“In Reenchantment Without Supernaturalism, Griffin introduces a Process Philosophy of Religion, one in which combines “religious intuitions with the most general doctrines of the sciences” (5, Ch 1). One of the issues that arises for Griffin are the conflicts between science and religion that he believes process philosophy can remedy. For religion, the problem stems from the concept of supernaturalistic theism. For science, it is the “sensationist, atheistic, materialistic form of naturalism” (98) which, for Griffin, is not even adequate for science itself.
Beginning with science, Griffin suggests that to overcome naturalismsam (sensationism atheism, materialism), the science community should use naturalism]ns (nonsupernaturalist) (Chapters 1, 2). In lieu of sensationism, Griffin critiques Hume’s notion of perception in the mode of presentational immediacy through Whitehead’s work and suggests perception in the mode of causal efficacy as a more fundamental mode which is shared by both higher and lower forms (59). This provides a foundation in which religious experience as well as arguments for the existence of God can be accounted for from a naturalistic perspective (Chapters 4-8).
On materialism, Griffin uses the term vacuous actuality (a Whitheadian term) to describe the mechanistic view of nature as being fully actual yet devoid of experience (96-7). Being devoid of experience, they are void of the “capacity to influence and be influenced” (Ibid). Griffin suggests panexperientialism, which when explained with “occassions of experience” state that that all actual entities concresce (achieving final causation) and transition, or superject (giving efficent causation) (Chapter 3). This provides a foundation for a discussion on free-will and determinism.
Concerning religion (and science’ atheistic view), traditional theism has two versions , free-will and all-determining. Both share two tensions that Griffin highlights: the first being the ability for God to override human self-determination, in which God stands outside of natural law, and the idea that God’s creative power is the power to create ex nihilo (133) in which science has refuted. Both together introduce another issue, God and the problem of evil (Chapter 6). Using Whitehead, Griffin suggests two points, that God’s action in the world is a variable divine influence, which does not interrupt normal causal processes, and that although God’s power is a “perfect power,” its still one among others, and not an omnipotent power (164-5).
Reenchantment without Supernaturalism is helpful, first, as a supplement to A.N. Whitehead’s own work in decoding much of the terminology and framework he develops. Second, Griffin does a balanced job in refuting traditional views of philosophy of religion, and discusses the advantages of a process philosophy of religion that works with both science and religion.”