Kurt Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem says (i) all closed systems are unprovable within themselves and, that (ii) all open systems are rightly understood as incomplete. - R.E. Slater

The God among us is the God who refuses to be God without us, so great is God's Love. – Tripp Fuller

According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater

Our eschatological ethos is to love. To stand with those who are oppressed. To stand against those who are oppressing. It is that simple. Love is our only calling and Christian Hope. - R.E. Slater

Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger

Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton

I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – Anon

Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII

Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut

Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest

People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – Anon

Certainly, God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater

An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater

Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann

Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner

“Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh” means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14) or, conversely, “I AM who I AM Becoming.”

Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton

The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens, we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – Anon

The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul

The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah

If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – Anon

Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson

We can’t control God; God is uncontrollable. God can’t control us; God’s love is uncontrolling! - Thomas Jay Oord

Life in perspective but always in process... as we are relational beings in process to one another, so life events are in process in relation to each event... as God is to Self, is to world, is to us... like Father, like sons and daughters, like events... life in process yet always in perspective. - R.E. Slater

To promote societal transition to sustainable ways of living and a global society founded on a shared ethical framework which includes respect and care for the community of life, ecological integrity, universal human rights, respect for diversity, economic justice, democracy, and a culture of peace. - The Earth Charter Mission Statement

Christian humanism is the belief that human freedom, individual conscience, and unencumbered rational inquiry are compatible with the practice of Christianity or even intrinsic in its doctrine. It represents a philosophical union of Christian faith and classical humanist principles. - Scott Postma

It is never wise to have a self-appointed religious institution determine a nation's moral code. The opportunities for moral compromise and failure are high; the moral codes and creeds assuredly racist, discriminatory, or subjectively and religiously defined; and the pronouncement of inhumanitarian political objectives quite predictable. - R.E. Slater

God's love must both center and define the Christian faith and all religious or human faiths seeking human and ecological balance in worlds of subtraction, harm, tragedy, and evil. - R.E. Slater

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Wendell Berry: The Cranky Farmer, Poet and Essayist You Just Can't Ignore


Wendell Berry reads one of his poems from at the 2014 Festival of Faiths. (Wikimedia/Creative Commons)


Wendell Berry: the cranky farmer, poet
and essayist you just can’t ignore

by James T. Keane
December 07, 2021


A writing project for America’s Advent reflection series last week gave me occasion to revisit a favorite poem (“IX”) by an author who knows more than most about seasons, both liturgical and agricultural: Wendell Berry. Now 87 years old, this man of many labels (Is he a farmer? A novelist? An environmental activist? An essayist? A poet? A cultural critic? A cranky old professor? A Christian prophet?) has been a voice of practical reason and concise cultural commentary in his more than 80 books published over six decades.

My own first encounter with Wendell Berry’s writings was not through his poetry, but his essays. It came in college, when a philosophy professor (now retired, he recently ran for governor of California; philosophy professors rule) assigned Another Turn of the Crank, Berry’s book of five essays on the global economy, health care, forest preservation, private property and wealth and ecology. In a 1995 review for America, Patrick Samway, S.J., wrote that “all of these essays address the mind and heart with the same forcefulness and clarity as the writings of Annie Dillard, Henry David Thoreau or Wallace Stegner.” To that august list I think I would add distributists like Peter Maurin and G. K. Chesterton and early Garry Wills (included here mostly so I could write “early Garry Wills”), but at the time my college-student reaction was a simple one: Did Wendell Berry just leap off the page and hit me over the head with a fencepost?

"My reaction was a simple one: Did Wendell Berry just leap off the page and hit me over the head with a fencepost?"

The writing was lyrical but commonsensical and practical. Berry, who had returned decades before to the farming life of his childhood and was an advocate for time-tested agrarian living, drove home the point that the United States had been built on certain principles—respect for the land, shared small communities and economies, the handing down of tried and true traditions and lifestyles, an assumption that a life of faith was a natural one, a management of resources that allowed for seasonal cycles—that were all being abandoned, sacrificed to the gods of technological innovation, individualism, commercialism and unfettered capitalism.

