The Trinity, the One, and the Many: An analysis of Joseph A. Bracken's philosophical process theology from a traditional trinitarian theistic perspective with a response

Marc Anthony Pugliese, Fordham University

Abstract

This dissertation argues that the philosophical and theological Problem of the One and the Many as understood by process theologians in general, and Joseph A. Bracken in particular, is a pseudo-problem. This pseudo-problem arises from collapsing metaphysics into cosmology and denying, either implicitly or explicitly, the essential aspects of the distinction between God and the world as articulated in the various versions of classical theism. The argument is made by expositing, analyzing, and critiquing the process theology of Joseph A. Bracken, S. J. ^ The dissertation commences with an introduction to the topic of process theology and the Problem of the One and the Many, Joseph A. Bracken as the subject of the dissertation, a statement of the thesis, and an outline of the argument. The core chapters exposit Joseph A. Bracken's theological sources, philosophical theology, doctrine of God, and doctrine of the Trinity. This exposition ends with a presentation and critique of Bracken's proposed solutions to the Problem of the One and the Many. ^ The thesis concludes that by denying key features of the traditional Creator---creature distinction in classical theism, as evidenced by Whitehead's famous axiom: "God is not to be treated as an exception to all metaphysical principles, invoked to save their collapse. He is their chief exemplification," process theology in general and Bracken's theology in particular both precipitate and make insoluble their understandings of the Problem of the One and the Many. It is argued that the Problem of the One and the Many in process thought is ultimately an attempt to account for all of reality based on the metaphysical principles applicable only to finite, created, in classical theism. This problem is described as the "problem of mutual ultimate causality." ^ The thesis closes by setting forth the classical understanding of God as the infinitely transcendent Creator God who is self-existent, pure act, and simple. It argues that the problem of mutual ultimate causality is obviated only by admitting the necessity of an ultimate reality that is not subject to the metaphysical principles of finite, created, reality as defined by classical theism. ^

Subject Area

Religion, Philosophy of|Theology

Recommended Citation

Marc Anthony Pugliese, "The Trinity, the One, and the Many: An analysis of Joseph A. Bracken's philosophical process theology from a traditional trinitarian theistic perspective with a response" (January 1, 2006). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI3201557.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI3201557

Share

COinS