Depths As Yet Unspoken
Whiteheadian Excursions in Mysticism, Multiplicity, and Divinity
Edited by Andrew M. Davis
Whitehead’s thought continues to attract attention in mathematics and metaphysics, but few have recognized with Roland Faber the deeply mystical dimensions of his philosophy. “If you like to phrase it so,” Whitehead states, “philosophy is mystical. For mysticism is direct insight into depths as yet unspoken.” Where, however, do these unspoken depths speak in Whitehead, and what are their associated themes in his philosophy?
For the first time, Depths as Yet Unspoken gathers together Faber’s most compelling writings on Whitehead’s mutually immanent themes of mysticism, multiplicity and divinity. In dialogue with a diversity of voices, from process philosophers and theologians, to mystical and poststructuralist thinkers, Faber creatively articulates Whitehead’s “theopoetic” process cosmogony in its relevance to metaphysics, cosmology, everyday experience, religious pluralism and interreligious violence, spirituality, and longstanding concerns of the theological tradition, including creation, the Trinity, revelation, religious experience and divine mystery.
Although Whitehead’s mystical inclinations may not be obvious at first, they in fact constitute the apophatic backdrop to his entire philosophical corpus. Through Faber’s work, Whitehead’s philosophy is revealed to be nothing short of a remarkable endeavor to speak to the unfathomable depth of things.
SUSANNE VALERIE GRANZER
Propositions in the Making
Experiments In a Whiteheadian Laboratory
How do we make ourselves a Whiteheadian proposition? This question exposes the multivalent connections between postmodern thought and Whitehead’s philosophy, with particular attention to his understanding of propositions.
Edited by Roland Faber, Michael Halewood, and Andrew M. Davis, Propositions in the Making articulates the newest reaches of Whiteheadian propositions for a postmodern world. It does so by activating interdisciplinary lures of feeling, living, and co-creating the world anew. Rather than a “logical assertion,” Whitehead described a proposition as a “lure for feeling” for a collectivity to come. It cannot be reduced to the verbal content of logical justifications, but rather the feeling content of aesthetic valuations. In creatively expressing these propositions in wide relevance to existential, ethical, educational, theological, aesthetic, technological, and societal concerns, the contributors to this volume enact nothing short of “a Whiteheadian Laboratory.”
"This book offers a variety of approaches to the understanding of Whitehead's theory of propositions. For Whitehead, a proposition is less a statement to be judged true or false, than it is a suggestion that proposes alternative ways of thinking, and encourages us to think about new possibilities. The essays in this volume look at the various ways -- some more concrete, and some more abstract -- that Whitehead offers us openings and opportunities for change."
— Steven Shaviro, Wayne State University
"In essays that dance Whitehead into a fresh adventure in thinking, Propositions in the Making performs what it proposes. It lures each reader to become a Whiteheadian proposition, which is itself a lure to feeling. So we are spun brilliantly round, in a thinking that experiments with its own affect and yours. In troubled times, such contagious creativity in discourse may prove itself not just an intellectual luxury for Whiteheadian nerds but a planetary path to a future worth realizing."
— Catherine Keller, Drew University
"This imaginative and wide-reaching book draws the reader into the nexus of the event itself, articulating propositions that offer their own lures for feeling, whether by putting forth a proposition or by encouraging exploration of propositions and their affects. The topics taken up provide a creative variety of starting points and lead in exciting directions aimed at inaugurating a novel becoming toward a collective aim. It is precisely the kind of philosophical text needed for our present world."
— Jeremy Fackenthal, Institute for Ecological Civilization
"What other process thinker evinces such a combination of philosophical brilliance and mystical adventure?"
-Catherine Keller, George T. Cobb Professor of Constructive Theology, Drew Theological School
"...brilliantly illuminates the long neglected mystical dimension of A.N. Whitehead’s process philosophy....constitutes a major contribution to Whiteheadian scholarship."
