The One, the Many, and the Trinity

The One, the Many, and the Trinity: Joseph A. Bracken and the challenge of process metaphysics

Marc A. Pugliese
Copyright Date: 2011
Pages: 297
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  • Book Info
    The One, the Many, and the Trinity
    Book Description:

    The One, the Many, and the Trinity analyzes perhaps the most ambitious and robust system of process thought developed from a Roman Catholic perspective, that of Joseph A. Bracken,

    eISBN: 978-0-8132-1900-4
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. xi-xx)

    Process-relational metaphysics demands careful attention. Like classical metaphysics, process metaphysics is too often quickly dismissed by those who do not understand it or fail to grasp its significance. Too often have contemporary philosophers and theologians viewed process thought as a recent curiosity that must be relegated to the memory of twentieth-century intellectual anomalies. This is because neither the questions process metaphysics addresses nor its complex and sophisticated answers are adequately understood, let alone appreciated. This work tries to treat process thought with the detail and thoroughness required to grasp its true significance. Theologians and philosophers doing metaphysics, as well those...

  5. CHAPTER 1 The Challenge of Process Thought
    (pp. 1-67)

    Considered in isolation, Whitehead’s process metaphysics might seem a bizarre, unrealistic, and irrelevant eccentricity of the early twentieth century. Without understanding the issues it was addressing, one runs the risk of underestimating process thought’s meaning and importance, and of easily dismissing it.¹ Therefore here I will raise some of the important questions of the last several centuries that process thought tries to address.

    In one sense process thought is yet another attempt to address the perennial metaphysical problem of change and permanence,² and in doing so it has engaged the best philosophy and science of its day. In Western philosophy...

  6. CHAPTER 2 The Philosophical Process Theology of Joseph A. Bracken
    (pp. 68-159)

    Joseph A. Bracken, S.J., is a process thinker of unique importance. As one of the few process theologians working from within the Catholic tradition, Bracken has produced an unparalleled synthesis of the Catholic tradition and modern process metaphysics. In doing so, he is a living exemplar of how historically the best Catholic philosophers and theologians have seriously engaged the intellectual currents of their day. Bracken is important for Catholics thinkers because he makes a well-informed case that process metaphysics must not be rashly dismissed but seriously considered as a necessary rethinking of metaphysics in our day.

    Bracken is also important...

  7. CHAPTER 3 The Problem of the One and the Many
    (pp. 160-207)

    Process thought has been challenged on many counts and from many quarters, including those assuming a more or less classical theistic view of God. I will not rehearse these evaluations here but rather will focus on evaluating process solutions to the specific problem of the one and the many. This will highlight what I see to be a major shortcoming in process metaphysics.

    Before analyzing process solutions to the problem, I will suggest a reason for its genesis and difficulty in process thought. One of White-head’s central axioms is that “God is not to be treated as an exception to...

  8. CHAPTER 4 Classical Theism and the Problem of the One and the Many
    (pp. 208-243)

    I have argued that process thought in general and Bracken’s theology in particular simultaneously generate the so-called problem of the one and the many and are unable to solve it, because they relegate metaphysics, including the metaphysics of ultimate reality, to principles that have classically been understood as applying to created reality only. Before examining how classical theism might respond to the problem of the one and the many with reference to the distinction between finite and transcendent being, or the Creator-creature distinction, I will point to ways in which it appears that process thinkers themselves do not avoid this...

  9. CHAPTER 5 Conclusion
    (pp. 244-250)

    Thorough treatment of the genesis and features of process metaphysics is necessary to understand its meaning and significance, the challenges it poses, and its widespread influence, even among those who are not process thinkers. Like the classical Western metaphysics to which it responds, process metaphysics is frequently misunderstood, marginalized, and even summarily dismissed. This book aims at understanding and informed analysis.

    Process thought appeared as a reconstruction of the perennial task of systematically addressing the ever-present ultimate limit questions of the great philosophical and religious traditions, but in a way that seriously reckons with the significant theoretical and practical developments...

  10. Bibliography
    (pp. 251-276)
  11. Index
    (pp. 277-298)
  12. Back Matter
    (pp. 299-300)