God’s Power and Almightiness in Whitehead’s Thought

Process Studies 47 (1):83-110 (2018)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
Whitehead’s position regarding God’s power is rather unique in the philosophical and theological landscape. Whitehead rejects divine omnipotence (unlike Aquinas), yet he claims (unlike Hans Jonas) that God’s persuasive power is required for everything to exist and occur. This intriguing position is the subject of this article. The article starts with an exploration of Aquinas’s reasoning toward God’s omnipotence. This will be followed by a close examination of Whitehead's own position, starting with an introduction to his philosophy of organism and its two-sided concept of God. Thereupon, an analysis of Whitehead’s idiosyncratic view on God’s agency will show that, according to this conception, God and the world depend upon each other, and that God’s agency is a noncoercive but persuasive power. The difference between coercion and persuasion will be explained as well as the reason why God, according to Whitehead’s conception, cannot possibly coerce. Finally, a discussion of the issue of divine almightiness will allow for a reinterpretation of divine almightiness from a Whiteheadian perspective, which will show how, despite Whitehead’s rejection of God’s omnipotence, his concept retains essential elements of God as pantokrator (and thus markedly differs from Hans Jonas's concept).
Categories
ISBN(s)
0360-6503
PhilPapers/Archive ID
OOMGPA
Upload history
First archival date: 2021-09-14
Latest version: 2 (2021-09-14)
View other versions
Added to PP index
2018-12-04

Total views
26 ( #60,134 of 2,446,231 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
17 ( #36,884 of 2,446,231 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.