambridge to Harvard, Whitehead wrote extensively on mathematics, metaphysis, and philosophy. He died in Massachusetts in 1947.



by John B Cobb Jr (publ date: November 17, 2015)


Book Blurb
A glossary of the most important terms in Whitehead's Process and Reality, by one of the greatest living authorities on Whitehead's thought. The terms are presented in rational order, making the book a succinct unfolding of Whitehead's thought.

About Cobb
John B. Cobb Jr. is the global leader of process theology and one of the greatest theological minds of the last fifty years. He is professor of theology emeritus at Claremont School of Theology in Claremont, California, and the cofounder of the Center for Process Studies. He is the author of over thirty books, including God and the World.



Paperback, by Bruce G. Epperly (publ date: May 26, 2011)


Book Blurb
This is an introductory guide to Process Theology for undergraduates. As part of Contiuum's 'Guide for the Perplexed' series, this text provides an accessible introduction to process theology, aimed at nurturing the theological imagination of undergraduates, pastors and interested laypersons. It describes the major themes of process theology and relates them to the everyday lives and spiritual commitments of people today. In addition to addressing traditional theological issues, Epperly addresses cutting edge issues in theology and ethics such as pluralism and postmodernism, matters of life and death, science (technology and genetics), and emerging forms of Christianity. This text is designed for seminary and university classes as well as congregational study. It will help readers to overcome the obstacles created by the technical language often employed by process theologians. Continuum's Guides for the Perplexed are clear, concise and accessible introductions to thinkers, writers and subjects that students and readers can find especially challenging - or indeed downright bewildering. Concentrating specifically on what it is that makes the subject difficult to grasp, these books explain and explore key themes and ideas, guiding the reader towards a thorough understanding of demanding material.


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Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947)


References


Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy - ANW: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/whitehead/

Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy - Process Philosophy:

Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy - Process Theism:



Helpful Introductory Videos


Process Philosophy Explained





A. N. Whitehead - Introduction



Video Author's Note: "My Whitehead article in Philosophy Now magazine:
A Synopsis of A. N. Whitehead’s Metaphysics: https://philosophynow.org/issues/114/... 
Transcript: http://www.philosopher.eu/a-n-whitehe..."



Fundamentals of Process Theology





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