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Process Philosophy and Christian Thought by Delwin Brown, Ralph James, Gene Reeves (eds.)

Delwin Brown holds degrees from Union Theological Seminary, New York, and Claremont Graduate School. He is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Anderson College, and Lecturer in Philosophy of Religion at the School of Theology. Ralph E. James, Jr. attended Emory and Drew Universities. He is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religion at North Carolina Wesleyan College. Gene Reeves holds degrees from Boston and Emory Universities. He has taught at Tufts University and is now Professor of Philosophy at Wilberforce University. This book was published in 1971 by The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc. It was prepared for Religion-Online by Harry W. and Grace C. Adams


The Contributors

The editors give a brief summary of their purpose and scope in presenting Whiteheadian process philosophy and its relation to Christian theology.

Chapter 1: Whiteheadís Metaphysical System by Victor Lowe
As a background for the reader, Lowe presents the major emphases in Whiteheadís complex and elaborate concepts.

Chapter 2: The Development of Process Theology by Gene Reeves and Delwin Brown
The historical development of process philosophy in the field of theology, and a survey the main thinkersí emphases.

Chapter 3: Religion and Metaphysics by Alfred North Whitehead
Whitehead offers his abbreviated argument for a religious dogma based on a rational metaphysics rather than historical investigation.

Chapter 4: Christian Faith and Process Philosophy by Bernard M. Loomer
Several criticisms of process philosophy that can be raised from the standpoint of Christian faith.

Chapter 5: Christian Natural Theology by John B. Cobb, Jr.
Cobb argues for a Christian natural theology that is inclusive enough to encompass both reason and faith, and posits that the philosophy of Whitehead provides the best possibility for such a theology.

Chapter 6: A Christian Natural Theology? by Schubert M. Ogden
Ogdenís review of Cobb is appreciative as well as critical of his attempt to construct a hybrid of philosophy and Christian conviction that is both philosophically and theologically sound.

Chapter 7: Analogy and Myth in Postliberal Theology by Bernard E. Meland
Meland agrees with Ogdenís attempt to construct a post-liberal theology based on Bultmannís concept of demythologizing, but cautions on substituting philosophical analogies and metaphors for Christian myth.

Chapter 8: Psychological and Ontological Perspectives on Faith and Reason by Don S. Browning
Browning discusses the relation of faith and reason by bringing together resources from psychology and ontology.

Chapter 9: The Metaphysical Target and the Theological Victim by Malcolm L. Diamond
Diamond's philosophical theology following the rejection of Barthian dogmatics and logical positivism.

Chapter 10: Toward a New Theism by Schubert M. Ogden
Ogden addresses the problem of the doctrine of God for many thoughtful contemporaries who have opted either for complete secularism or for classical Christian theism, and suggests an alternative approach based on Whiteheadís philosophy.

Chapter 11: The Formally Possible Doctrines of God by Charles Hartshorne
Hartshorne offers a closely reasoned philosophical argument for a doctrine of God based, not on the classical metaphysical categories of traditional theology, but on process philosophy that allows some non-absolute aspects of God.

Chapter 12: A Whiteheadian Doctrine of God by John B. Cobb, Jr.
Cobb addresses elements of incoherence in Whiteheadís doctrine of God including the nature of God in relation to time, space, external objects and creativity.

Chapter 13: God for Today and Tomorrow by Walter E. Stokes, S.J.
Stokes explores Whiteheadís approach to a philosophy of religion in how religious experience is open to critical reflection that does no violence either to manís dignity or Godís existence.

Chapter 14: Ely on Whiteheadís God by Bernard M. Loomer
Loomer discusses and evaluates Stephen Elyís conclusion that Whiteheadís metaphysical analysis is not of the God of religion but is based on Whiteheadís concepts of value, goodness and the individual.

Chapter 15: Divine Persuasion and the Triumph of Good by Lewis S. Ford
Ford addresses the problem of reconciling Godís goodness and power in the face of unexplained evil, and the resulting effect on both human freedom and the final triumph of goodness.

Chapter16: Whitehead Without God by Donald W. Sherburne
Sherburne proposes naturalizing Whiteheadís metaphysics by exorcising the concept "God" and all supernaturalism, and by attacking inconsistencies in the ontological arguments of Hartshorne and Cobb.

Chapter 17: A Christological Assessment of Dipolar Theism by Thomas W. Ogletree
Ogletree describes Hartshorneís understanding of God as dipolar, or encompassing both abstract and concrete polls, and examines this in the light of the Christian confession of Jesus Christ.

Chapter 18: Schubert Ogdenís Christology and the Possibilities of Process Philosophy by David Griffin
Griffin attempts to determine whether Ogdenís use of process philosophy is adequate, and concludes that process philosophy provides more adequate possibilities than those used by Ogden.

Chapter 19: Some Proposals for a Modern Christology by Peter N. Hamilton
Hamilton defends his incarnational Christology with reliance on process philosophy as a rational support for the resurrection of Jesus.

Chapter 20: A Whiteheadian Christology by John B. Cobb, Jr.
Cobb attempts to explain explains how we can intelligently affirm the unique presence of God in Jesus in such a way as to avoid detracting from his humanity and yet understand explain his strange authority.

Chapter 21: Process Cosmology and Theological Particularity by Ralph E. James, Jr.
James describes the emerging confrontation between philosophical cosmology and historical theology and the avenues for resolution offered by process philosophy for metaphysics, anthropology and evolution.

Chapter 22: Evolution and Religious Thought: from Darwin to Whitehead by Bernard E. Meland
Meland traces the growing influence of Whiteheadís philosophy on the images of thought both in modernism as stimulated by Darwinian evolution, and changes in the post-Darwinian era ushered in by the creative evolution movement in physics.

Chapter 23: Religion and Science by Alfred North Whitehead
Whitehead observes that religion and science have always been in conflict, and each has been in a state of continual internal development, but both should seek a large scale perspective based on mutual respect and toleration.

Chapter 24: Time, Progress, and the Kingdom of God by Daniel Day Williams
Williams asks "Can we believe in the progress of the reign of God in history or is the ultimate conflict between His Kingdom and the kingdoms of this world unresolved to the end of time?" He suggests the answer does not emerge from liberalism or existentialism but rather through process theology.

Chapter 25: The Aims of Societies and the Aims of God by George Allan
Allan argues that if God aims at the salvation of men, and men and societies are inextricably united, then there is no salvation apart from salvation of the social order, or indeed from the salvation of the world.


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