A History of the Concept of God

A Process Approach

By Daniel A. Dombrowski

Subjects: Theology, Religion, Philosophy, Process Philosophy
Paperback : 9781438459363, 280 pages, January 2017
Hardcover : 9781438459370, 280 pages, February 2016

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Table of contents


Part I. Classical Theism
1. Philo (30 bce–50 ce)

2. St. Augustine (354–430)

3. St. Anselm (1033–1109)

4. Al Ghazzali (1058–1111)

5. Maimonides (1135–1204)

6. St. Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274)

7. Rene Descartes (1596–1650)

8. Gottfried Leibniz (1646–1716)

9. Immanuel Kant (1724–1804)

Part II. Ancient Greek Theism
10. Plato (427–347 bce): Omnipresence

11. Plato (427–347 bce): Against Omnipotence

12. Aristotle (384–322 bce)

13. Plotinus (205–270 ce)

Part III. Neoclassical or Process Theism
14. Faustus Socinus (1539–1604)

15. Friedrich von Schelling (1775–1854)

16. Gustav Fechner (1801–1887)

17. Charles Sanders Peirce(1839–1914)

18. Otto Pfleiderer (1839–1908)

19. Nicholas Berdyaev (1874–1948)

20. Mohammed Iqbal (1877–1938)

21. Martin Buber (1878–1965)

22. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881–1955)

Part IV. Henri Bergson and Alfred North Whitehead
23. Henri Bergson (1859–1941)

24. Alfred North Whitehead (1861–1947): Up to Process and Reality
25. Alfred North Whitehead: Appraisal and Works after Process and Reality

A history of the concept of God through the lens of process thought.


Daniel A. Dombrowski explores the history of the concept of God from the perspective of neoclassical, or process, theism. His neoclassical approach assuages the current crisis in philosophical theism, caught between a defense of classical theism and assertions of religious skepticism. Instead, the work offers Charles Hartshorne's notion of a God who always evolves, quite unlike the allegedly perfect figure of more traditional, and increasingly unsatisfactory, accounts. Dombrowski surveys the classical theists and their roots in ancient Greek philosophy before turning to contributions from the sixteenth through twentieth centuries, ultimately discussing twenty-three thinkers. The key figures in this history are Plato, who ironically provided the philosophical basis both for classical and neoclassical concepts, and three great figures in process theism: Henri Bergson, Alfred North Whitehead, and Hartshorne. The concept of God has a rich past; this book argues that it can have a rich future as well.

Daniel A. Dombrowski is Professor of Philosophy at Seattle University. He is the author of many books, including Hartshorne and the Metaphysics of Animal Rights; Rawls and Religion: The Case for Political Liberalism; and A Platonic Philosophy of Religion: A Process Perspective, all published by SUNY Press.


"…a fascinating book." — Reading Religion