Process Mysticism

By Daniel A. Dombrowski

Subjects: Process Philosophy, Mysticism, Philosophy Of Religion, Theology, Metaphysics
Hardcover : 9781438491356, 231 pages, January 2023
Paperback : 9781438491349, 231 pages, July 2023

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Table of contents

Abbreviations of Works by Charles Hartshorne, Alfred North Whitehead, and Henri Bergson

1. Concepts of God

2. World-Inclusiveness and Nature

3. Ideal Power and Tragedy

4. Abstract and Concrete

5. Whiteheadian Contributions

6. Asceticism and Apophaticism

7. Visions and Voices

8. Bergsonian Contributions

9. The Aesthetics of Mystical Experience

10. Consequences for Ethics

Index of Names

Offers a process philosophical approach to mysticism and mystical religious experience.


Process Mysticism uses the process philosophies of Charles Hartshorne, Alfred North Whitehead, and Henri Bergson to explore mystical religious experiences. The aim is not so much to demonstrate that such experiences are true or veridical as it is to understand, in a William Jamesian fashion, how they could be possible and not contradict the concept of God held by philosophers and theologians. Divine world-inclusiveness, ideal power and tragedy, the ontological argument, asceticism and the via negativa, divine visions and voices, and the aesthetics and ethics of mysticism are all treated in detail. The book is ecumenical in that it is meant to illuminate mystical experiences as they occur around the world in different religious traditions, but the author is especially familiar with those in the Abrahamic religions. "Mysticism" can refer to either direct experience of God or the claim that such experience is ineffable, and both senses of the term are carefully analyzed in the book.

Daniel A. Dombrowski is Professor of Philosophy at Seattle University. His previous books include A History of the Concept of God: A Process Approach and Whitehead's Religious Thought: From Mechanism to Organism, From Force to Persuasion, both published by SUNY Press.


"Process Mysticism is among the most important rigorously philosophical and natural scientific appreciations of religious mysticism since William James's The Varieties of Religious Experience. Dombrowski demonstrates that neoclassical process theology (panentheism) can account for mystical experiences far better than classical theology or atheism (and far better than pantheism)." — Theodore Walker Jr., coauthor of The Big Bang and God: An Astro-Theology