Critical Edition Update

Critical Edition of Whitehead 2023 year-end update

(L-R) Whitehead, Lawrence J. Henderson, Henry Osborn Taylor, and William Morton Wheeler, 1932

2023 has proven to be one of the most momentous years in the Critical Edition’s history, for numerous reasons.

First, it has been a year of transition. Following the separation of the Center for Process Studies from Claremont School of Theology and the retirement of the Whitehead Research Project’s founder, Dr. Roland Faber, the WRP has now become a project of the Gonzaga University Philosophy Department. Dr. Henning is the WRP’s new Executive Director, and Dr. Petek is its new Director of Research and Publication. Additionally, Dr. George R. Lucas, Jr. recently stepped down as the Critical Edition’s General Editor, with Henning and Petek becoming the new General and Executive Editors, respectively. Finally, the previously separate WRP and CEW boards have been re-organized and expanded into a new combined WRP Editorial Advisory Board.

In addition to the WRP and CEW generally, the new Editorial Advisory Board supports the maintenance and expansion of a new online resource, the Whitehead Encyclopedia. Based on entries that first appeared in the Handbook of Whiteheadian Process Thought (2008, De Gruyter), it aims to explicate the ways in which Alfred North Whitehead has influenced contemporary work in philosophy, theology, and the natural and social sciences, as well as explore his relationship to other thinkers—both those who influenced him and those who were influenced by him. This peer-reviewed scholarly resource will be expanded as we locate qualified authors to write new entries, and we hope it will continue to be an aid to scholars for many years to come. The newest entry, posted in November, is on Whitehead and Aristotle by M. Gregory Oakes and William P. Kiblinger.

But the most exciting news of the year is that the Critical Edition of Whitehead won a three-year, $350,000 NEH grant through the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Scholarly Editions and Translations program. This NEH grant will fund staff wages and allow the hiring of two graduate student editorial assistants. This isn’t an easy grant to get; we’ve applied for it numerous times over the years, and we’re extremely pleased that the project has finally gained this recognition and support.

The end result of the additional resources provided by this grant is that the Critical Edition is able to begin accelerating its publication schedule. So far we have published two volumes of a planned seventeen in what will still surely be a decades-long effort—the first volume (HL1) in 2017 and the second volume (HL2) in 2021. Next year, however, we will submit the manuscripts for both volumes of Whitehead’s Essays and Articles to Edinburgh University Press (EUP)—the 1917–1942 volume (EA2) in Q1 and the 1886–1916 volume (EA1) in Q3—and we expect them to be published in 2024 and 2025, respectively. Then the third volume of Whitehead’s Harvard Lectures (HL3) will be submitted to EUP at the end of 2025 and published in 2026, while the volume of Whitehead’s monographs that includes Science and the Modern World, Religion in the Making, and Symbolism will be submitted in 2026 and published in 2027.

In short, we expect to publish four more volumes of the CEW in the next four years, which will put us at six out of seventeen volumes completed. You can always find a summary of progress on all volumes of the Edition at

Lastly, we want to take the time to thank our most generous supporters from the past year. We literally could not undertake this project without their support.

  • Chesed, Inc.
  • John Buchanan
  • Nancy Frankenberry
  • George R. Lucas, Jr.

The work of searching for, transcribing, and editing archival materials is time-consuming and costly. The NEH grant does require $50,000 in matching funds, so ongoing support of the community is welcome and needed. Even with this new grant, we still have decades of work ahead of us, and there is no guarantee that future NEH support will be forthcoming. If you are able to support our work with a donation, it would be much appreciated. Just follow this link.

Brian Henning, General Editor
Critical Edition of Whitehead
Professor of Philosophy,
Gonzaga University
Joseph Petek, Executive Editor
Critical Edition of Whitehead

1 thought on “Critical Edition of Whitehead 2023 year-end update

  1. Didn’t Whitehead himself speak critically of this process of putting old wine in new bottles? I recall his daughter Jessie telling me how distressed he was to find, just about a century ago, in 1924, that two of his best students–Charles Hartshorne and Paul Weiss (both of whom happened to live very long lives)–had been assigned to edit the Papers of Charles Sanders Peirce, tedious non-creative work, when they should have been pursuing their own original philosophic thinking and research.
    So, the question naturally arises: Would ANW have approved this project, unless it entails the discovery of fresh philosophic insights? Harold Kulungian, Hadley, MA

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