Breakfast with Whitehead - featured image 2

Four Sessions Exploring Whitehead's Concepts of Peace & God,
and the Creative Possibilities They Offer For Faith Leaders

WHAT: Online Learning Circle

WHEN: April 5, 12, 19, 26
10:00 - 11:00 AM Central

WHERE: Online via Zoom

“God is the poet of the world, with tender patience leading it by his vision of truth, beauty, and goodness.”

Join a group of pastors and faith leaders as we explore how Whitehead’s ideas can meet us in our own religious traditions and become fertile ground for theological reflection and pastoral ministry. Led by Dr. Jay McDaniel, this four-week learning circle will focus on Whitehead’s concepts of Peace and God as found in Adventures of Ideas and Process & Reality. True to the nature of Open and Relational Theologies, we respect and welcome diversity in faith tradition, personal experience, and theological perspective.

Topics to be explored include Whitehead's idea that peace is the consummation of the soul's journey; that it consists in awakening to a harmony of harmonies that includes tragedy; that it is closely connected with a sense of beauty; that it comes as a gift; that it includes a transcendence of personality; and that it is a fulfillment and widening of feeling, not an elimination of feeling in human life. Participants are invited to share how their traditions, experience, and perspective might illuminate, deepen, critique, or challenge this idea of peace.

“What is done in the world is transformed into a reality in heaven, and the reality in heaven passes back into the world. By reason of this reciprocal relation, the love in the world passes into the love in heaven, and floods back again into the world. In this sense, God is the great companion—the fellow-sufferer who understands.”

Topics also include Whitehead's idea that God is the poet of the world; that God is a cosmic mind who embraces all that is potential in life; and that God is a cosmic love who shares in the sufferings of all living beings "with a tender care that nothing be lost." We will also consider the idea that God's influence in the world is continuous but persuasive not coercive; that a side of God flows with the universe even as another side transcends time altogether; that God partly depends on the world for divine aims to be realized; and that God "floods forth into the world" moment by moment in a spirit of love. Participants are invited to share how their traditions, experience, and perspective might illuminate, deepen, critique, or challenge these ideas.

The aim of these sessions is to explore, not proclaim, trustful that each participant will find something useful for his or her work as a faith leader, and, along the way, make friends with other leaders.

About the Facilitator

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Jay McDaniel is one of the most influential scholars and active promoters of process-relational thought in the world. He is the Willis Holmes Professor of Religious Studies at Hendrix College in Arkansas, and offers daily reflections on a variety of topics on his website Open Horizons. Active in the development of process thought in China, he is a consultant to the China Project of the Center for Process Studies, a member of the advisory board of the Institute for Postmodern Development of China, and a board member of the Cobb Institute.

Co-sponsored by the Cobb Institute, the Center for Process Spirituality, and All Saints Episcopal Church in Russellville, Arkansas