Alfred North Whitehead. Filozoficzna wiara uczonego i jej wpływ na współczesną teologię i religię


Słowa kluczowe:

Alfred North Whitehead, process theism, classical theism, open theism, God’s immutability, God’s impassibility, God of philosophers, God of religion, Józef Tischner, Józef Życiński, Socinians


The subject of the article Alfred North Whitehead. The Philosophical Faith of a Scientist and Its Influence on Contemporary Theology and Religion is Whitehead’s concept of God, which constitutes the completion of his metaphysical system. The system provides a comprehensive vision of reality taking into account the modern state of science, and proposing a speculative solution to such persistent philosophical problems as the relationship between mind and body, God and evil, or freedom and determinism and indeterminism. Section 1 presents a brief biography of Whitehead highlighting his adolescent dissatisfaction with Anglicanism and moving closer to Catholicism, followed by a phase of secularism and agnosticism, and a later mature philosophical conception of God and religion. Section 2 presents the basic doctrines of Whitehead's metaphysics, and section 3 shows how process theism differs from classical, especially Thomistic theism. The dispute about the divine immutability and impassibility, questioned by Whitehead and his main intellectual successor Charles Hartshorne, is emphasized. Whitehead’s concept of God inspired many contemporary theologians and became an important competitor of classical theism. Process theism has not gained wider acceptance, despite the fact that it is more consistent with the scientific view of the world and better expresses certain aspects of popular Christian religiosity. This was mainly due to the rejection by process philosophers and theologians of traditional eschatology, and especially of the idea of subjective immortality. However, the process concept of God contributed, among others, to the emergence of open theism, which also had independent ancient sources, and to the adjustments made by many philosophers within classical theism. In Poland, Whitehead's metaphysics and philosophy of God influenced, among others, the work of Archbishop Józef Życiński. It is also worth mentioning that the Polish Socinians are regarded as precursors of process theism.