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TOWARD A VALUE-ORIENTED METAPHYSICS OF NATURE

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The English philosopher/theologian Colin Gunton argues that many of the problems besetting the contemporary Western world, including those dealing with the environment, are traceable to a mistaken understanding of the relationship between the One and the Many in practical life. A solution, however, is available in retrieval of the doctrine of the Trinity promoted by the early Greek Fathers, in particular the notion of perichoresis as the dynamic bond of unity among the divine persons. While agreeing with Gunton on this point, the author believes that perichoresis can only be applied to the world of creation in terms of a metaphysics of universal intersubjectivity such as he developed in a recent book. After laying out the basic contours of this new 'relational ontology', the author concludes by calling attention to the work of another process-oriented thinker, Douglas Sturm, with the latter's work on the 'politics of relationality' and an ethic of solidarity.

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