Transforming Process Theism / Edition 1

Transforming Process Theism / Edition 1

by Lewis S. Ford

ISBN-10: 0791445364

ISBN-13: 9780791445365

Pub. Date: 05/28/2000

Publisher: State University of New York Press

Ford (philosophy, Old Dominion U.) finds a problem in process theism, which developed from suggestions by Whitehead and now dominates discussions of philosophical and natural theology in Europe and America: because only past or objectified determinate events can influence present experiences, and because God, as conceived by Whitehead, is never fully determinate…  See more details below


Ford (philosophy, Old Dominion U.) finds a problem in process theism, which developed from suggestions by Whitehead and now dominates discussions of philosophical and natural theology in Europe and America: because only past or objectified determinate events can influence present experiences, and because God, as conceived by Whitehead, is never fully determinate or objectifiable as a past event, it is difficult to see how this divine persuasive power can have any influence on the present as a source of creativity and genuinely new possibilities for enactment. He traces the development back to Whitehead's thought and detects another kind of causal influence that does not require objectification. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

Product Details

State University of New York Press
Publication date:
SUNY Series in Philosophy Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Product dimensions:
5.92(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.89(d)

Table of Contents




The Intelligibility of Future Activity

I. Meanings of the Future Appropriate to God

1. Meanings of the Future
2. Ways in Which God Is Future
3. Ways in Which God Is Not Future

II. Three Ways Whitehead Revises Traditional Expectations

1. Divine Persuasion Replaces Classical Omnipotence
2. God Need Not Be Conceived as Creator Ex Nihilo
3. Becoming Is Primary; Being Is Derivative

III. Toward a New Conception of the Future

1. Modes of Actuality
2. The Future as Actually Indeterminate
3. The Future as the Source of Creativity
4. The Future as the Source of Aim
5. The Nature of the Future as Actual

IV. The Plan of This Book

Part One
Whitehead's Successive Concepts of God

Chapter One: The Principle of Limitation

I. Background
II. Criticisms
III. Types of Limitation

Chapter Two: Deconstructing Theism

I. Introduction
II. The Final Concept: God as Temporal and Concrescent
III. The Middle Concept: God as Nontemporal and Concrescent
IV The Early Concept

Chapter Three: Reconstructing Nontemporal Theism

I. A Comparison of Concepts

1. The Initial, Minimal Concept
2. The Final Concept
3. The Middle Concept

II. Possible Solutions to the Riddle

1. Natural and Experiential Theology
2. The Role of Religion
3. Temporalist Implications

III. A Possible External Influence

1. Henry Nelson Wieman
2. Whitehead's Reaction

IV. The Initial Concept of God

1. Actual Entity
2. Transcendence
3. Self-Causation
4. Instance of Creativity
5. The Ontological Principle

V. The 1926 Metaphysical Principles

1. The Principle of Solidarity
2. The Principle of Creative Individuality
3. The Principle of Efficient Causation
4. The Ontological Principle
5. The Principle of Esthetic Individuality
6. The Principle of Ideal Comparison

VI. The 1927 Metaphysical Principles

VII. The Middle Concept of God

1. Preconditions for the Middle Concept
2. Precipitating Factors

Chapter Four: Reconstructing Process Theism

I. Preliminary Considerations

1. Exemplifying the Metaphysical Principles
2. Nontemporal Subjectivity

II. Precipitating Factors

1. Temporal Subjectivity
2. Locus of Integration
3. Is 'Consciousness' the Reason for Process Theism?
4. Is 'Everlastingness' the Reason for Process Theism?
5. What about the Provision of Subjective Aim?
6. The Intensification of Process

III. Whitehead's Problematic Legacy

1. How God Affects the World
2. The Fourth Phase
3. Apparent Responsiveness and Nontemporal Valuation
4. Later Writings

Part Two
The Search for the Prehensibility of God

Chapter Five: The Divine Power in the Present

I. William A. Christian

II. Marjorie Suchocki

III. Palmyre Oomen

IV. Jorge Nobo

V. Elizabeth M. Kraus

VI. Lewis S. Ford

Chapter Six: The Power of the Past

I. Nancy Frankenberry and the Power of the Past

II. Hartshorne and the Objectification of God

1. The Principle of Prehension
2. Objections Based on Hartshorne's Own Position

Objection 1
Divine Occasions are Exceptions to the Metaphysical Principles
Objection 2
Alternation and Asychronicity
Objection 3
Divine Occasions Are Not Persuasive
Objection 4
Divine Occasions Limit Creaturely Freedom
Objection 5
It Undercuts Nontemporal Subjectivity
Objection 6
How Is Creativity Transmitted within God?

3. Divine Occasions with Initial Aims

Objection 7
How Can the Initial Aims Be Selected?
Objection 8
Eternal Objects Become Everlasting
Objection 9
An Objection from Mathematics

4. The Objection from Relativity Physics

Chapter Seven: Process Nontemporality

I.Bowman Clarke

II. Uncreated Eternal Objects

III. The Metaphysical Principles

IV Nontemporal Decision and Determination

Part III
The Imprehensibility of God

Chapter Eight: The Power of the Future

I. God and Future Creativity: Some Preliminary Objections

1. God and Creativity
2. God and Being
3. God and Eternity
4. God As Future Actuality
5. God As Becoming

II. The Identification of God with Future Creativity

1. God As Personal
2. Divine Responsiveness
3. Perfect Power
4. God as Empty

III. The Infusion of Creativity

1. Modes of Actuality
2. Prehension and the Infusion of Creativity
3. Aim
4. The Interdependence of Creativity and Aim

Chapter Nine: Persistence and the Extensive Continuum

I. Persistence and Perception

1. Diremption
2 Emergence of Persistence
3. Atrophy
4. Inclusive Occasions
5. Physical Perception and Prehension
6. Future Physical Perception
7. Divine Consciousness

II. The Extensive Continuum

1. The Ontological Status of the Extensive Continuum
2. The Extensive Continuum and Societies
3. Relativity Physics
4. In Unison of Becoming
5. The Locus of all Locations
6. Locus and Passage
7. Divine Privacy and Publicity

Chapter Ten: Creativity and Contingency

I. Creativity

1. Present and Future Creativity
2. Eschatological Actuality

II. Contingency

1. Contingency and Interdependence
2. Rationalist and Empiricist Process Theology
3. Uniqueness and Primacy
4. Divine Satisfaction

III. Concluding Objections

Objection 1
If God Is Future Creativity, How Can God Also Be Personal and Individual?

Objection 2
Is My Claim That Creativity Is Derived from God, Too Much Biased in the Direction of Western Monotheism?

Objection 3
Isn't It Blasphemous to Suppose That Our Own Subjectivity Is Simply a Continuation of God's? Isn't This Simply a Kind of Temporalistic Pantheism?

Objection 4
Does Not the Ontotheological Stricture Exclude the Possibility of God as Future Creativity?



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