God’s world and man becoming: how can science possibly help us transcend dogmatism?



This is a clear statement made by Alfred North Whitehead in his Religion in the Making. In order to understand it fully, we must first see how, according to Whitehead, science, religion and metaphysics are related and interact. Then we will have to turn to the meaning of dogma and dogmatism. So we are preparing ourselves to see how the metamorphosis of science, which is taking place before our eyes, may help us to transcend a certain kind of dogmatism, i.e. to transcend a certain way of expressing what is disclosed in religious experience in a dogmatic formula, which by necessity is borrowed from a metaphysical and cosmological framework that is no longer our own. Finally I will give a contemporary, concrete example, which is more illuminating than bare methodological assertions.


Religious Experience Language Game Human Interest Religious Believer Dialectical Materialist 
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Works cited

  1. Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Themes from the Lectures at the College de France, 1952–1960, translation by John O’Neill, Northwestern University Press, Evanston 1970.Google Scholar
  2. Jacques Monod, Chance and Necessity: An Essay on the Natural Philosophy of Modern Biology, translation by Austryn Wainhouse, Collins, London 1972.Google Scholar
  3. Ilya Prigogine and Isabelle Stengers, La nouvelle alliance. Métamorphose de la science (2nd. ed.), Gallimard, Paris 1986.Google Scholar
  4. Alfred North Whitehead, Adventures of Ideas, The Macmillan Company, London/New York 1933, 1961; abbreviation AI.Google Scholar
  5. Alfred North Whitehead, Religion in the Making, The Macmillan Company, London/New York 1926, 1954, and the World Publishing Company, Meridian Books, New York/Cleveland 1971; abbreviation RM; 7th edition quoted.Google Scholar
  6. Alfred North Whitehead, Science and the Modern World, Lowell Lectures 1925, The Macmillan Company, New York 1925, 1953; abbreviation SMW.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hoger Instituut voor Wijsbegeerte (Institute of philosophy)Katholieke Universiteit LeuvenLeuvenBelgium

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