I argued in my final paper for the class that Berry was right, but his solution was wrong: The only solution was Christian Marxism. (Can it be there was only one year I was 21? It must have been a long one then.) In sharp, practical prose reminiscent of Berry himself, the professor tore my essay apart. But I still remember the book well.

If you ask Berry’s many fans, that slim volume isn’t usually among their favorites. Berry first made his bones with his poetic works of the 1960s and 1970s, like The Broken Ground (1964), and many environmentalists and distributists hold dear his 1977 collection of essays, The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture. His novels—the first, Nathan Coulter, was published in 1960—have their own fans, and you can usually find them gravitating toward his “Port William novels” like Hannah Coulter (2004) or Jayber Crow (2000). (Keep your ears peeled next time you’re at the farmer’s market—one chance in 12 that guy selling you homemade mead named his son Jayber.)

"Keep your ears peeled next time you’re at the farmer’s market—one chance in 12 that guy selling you homemade mead named his son Jayber."

In a 2019 review for America of What I Stand On, a husky two-volume anthology of Berry’s writing edited by Jack Shoemaker, Jon Sweeney identified exactly when he became a Wendell Berry enthusiast: at the age of 16. The owner of a bookstore in the suburbs of Chicago that Sweeney haunted as a teenager gave him two of Berry’s books, The Wheel (a book of poems) and Recollected Essays, and said “I think you should get to know this author.” Sweeney did her one better, becoming so obsessed with Berry’s writings that he decided a few years later to undertake an impromptu pilgrimage to Berry’s farm in Port Royal, Ky. Alas, Berry wasn’t home, but it didn’t dampen Sweeney’s enthusiasm for his writings.

“There is always movement in Wendell Berry’s sentences. He writes about what he has experienced, what he has learned, and always with humility for what he does not know. The natural world is his primary teacher: its rhythms, its largesse, its mysteries,” Sweeney wrote. “And in the essays, the natural world often reflects how change in humans is also natural, inexplicable and possible. I think this is what many who love his writing appreciate most about Berry, whether they realize it or not. For his Christian readers, this becomes an expansion of what we understand as conversion.”

The focus on conversion can seem a bit ironic in Berry’s case, because at first glance he doesn’t seem to be much of a fan of change in general. “He frequently questions society’s attempts to improve things, modernize or make ways of living more efficient. Those words—improve, modernize, efficient—might as well be in quotation marks whenever they appear in a Berry essay. He doubts them consistently,” Sweeney continued.

There were moments in the anthology where Berry made Sweeney’s hackles rise: “He is not always right. Any essayist worth reading will anger and annoy you from time to time. Berry can be cranky.” On the other hand, “his wisdom, and his call to better habits, is too essential. To ignore Wendell Berry is like trying to ignore your grandmother: You just can’t.”

“There is always movement in Wendell Berry’s sentences. He writes about what he has experienced, what he has learned, and always with humility for what he does not know."

Two years before Sweeney’s review, Anna Keating wrote a review for America on Laura Dunn’s new documentary, “Look & See: A Portrait of Wendell Berry.” In the film, an 83-year-old Berry “reads his essays in a Southern drawl over images of his working farm, the land he and his family have cultivated in Kentucky for five generations. He and his wife returned to this land after graduate school, in search of home and sense of place or, as William Faulkner once called it, ‘significant soil,’” Keating wrote.

The filmmakers never interview Berry on camera; rather, they try to take viewers into Berry’s world: “You hear the sound of footsteps as an unseen person walks through the hills or around the farm. You get to know some of the people Berry loves: his wife and collaborator, Tanya, his daughter, Mary, and his fellow farmers, both industrial, subsistence and organic.” Berry, Keating wrote, “is an advocate of small farms, rural communities and Judeo-Christian values like kindness, all of which have been harmed by ‘get big or get out’ industrial agriculture. His life and work bear witness to the fact that it is never Christian to say, ‘I can do whatever I want with my own land’ or ‘my own body.’ We are stewards, not owners. What’s more, the attitude of ‘I can do whatever I want’ is toxic to earth and water, family and community.”