-Steve Odin, Professor of Philosophy, University of Hawaii
How I Found God In Everyone and Everywhere
An Anthology of Spiritual Memoirs
Personal, never-before-published journeys and discoveries by 12 leading spiritual writers and teachers
Much can be gained from trailing the spiritual narratives of those who have traveled ahead of us, for the God they have found, we may have never considered. How I Found God in Everyone and Everywhere captures for a general audience the spiritual shift away from popular notions of a God "up there" and "out there" and toward immanent and inclusive understandings of a God in our very midst. It's built around the fascinating personal journeys of a prominent group of spiritual teachers, philosopher-poets and mystic-scientists. These diverse spiritual memoirs testify that for many today the spiritual journey has lead to the discovery of a divine reality that, it turns out, we already inhabit, one that encompasses and animates us all. Sometimes called "panentheism," this relational and participatory vision is allowing for a "return to God after God" and thus a continuation of the spiritual journey. This God is not found in some people and some places, but in everyone and everywhere.
"By the time I reached the second chapter of this unique book, I had started recommending it to others. By the time I reached the last chapter, I felt its deep impact on my own life. Such rich stories, such clear, insightful, and at times tender writing, with common themes arising spontaneously and enriching one another ... this book takes the old Evangelical practice of “giving testimony” and elevates it to a theological and philosophical practice."
-Brian D. McLaren, author of The Great Spiritual Migration
"Reading these spiritual journeys – what my tradition calls “testimonies” – is a sacred experience. The eminent minds and holy souls writing for this tome take sacred experience to new heights! And yet the “heights” of these adventures are this-worldly: the here, the harrowing, and the hallowed. Many take adventures away from god only to find God: anatheism to panentheism. I suspect many readers will feel drawn – as I was – to imagine how best to describe their own adventures toward the God we find in the midst of it all!"
-Thomas Jay Oord, Professor, Speaker, and Author of The Uncontrolling Love of God
"This passionate and captivating book is a collection of inspiring spiritual memoirs told by many eminent scholars and spiritual leaders of our day. Capturing the many twists and turns of human experience, these memoirs movingly illuminate the many spiritual and intellectual questions which shape the journey to God, and beyond, in the 21st century. This fascinating collection offers readers opportunities for theological engagement beyond the standard anthology, in hopeful engagement with a deeply relational and imminent divine reality which emcompasses all. Scholars, religious leaders, students, and interested seekers will find inspiration and challenge in these narratives."
-The Rev. Dr. Sheryl A. Kujawa-Holbrook, Ed.D, Ph.D, Professor of Practical Theology & Religious Education, Dean of the Faculty at Claremont School of Theology, and author of God Beyond Borders: Interreligious Learning Among Congregations
"What a world we live in – filled with believers, non-believers, and the vast majority who are somewhere in between. We in-betweeners yearn for a way of using the word “God” that does not pretend absolute certainty, that does imagine God as a king on a throne, and that does not reduce God to a mere concept in the imagination. We yearn to find God – or something like God – in the here and now of daily life, in the garbage and, yes, the flowers. It helps if we have stories from others: people who likewise struggle and somehow find their way into a God of tenderness and creativity, of struggle and peace, of faith and doubt. They become our mentors, evoking and inspiring us with an invitation to seek God on our own terms, too, and in our own way. This marvelous anthology can do just that. Read carefully and freely, with a relaxed grasp, and let the stories take you on a journey well worth the walking."
-Jay McDaniel, Founder of openhorizons.org and author of Gandhi’s Hope: Learning from the World’s Religions as a Path to Peace
"Davis and Clayton are ontological trail guides. They have gathered the stories of an impressive array of theological and spiritual leaders who discovered a living and credible God after the God of old had died for them. It turns out that God was not dead after all. God is hidden where we least expect it—in butterflies and hospital beds, waterfalls and embodied rage, in the messiness and mysteriousness of our own real life experience. These guides know. They point to and describe a God who is with us."
-Frank Rogers Jr., Ph.D., Muriel Bernice Roberts Professor of Spiritual Formation and Narrative Pedagogy and Director of the Center for Engaged Compassion at the Claremont School of Theology, and author of Practicing Compassion.
"This is a book for people who, in spite of themselves, cannot stop dreaming about God. Unwilling to dismiss their dreams as mere wishes, to discount their imaginations as pure fantasy, they seek words and concepts by which they may begin to think and talk their way back to “God after God.” In How I Found God in Everyone and Everywhere: An Anthology of Spiritual Memoirs, they get to meet a rich array of others on their own versions of this “spiritual journey beyond the dead-end."
-Rabbi James Ponet, Emeritus Jewish Chaplain and Divinity School Lecturer, Yale University