Hartshorne, Charles

Hartshorne, Charles
(1897-2000)
   A leading process theologian and philosopher, Hartshorne taught for years at the universities of Chicago and Texas. Through his long career Hartshorne developed a sustained attack upon classical theism by developing an alternate philosophical theology, which he called 'neoclassical theism'. Hartshorne developed his work in dialogue with the process philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead, though his initial philosophical development was independent of Whitehead's work. Hartshorne held to panexperientialism, the view that all reality from matter to mind is on the same continuum of process. His conception of God is temporal and bipolar, encompassing both supreme becoming and supreme being. This also leads to a form of panentheism, where God exists eternally with the world and fully experiences everything in it, though he is not reducible to it. Hartshorne remained philosophically unfashionable for much of his career, arguing vigorously for the rationality of theism, defending the ontological argument, and developing a robust metaphysics even in the leanest years of logical positivism. As with Whitehead's philosophical theology, that of Hartshorne has had little impact upon analytical philosophy, but it has been very influential upon process theologians such as John Cobb and David Ray Griffin.
   Further reading: Hartshorne 1948, 1965 and 1976

Christian Philosophy . . 2015.

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