Keating owns a small business with her husband, and has a particular interest both in Catholic social teaching and in distributist writers, including the aforementioned Chesterton and Maurin but also Hilaire Belloc and Dorothy Day. She defined distributism as a way of thinking that “seeks to unite what has been separated, labor and capital, through the ownership of small businesses and farms or through the ownership of tools and a trade or through participation in a guild, so that wealth is not consolidated in the hands of a few wealthy individuals (capitalism) or in the hands of the state (socialism).” She found that the life Wendell Berry has created and the views he espouses “both are in line with this vision and can prove helpful to Catholics, serving as an antidote to the many ills of our time.”

There’s plenty more in the America archives on Wendell Berry, including this 2009 appreciation by fellow writer-farmer Kyle T. Kramer and this 2017 interview by Sean Salai of Berry’s daughter Mary, the executive director of the Berry Center in New Castle, Ky., a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the legacy of her father.

"His life and work bear witness to the fact that it is never Christian to say, ‘I can do whatever I want with my own land’ or ‘my own body.’ We are stewards, not owners."

 - James T. Keane, Senior Editor at America




The Seer: A Portrait of Wendell Berry - Movie Clip
May 25, 2016




#MSPIFF: Look & See: A Portrait of Wendell Berry
Mar 30, 2017




A Present Day Iteration of the Producer's Program
Sep 27, 2016





https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2335444/




A Timbered Choir
by Wendell Berry

Even while I dreamed I prayed that what I saw was only fear and no foretelling,
for I saw the last known landscape destroyed for the sake
of the objective, the soil bludgeoned, the rock blasted.
Those who had wanted to go home would never get there now.

I visited the offices where for the sake of the objective the planners planned
at blank desks set in rows. I visited the loud factories
where the machines were made that would drive ever forward
toward the objective. I saw the forest reduced to stumps and gullies; I saw
the poisoned river, the mountain cast into the valley;
I came to the city that nobody recognized because it looked like every other city.
I saw the passages worn by the unnumbered
footfalls of those whose eyes were fixed upon the objective.

Their passing had obliterated the graves and the monuments
of those who had died in pursuit of the objective
and who had long ago forever been forgotten, according
to the inevitable rule that those who have forgotten forget
that they have forgotten. Men, women, and children now pursued the objective
as if nobody ever had pursued it before.

The races and the sexes now intermingled perfectly in pursuit of the objective.
the once-enslaved, the once-oppressed were now free
to sell themselves to the highest bidder
and to enter the best paying prisons
in pursuit of the objective, which was the destruction of all enemies,
which was the destruction of all obstacles, which was the destruction of all objects,
which was to clear the way to victory, which was to clear the way to promotion, to salvation, to progress,
to the completed sale, to the signature
on the contract, which was to clear the way
to self-realization, to self-creation, from which nobody who ever wanted to go home
would ever get there now, for every remembered place
had been displaced; the signposts had been bent to the ground and covered over.

Every place had been displaced, every love
unloved, every vow unsworn, every word unmeant
to make way for the passage of the crowd
of the individuated, the autonomous, the self-actuated, the homeless
with their many eyes opened toward the objective
which they did not yet perceive in the far distance,
having never known where they were going,
having never known where they came from.

Wendell Berry



Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Process Theology Says God Gives AND Receives Love Contra Anselm & Aquinas

Site references provided by R.E. Slater

The Theo-Logic of Love
(and why Aquinas and Anselm are wrong)

by Thomas J. Oord
September 12th, 2017

God’s love involves both giving and receiving. That’s part of the theo-logic of love. But some great theologians erroneously thought God’s love only gives and never receives.

In my previous blogs, I’ve argued that the Bible, Jesus, and our common experience tell us that God is relational/passible. And God’s love involves giving to and receiving from others.

We might call this overall argument “the theo-logic of love.” The love described in Scripture, in Jesus, and in our own best experiences indicates that expressions of love are partly shaped by responses to others.

An entirely unrelated, unresponsive, and isolated person – if such a being existed – could not love. Love requires relationships of giving-and-receiving influence.

God's Love Both Gives AND Receives

One of the biggest errors committed by Christian theologians of yesteryear was in thinking God’s love involves only outgoing benevolence with no receptive relationality. In other words, they wrongly thought God’s love only gives and never receives. Let me offer a few examples of this erroneous thinking.

