The Theological Significance of Hartshorne's Response to Positivism

Religious Studies 21 (4):573 - 588 (1985)
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Charles Hartshorne is usually regarded as the developer of the theological approach initiated by Alfred North Whitehead. Justification for this view is to be found not only in the central focus of Hartshorne's voluminous writings, but also in his own references to Whitehead's accomplishments. He notes that Whitehead did not regard himself as a theologian, but rather saw his task as that of attempting to reconcile the professedly neutral burgeoning fields of science and the wider ideals necessary to civilized human life. It is in the context of this pursuit that Whitehead makes his extremely suggestive, but tantalizingly vague, comments which provide a foundation for theological reconstruction. According to this approach, two dimensions, or natures, must be distinguished in God, a conceptual primordial nature which structures the possibilities for life and a concrete consequential nature which receives the actualities which result from the possibilities that are realized



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