Analytic Theism, Hartshorne, and the Concept of God

By Daniel A. Dombrowski

Subjects: Process Philosophy
Series: SUNY series in Philosophy
Paperback : 9780791431009, 247 pages, October 1996
Hardcover : 9780791430996, 247 pages, October 1996

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Table of contents

List of Schemata


Abbreviations of Works by Hartshorne


1. Must a Perfect Being be Immutable?

2. Method and Polar Equality in Dipolar Theism

3. Divine Embodiment

4. Alston and Morris on the Concept of God

5. Describing God

6. The Concept of God and the Concept of God



Index of Names

Initiates and continues a dialogue regarding the concept of God in the neoclassical philosophy of Charles Hartshorne and that found in analytic philosophers who adhere to classical theism.


This book initiates a dialogue where one does not exist, and continues a dialogue where one has been tentatively initiated, regarding the concept of God in the neoclassical philosophy of Charles Hartshorne and that found in analytic philosophers who adhere to classical theism.

Two distinctive features of the book are a careful examination of Hartshorne's use of position matrices in the philosophy of religion so as to avoid a myopic view of the theoretical options open to us, and an extended treatment of the largely uncritical appropriation by analytic theists of the Aristotelian tradition in theology, a tradition that relies on a certain form of Platonism not necessarily held by Plato.

Daniel A. Dombrowski is Professor of Philosophy at Seattle University. He is the author of Hartshorne and the Metaphysics of Animal Rights; and St. John of the Cross: An Appreciation, both published by SUNY Press, as well as Plato's Philosophy of History; The Philosophy of Vegetarianism; Thoreau the Platonist; and Christian Pacifism.


"…this book will open up a broader conversation in which analytic philosophers of religion and Hartshornians can jointly participate!" — International Studies in Philosophy

"The book recontextualizes and resituates Charles Hartshorne's contributions to philosophical theology within the frame of reference of contemporary anglo-American analytic thought and opens a dialogue between these two traditions that would enrich the quality of philosophical reflection in both. This is a worthy goal, and Dombrowski sets about it with a clarity of vision and firmness of purpose that is admirable. The book is methodically organized and clearly argued. The author shows himself familiar not only with the details of Hartshorne's corpus, but also with a wide range of writings by all the major figures in mainstream contemporary philosophical thought who have devoted their attention to philosophical theism and the problem of God. He is thus able to sustain an elaborate dialectic involving this wide array of scholars, usually treated in logical sequence, but sometimes engaged in a larger, multifaceted discussion with one another and with Hartshorne. What is learned from these discussions is finally brought to bear upon a number of pressing existential questions in the fields of ethics and applied moral philosophy, rescuing the whole treatment from the realm of a purely theoretical abstraction. These are laudable achievements. " — George R. Lucas, Jr. , Georgetown University