Joseph A. Bracken, S.J. is an American philosopher and Catholic theologian. Bracken is a proponent of process philosophy and process theology of Alfred North Whitehead and Charles Hartshorne. Much of his work is devoted to a synthesis of revealed religion and Christian trinitarian doctrines with a revised process theology. Bracken introduced a field theoretic approach to process metaphysics.
He brief summarized his approach in a book review in 2007: “This is why in my own rethinking of Whitehead’s metaphysics I presumed from the start that his metaphysical categories needed revision in order to accommodate Christian belief in God as Trinity. With this in mind, I soon realized that Whitehead’s key category of “society” needed further development. A “society,” after all, must be more than an aggregate of actual occasions with a “common element of form” (PR 1968, 34) if philosophical atomism is to be avoided. My own solution was to reinterpret a Whiteheadian society as an enduring structured field of activity for successive generations of constituent actual occasions. Thus understood, a Whiteheadian “society” serves both to legitimate a trinitarian process-oriented understanding of God and to make Whitehead’s philosophy an even stronger social ontology than he himself envisioned. That is, “the final real things of which the world is made up” are not simply actual occasions but the societies into which they spontaneously aggregate.”
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