A Crucial Choice of World Views for the Future
This webinar was presented on September 2, 2023
Rev. Joseph A. Bracken, SJ
Subjectivity, Objectivity, and their Mutual Interaction
Joseph A. Bracken, S.J. earned a Ph.D. in Philosophy at the University of Freiburg in Germany (1964-1968) and taught at Saint Mary of the Lake Seminary (1968-1974), Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (1974-1982) and Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio (1982-2020). He has specialized in linking traditional Catholic doctrine with the process-oriented cosmology of Alfred North Whitehead. His latest book publications include The World in the Trinity: Open-Ended Systems in Science and Religion (2014), Church as Dynamic Life-System (2018), and Reciprocal Causality in an Event-Filled World (2022). Properly understood, science and religion are together the chief motivational factors in the modern world.
Classical metaphysics is grounded in a philosophy of Being (States of Being) with God as the Supreme Being or Pure Actuality. Potentiality is seen in descending states of being: first, the order of angels, human beings, higher-order and lower-order animal species, plants, insects, minerals, their molecular and atomic components, prime matter. Process- or systems-ordered metaphysics is grounded in Stages of Becoming: Infinite Potentiality/Energy Source, subatomic particles, atoms, molecules, minerals, cells, plants, animal species, human beings, an all-encompassing network of relations between participants that continues to evolve in new and different ways through all its parts or members but especially its primordial components. Everything else depends upon the right choice in terms of these opposing world views.
Dr. Sebastian Mahfood, OP
Transformative Learning and Reciprocal Causality: The Image and Likeness of God and Man
Dr. Sebastian Mahfood, OP, Director of ITEST, is a Lay Dominican of the Province of Saint Albert the Great. He has served as a professor of intercultural and interdisciplinary studies in theological education for over two decades. In 2021, he transitioned full-time to developing his publishing house, En Route Books and Media, LLC, and his radio station, WCAT Radio, the missions of which are to promote the Catholic spiritual journey in the provision of resources that assist in the formation of priests and laity. He lives in St. Louis with his wife, Dr. Stephanie Mahfood, and children, Alexander and Eva Ruth.
Transformative learning theory, which explains the reframing of one’s worldview in light of a transformative experience, may assist in articulating the dynamic relationship between the One and the Many. Fr. Bracken’s explanation of a reciprocal causal relation among constituent parts and the whole to which they belong provides an opportunity to explore a process-oriented metaphysics in the understanding of an event-based efficient causality. The creative interplay among the relational paradigms through which an individual organism moves over the course of its existence demonstrates the interdependence of all things regardless of their material causes, and this seems to give a quantum meaning to any kind of final causality of adaptive systems.