Process-Relational Constructive Postmodern Thought
21 Jan 95 16:32:02 PST

The Center for Process Studies
The Center for a Postmodern World
The Process & Faith Program

The Centers for Process Studies and a Postmodern World and
the Process and Faith Program are contributing to the development
of a new cultural paradigm influenced by a holistic worldview.
Institute research addresses problems multi-disciplinary,
avoiding some of the inertia and other limitations of university
disciplines. Where other "new paradigm" institutes focus on
particular issues like ecology, agriculture, feminism, race and
class, decentralist political economic theory, or appropriate
technology, the process focus is on a non-dualist, panentheist
worldview applicable to a wide range of problems. The process
worldview uniquely integrates science, religion, ethics, and
aesthetics, while the process agenda includes feminist,
ecological, political, and economic issues.

The Western process tradition includes William James, C. S.
Peirce, John Dewey, Henri Bergson, and Pierre Teilhard de
Chardin, influenced by themes in Hegel, Leibniz, Eckhart, the
Bible, Plato, Aristotle, and Heraclitus. The Center for Process
Studies, however, coordinates a worldwide network of scholars
developing the thought of A. N. Whitehead. These include
philosophers Charles Hartshorne, Lewis Ford, David Griffin, David
Pailin, Nancy Frankenberry, and Young-Hwan Oh; biologist Charles
Birch, science-and-religion scholar Ian Barbour; theologians John
B. Cobb, Jr., Schubert Ogden, Marjorie Suchocki, Mary Elizabeth
Mullino Moore, and New Testament scholar William Beardslee; along
with others like Buddhist-Christian scholar Tokiyuki Nobuhara,
feminist theologian Catherine Keller, African American theologian
Henry Young, and eco-spirituality scholar Jay McDaniel. Process
writings have been translated into Korean, Japanese, Spanish,
French, Italian, German, and other languages.

Process thought emphasizes the interrelated, social nature
of reality; events, experience, and becoming rather than
substance and being; persuasive power over coercive power. For
Whitehead, "philosophy is mystical," an attempt to "rationalize
mysticism," to rationally coordinate our verbal characterizations
of direct insight into unspoken depths. Whitehead's cosmology
brings aesthetic, moral, and religious interests into
relationship with science in an attempt to provide a coherent
system for interpreting every element of our experience. The
universe is a union of opposites, the one and the many, both
unity and multiplicity. "Religion is the vision of something
which stands beyond, behind, and within the passing flux of
immediate things...." God is "immanent int he actual world, but
transcending any finite cosmic epoch--a being at once actual,
eternal, immanent, and transcendent." God and world jointly
constitute creativity,the ultimate reality. God is the
aboriginal instance of this creativity.*

The Center for Process Studies, co-founded by John B. Cobb,
Jr. and David Ray Griffin in 1973, is oriented to the needs of
scholars and students. The Process and Faith program, directed
by William A. Beardslee, addresses themes of process theology to
pastors, religious educators, and theologically-interested laity.
The Center for a Postmodern World, founded by David Ray Griffin
in 1987, relates the process worldview to many of the concerns of
non-academic and secular audiences.

The Center for Process Studies maintains a library of 1400
books, 350 dissertations, and 6000 articles, and has an open
lending policy. Article files for Whitehead, Hartshorne, Cobb,
Griffin, Birch, and Daniel Day Williams are maintained. 150
thematic bibliographies list holdings in theological,
philosophical, and other areas of research. Such areas include
African American Theology, Biblical Studies and Process
Hermeneutics, Death and Immortality, Ecology, Economics,
Evangelicalism, the Problem of Evil, Feminism, Human Nature,
Jesus and Christology, Concepts of God and the God-World
Relation, Justice, Liberation Theology, Varieties of Love,
Ministry, Religious and Theological Pluralism, Political Theory,
Psychotherapy, Science and Religion, Spirituality, Sexuality, Sin
and Salvation, Time and Space, and Wesleyan and Reformed

Though all of our activities and services are open to non-
members, the Center for Process Studies is a membership-
organization with around 400 members. It publishes a quarterly
journal, Process Studies, with a circulation of around 1000.
Process Studies publishes research on Whitehead's thought and its
application in such areas as aesthetics, mathematics, physics,
biology, cosmology, history of religions, social science, and
literary criticism. Special issues have dealt with education,
theology, African American concerns, methodology, social
philosophy, liberation theology, and individual thinkers.

