Recet Events & Projects
I recently gave a paper at the American Academy of Religion, San Diego, in the Open and Relational Theologies Unit. Along with other presenters, I responded to the question: “What kind ‘God’ is most worthy of worship.” Annoying question you say? I agree with you. Nevertheless, an existentially and philosophically significant question? I agree with you even more. See if you agree with my approach. You can download my paper, "God, Value and Ontological Gratitude: On the Axiological Foundations of Worship" by following the link under the "Papers" tab above.
The session was quite well attended and the papers/questions/discussions were fantastic. One attendee commented that this session was "one of the richest" that he had ever heard at an AAR meeting.
I’m happy to have finished a draft of my dissertation! I will be defending it against my committee (Roland Faber, Philip Clayton, and Daniel Dombrowski) on February 19th, from 11-1pm, at Claremont School of Theology. This is a public event and all are welcome to attend. Feel free to contact me for further details. The following abstract will be circulated around the CST community and elsewhere as we draw closer to the defense:
This dissertation is an investigation into the nature of ultimacy and explanation, particularly as it relates to the status of, and relationship between, Mind, Value, and the Cosmos. It draws its stimulus from longstanding “axianoetic” convictions as to the ultimate status of Mind and Value in the western tradition of philosophical theology, and chiefly from the influential modern proposals of A.N. Whitehead, Keith Ward, and John Leslie. In light of their promptings, I approach key existential mysteries surrounding: any and all existence (Ch. 1.), necessary divine existence (Ch. 2), the nature of the possible (Ch. 3), and the status of the world as actual (Ch. 4). I do so with fundamentally relational intuitions such that Mind and Value, Possibility and Actuality, God and the World are affirmed as ultimate only in their relationality. More than any other philosopher, Whitehead has stressed nothing short of the relational nature of ultimacy in this way. He has pointed to a way in which ultimate notions, from the finite and contingent to the infinite and necessary, live through each other, such that each mutually offer the other factors essential for their reality. This mode of relationality he calls “mutual immanence;” but it is equally that of mutual transcendence. This relational vision uniquely illuminates some of the most stimulating and challenging questions emerging from serious considerations into the whence and why of God, the World, and their ultimate presuppositions. What finally emerges as “ultimate” is not Mind or Value or the Cosmos, over and against each other, but Mind, Value and the Cosmos as co-inherent and mutually immanent. It is in consideration of the relational nature of ultimacy in this way, I claim, that one comes to affirm that relationality is what is ultimate.
I fully plan to publish my dissertation when the time is right. In the meantime, my recent volume from Lexington, edited alongside Roland Faber and Michael Halewood, has hit the market as Propositions in the Making: Experiments in a Whiteheadian Laboratory. The chapters comprising this volume originated in a conference at Claremont School of Theology in 2016. The book assembles creative interdisciplinary applications of Whitehead's understanding of propositions as "lures for feeling." It is available for purchase on amazon and at Lexington.
In the new year, my edited choreography of the first-ever book of Roland Faber's writings on Whiteheadian mysticism, multiplicity and divinity will be released by Wipf & Stock (Pickwick) as Depths As Yet Unspoken: Whiteheadian Excursions in Mysticism, Multiplicity and Divinity. Faber remains one of the world authorities on all-things-Whitehead, and one of the most creative philosophical minds alive. The book is an excellent introduction to the uniqueness of his thought and the dynamism of Whitehead on a variety of topics. Here is the abstract:
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 decades, Faber has been one of the world’s most creative interpreters of Whitehead’s thought, particularly as it intersects with eastern and western mystical traditions, as well as poststructuralist philosophy. Faber has not only argued that Whitehead is a mystical thinker, and indeed a mystic himself, but also that his work is not silent on mysticism. Although Whitehead’s mystical inclinations may not be obvious at first, they in fact constitute the apophatic backdrop to his entire philosophical corpus.
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 violence, spirituality, and longstanding concerns of the theological tradition, including creation, the Trinity, revelation, religious experience, and divine mystery. Through Faber’s work, Whitehead’s philosophy is revealed to be nothing short of a remarkable endeavour to speak to the unfathomable depth of things.