The Error of Thomas Aquinas

Thomas Aquinas thought God acted benevolently toward creatures but was not affected by creaturely love. “A relation of God to creatures is not a reality in God,” he writes. God knows creatures as ideas without being causally affected by them.[1]

Influencing relations with creation “are not really in Him,” Aquinas says, and “are ascribed to him only in our understanding.”[2] In other words, we only imagine God gives and receives in loving relationship. But in reality, God does not.

If Aquinas is right, biblical statements about God’s compassion are fictional. Creatures cannot bless God. And God never responds to sin by offering forgiveness.

The Error of Anselm

Anselm made the same error. “How are you compassionate, and, at the same time, passionless?” Anselm asks rhetorically of God. “For if you are passionless, you do not feel sympathy; and if you do not feel sympathy, your heart is not wretched from sympathy for the wretched; but this it is to be compassionate.”

In response to his own question, Anselm offers the same answer we saw in Aquinas: “When you behold us in our wretchedness, we experience the effect of compassion, but you do not experience the feeling. Therefore, you are both compassionate, because you do save the wretched, and spare those who sin against you; and not compassionate, because you are affected by no sympathy for wretchedness.”[3]

In other words, according to Anselm we think God is compassionate when God is actually not.

God’s Giving-and-Receiving Love

In contrast to Aquinas and Anselm, I think God’s love involves more than outgoing benevolence. God’s love also involves incoming empathy, receiving, and sometimes suffering.

I stand with many other theologians who affirm divine passibility. I list some in this footnote.[4] According to us, God’s love requires both giving and receiving. And we think the Bible, the witness of Jesus, and commonsense stand with us on this issue. And they stand against Aquinas and Anselm.



Notes

[1] Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, I (Wesminster, Md: Christian Classics, 1981), q. 6, a.2, ad 1.

[2] Thomas Aquinas, Summa Contra Gentiles II (Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 1981), 13-14.

[3] St. Anselm, Proslogium, tr. Sidney Norton Deane (La Salle, IL, 1951), pp. 13-14.

[4] Among the many theologians who argue that God is passible, see especially Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship (New York: Macmillan, 1949), Gregory A. Boyd, Is God to Blame? Beyond Pat Answers to the Problem of Suffering (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2003), John B. Cobb, Jr., God and the World (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1969), Isaak August Dorner, “The History of the Doctrine of the Immutability of God,” in Divine Immutability, trans. Robert R. Williams and Claude Welch (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1994), 82–130. Paul Fiddes, The Creative Suffering of God (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988), Paul L. Gavrilyuk, The Suffering of the Impassible God: The Dialectics of Patristic Thought (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), Catherine Keller, From a Broken Web: Separation, Sexism and Self (Boston: Beacon Press, 1986), Kazoh Kitamori, Theology of the Pain of God, 5th ed. (Richmond: John Knox Press, 1965), Jung Young Lee, God Suffers for Us (Netherlands: Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, 1974), Bruce McCormack, “Divine Impassibility or Simply Divine Constancy: Implications for Karl Barth’s Later Christology for Debates over Impassibility,” Divine Impassibility and the Mystery of Human Suffering, James F. Keating and Thomas Joseph White, eds. (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2009); Jürgen Moltmann, The Crucified God (1974, 2001), Thomas Jay Oord, The Nature of Love: A Theology (St. Louis: Chalice Press, 2010), Clark Pinnock, Most Moved Mover: A Theology of God’s Openness (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2001), Pinnock, et. al., The Openness of God: A Biblical Challenge to the Traditional Understand of God (Downers Grove, Ill.: Intervarsity, 1994), Jeff Pool, God’s Wounds: Hermeneutic of the Christian Symbol of Divine Suffering. Vol I Divine Vulnerability and Creation (Cambridge, UK: James Clarke and Co., 2009), John Sanders, The God Who Risks: A Theology of Divine Providence (Downers Grove, Ill.: Intervarsity Academic, 2007); T.F. Torrance, The Christian Doctrine of God (New York: Continuum, 1996), Daniel Day Williams, “Suffering and Being in Empirical Theology,” in B. L. Meland ed., The Future of Empirical Theology (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1969), 175-94, Nicholas Wolterstorff, “Suffering Love,” in Philosophy and the Christian Faith, Thomas V. Morris, ed. (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1990).



