Whitehead's Religious Thought

From Mechanism to Organism, From Force to Persuasion

By Daniel A. Dombrowski

Subjects: Philosophy, Philosophy Of Religion, Theology, Political Philosophy, Environmental Philosophy
Paperback : 9781438464305, 204 pages, January 2018
Hardcover : 9781438464299, 204 pages, January 2017

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Table of contents

Abbreviations of Works by Whitehead

1. Griffin’s Panexperientialism as Perennial Philosophy

2. Stengers on Whitehead on God

3. Rawlsian Political Liberalism and Process Thought

4. Hartshorne, the Process Concept of God, and Pacifism

5. Butler and Grievable Lives

6. Wordsworth, Whitehead, and the Romantic Reaction

Index of Names

Presents the process theistic thought of Whitehead as a third alternative between classical theism and religious skepticism.


This original interpretation of the religious thought of Alfred North Whitehead highlights Whitehead's moves from mechanism to organism, and from force to persuasion to offer a third alternative between classical theism and religious skepticism. Daniel A. Dombrowski argues that the move from force to persuasion, in particular, is not only fundamental to Whitehead's own thought and to process thought in general, but is a necessary condition for the continuing existence of civilized life. Following this line of analysis, Dombrowski demonstrates Whitehead's relevance to contemporary work in philosophy of mind, political philosophy, and environmental ethics by placing him in dialogue with six major thinkers: David Ray Griffin, Isabelle Stengers, John Rawls, Charles Hartshorne, Judith Butler, and William Wordsworth.

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


"This is a clear and insightful work of political theology. " — CHOICE

"This mature synthesis of the full range of central concerns that have played out across Dombrowski's long and extraordinarily productive career represents an important contribution to the contemporary literature of process thought. Moreover, because his work has always embraced influences from outside of the process community, this book will have the additional value of introducing many process-oriented readers to nonprocess perspectives, which Dombrowski presents with great care and accuracy. " — Derek Malone-France, author of Faith, Fallibility, and the Virtue of Anxiety: An Essay in Religion and Political Liberalism