The Center for Process Studies hosts visiting scholars who
give seminars on their research. Twenty years of conferences
hosted or co-sponsored by CPS have addressed a broad range of
topics: pluralistic education, postmodern education, and the
educational method of Mary Elizabeth Mullino Moore; sin,
theological method, and biblical hermeneutics; liberation
theology, Korean Minjung theology, Black theology, the thought of
Cornel West, and the African worldview; philosophy of religion
and aesthetics; religious diversity, Vedanta Hinduism, Chinese
Philosophy, Buddhism, Buddhist-Christian dialogue, the Kyoto Zen
Buddhism of Kitaro Nishida, Heidegger and Buddhism; Jewish
theology, Eastern Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism, and Process
spirituality; Hegel and Whitehead, Hartshorne's philosophy, and
the theology of John Cobb; feminism and postpatriarchal male
sexuality; psychotherapy, the archetypal psychology of Jung and
Hillman, consciousness and physiological psychology; the right to
die; ecology and ecological agriculture; evil and the holocaust,
peace and human rights, international relations, political
authority, social theory, and leadership; relativity, physics and
the ultimate significance of time. Reports on CPS conferences
and seminars are found in the Newsletter of the Center for
Process Studies.

A typical Process procedure for investigating theological,
philosophical, moral, or social problems is to suggest ways of
integrating insights from alternative perspectives that are
dangerously polarized, especially conservative and progressive.
Wisdom, says Charles Hartshorne, is moderation. This procedure
is clearly demonstrated in the Process & Faith Program's booklet
series. The Process Perspectives on Hard Issues series has
addressed such family values-related topics as parenting, teenage
sexuality, homosexuality, abortion, and suicide. Other booklets
discuss the Bible, prayer, other religions, evolution, evil,
capitalism, and civil disobedience. Each issue is framed in
terms of contrasting positions. Views of the Bible and Church
tradition are noted. A final section shows how a Process
perspective can draw contrasting elements together and often
thereby open new possibilities for action as well as for thought.
This series is also available as "What's a Christian to Do?" and
"Now What's a Christian to Do?" (Chalice Press).

The Center for a Postmodern World develops constructive
postmodernism as an alternative to the anti-worldview stance of
deconstructive postmodernism. It can be characterized as a
holistic worldview that transcends individualism,
anthropocentrism, patriarchy, mechanization, economism,
consumerism, nationalism, and militarism. Center conferences on
the postmodern vision, a postmodern presidency, parapsychology
and consciousness have generated three texts in the SUNY Press
series on Constructive Postmodern Thought edited by David Ray
Griffin: "The Reenchantment of Science," "Spirituality and
Society," and "Sacred Interconnections."

The Center for Process Studies and the Process & Faith
Program offer memberships based on income with price ranges from
$25 to $60 yearly. All memberships are considered contributions
and are tax deductible if made out to the School of Theology at
Claremont and marked for either Process & Faith or the Center for
Process Studies in the lower left hand corner.

For your membership in the Center for Process Studies you
will receive
- 4 quarterly issues of the journal "Process Studies"
- 3 issues of the Center for Process Studies
- 12 unpublished scholarly papers (upon request)
- access to the world's largest library dedicated to
Whiteheadian-Hartshornian constructive postmodern
- free bibliographic services
- affliation with the Center for a Postmodern World

For your membership in the Process & Faith Program you will
- 4 issues of our quarterly "Creative Transformation"
- access to our extensive library of video tapes,
booklets and books
- discounts on process-related materials

We offer memberships in one or both Centers. Your joint-
membership will further the work of each of these Centers. For
details, write the Center for Process Studies, 1325 N. College
Ave., Claremont, CA 91711-3199, or phone (909) 621-5330. Or you
may contact us by Internet e-mail:, and fingering
our account will give you information on office hours, address
and phone numbers.

* The ideas of A.N. Whitehead in paragraph three are from
Process and Reality (xii, 3, 93-4, 225, 245, 348); Modes of
Thought (174); Science and the Modern World (191); and Religion
in the Making (143-44).

John Quiring, Ph.D.
Assistant Director, Center for Process Studies