A History of Philosophy - Hugh Timeline Charts!




A History of Philosophy


Philosophy has been around since the dawn of western civilization. The golden age of Greek philosophy took place in Athens in the 5th century BC. The works of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle informed thousands of years of thought, becoming central to thought in the Roman world, the Middle Ages, and then resurfacing in the renaissance and later.

Starting at the height of the Roman republic, Christian thought was central to philosophy at least until the enlightenment. In the 18th century, questions of how we come to know what we believe we know (epistemology), and new ethical schools began to form. By the late 1800’s, questions of language, logic, and meaning took center stage, and the 20th century played host to one of the largest bursts of philosophical work ever seen. Today philosophical thought is applied to almost every component of life, from science to warfare, politics to artificial intelligence.


A History of Western Philosophy Chart

This awesome chart from superscholar.org provides an abbreviated, easy to follow, and informative overview of the general flow of thought in Western Philosophy. Although missing several influential scholars, it does a great job at capturing the nuts-and-bolts of things and is very well thought-out. We hope you enjoy this visual as much as we do and find it helpful! Click on the link below to view!




analytic philosophy, ancient philosophy, aristotelianism, atomists, averroism, contemporary philosophy, continental philosophy, critical thinking, eclecticism, eleatics, empiricists, epicureanism, existentialism, german idealism, hellenistic, hellenistic philosophy, history, humanism, ionians, logic, modern philosophy, natural philosophy, neoplatonism, ordinarly language philosophy, phenomenology, philosophy, platonism, political philosophy, post-structuralists, postanalytic philosophy, pragmatism, presocratics, pythagoreanism, pythagorreans, rationalists, reason, roman philosophy, scholasticism, skepticism, sophists, stoicism, western philosophy.


A History of Eastern Philosophy

Eastern Philosophy is expansive, beginning as far back as 5,000 years ago. Eastern philosophies are also some of the most intricate and popular on the planet, with many adherents to religious philosophies thousands of years old.

Far from being isolated, many philosophies began in small sections of the Asia and spread for thousands of miles. As early as the Ancient Greeks, there was interplay between eastern and western thought, and Islamic thought–in particular– laid the foundation for the enlightenment in the west.

Though many of the schools of thought on our graphic are religious in some form, their philosophical importance can’t be underestimated, with many religious thinkers contributing substantially to the development of logic, metaphysics, ethics, and epistemology.






Abheda, Achintya-Bheda-Abheda, Ajivika, Asharism, Athari, averroism, Avicennism, Bahai, Bahusrutiya, Bhedabheda, Buddhism, Caitika, Carvaka, Chanakya, Confucianism, Daoism, Dharmaguptaka, Dvaita, Dvaitadvaita, east-asian philosophies, Illuminationism, Indian Philosophy, Iranian Philosophies, Islamic Philosophy, Jainism, Kasyapiya, Legalism, Lokottaravada, Mahasamghika, Mahisasaka, Manichaeism, Maoism, Maturidi, Mazdakism, Mimamsa, Mutazilah, naturalists, Neo-Vedanta, philosophy, Prajnaptivada, Samkhya, Sarvastivada, School of Naturalists, Shia, Shinto, Shuddadvaita, Sramana, Sthavira Nikaya, Sufism, Sunni, Theravada, Transcendent Theosophy, Vaisheshika, vedanta, Vedics, Vibhajyavada, Vishishtadvaita, yoga, Zoroastrianism, Zurvanism


Monday, December 6, 2021

Process Theology 101: Reflections of Classical Theology in a Process World




Process Theology 101

Written by Ellen Lesser
[with commentary by myself, re slater]

EXPLORING THEOLOGY


Ellen Lesser is a postgraduate researcher of Theology and Religion at the University of Exeter. She is an Anglican (though identifies as more spiritual than strictly religious) and has been involved with SCM since 2016 when she became the General Secretary for the University of Exeter’s Methodist and Anglican Society.

In the 1920s, Alfred North Whitehead developed a new metaphysical system of thought called process philosophy. Across a series of lectures, which have since been published under the single title, Process and Reality, Whitehead described a reality where everything is made up of occasions – metaphysical ‘particles’ which have their own desires and experiences.

Whitehead’s student, Charles Hartshorne, took Whitehead’s metaphysics – which, while peppered liberally with explicit references to God, was by no means a work of confessional Christianity – and developed it further using the tools of more specifically Christian philosophy. Hartshorne did not turn Whitehead’s philosophy into a Christian theology himself but laid the groundwork for many thinkers who came after to do so – these thinkers are now known as process theologians.

A deeply philosophical and metaphysical theology, process theology looks very different from traditional Western Christian theologies. Following Whitehead’s description, the God of process theology is ‘dipolar’, consisting of two ‘parts’. Whitehead described these two parts as the Consequent Nature and the Primordial Nature. Whitehead described the latter as eternal and unchanging, and thus the Primordial Nature on its own much resembles the God of Classical Theism which can often be found in Christian philosophy of religion.

  • The Primordial Nature is also the ‘source of all novelty’, that is the Creator of all which is not itself God. Again, this Primordial Nature is a recognisable figure for many familiar with Christian religious philosophy. This was not, however, enough for Whitehead, and so the Consequent Nature is paired with the Primordial Nature.
  • The Consequent Nature is immanent and changing; it is shaped by the world as the world itself changes. Later process theologians attribute co-suffering to the Consequent Nature as Whitehead describes it, thus painting an image of a God who not only rejoices with God’s creation but also suffers with it as well.

Criticism 1

This view of God has not gone without criticism. A common criticism of the process God is that it, being dipolar, is inherently not Trinitarian and thus undoes much of the work of early Christian theologians who worked hard to retain a Trinitarian theology. Process theologians have attempted to rebut this criticism, most notably in the book Trinity in Process: A Relational Theology of God, edited by Joseph Bracken and Marjorie Suchocki.

Criticism 2

Yet another criticism of the process God is that of the power of God. Process theologians John B Cobb Jr and David Ray Griffin explicitly deny God’s omnipotence. This is, in part, a response to the problem of evil.

  • Process theologians hold that not only does God not coerce any aspect of reality into following God’s divine aims, but that God cannot coerce any aspect of reality into following God’s divine aims.
  • The process God is persuasive and not coercive, and everything in reality is free to ignore and/or actively defy the persuasive influence of God. A coercive God, say process theologians, is not compatible with a truly free creation.
  • [Hence, classical theology must address the problem of evil, known as theodicy. Contemporary process theology addresses the same by stating it in terms of freewill aka, the theology of Arminianism (modern day Wesleyanism/Methodism). Whereas its opposite, Calvinism, makes God accountable for sin and evil, Arminianism does not. Process Theology lines up with the latter and has lately redescribed Theodicy by the subject of "Open and Relational (Arminian/Process) Theology". - re slater]

Criticism 3

Such a God has been described as a philosophical God rather than the Christian God because, among other things, such a non-coercive God could not perform the miracles attributed to the Christian God, including raising Jesus from the dead. Indeed, the biggest criticism to process theology – in my view, at least – is that which deems the process God to be a different entity from the Christian God. Whitehead was not specifically interested in relating the God he described in Process and Reality to the Christian God, but the process theologians who have used his metaphysical framework as a basis for their own theologies are.

Much debate has been and continued to be had about whether process theologians have been successful in identifying their process God as the Christian God, or whether the process God is nothing more than a philosophical thought experiment which has no place in true Christian theology. As it stands, this remains to be seen.




Comment by R.E. Slater

Of especial importance to process metaphysicians is that of the influence of Platonism upon Christianity over the years. Earlier Semitic cultures were not as influenced by Greek thought as were later Intertestamental and New Testament authors and thinkers.

Like Isaac Newton's earlier world of mechanism and reductionism where science and math described nature as a clock-like mechanical structure, today's newer evolutionary and quantum sciences are actively removing such ingrained ideas. 

Process Theologians are doing the same by describing real-world processes not as substances or by dipolar ideas as mind v matter, but on the organic level of relationality and open-ended processes.

So when addressing the Westernization of ancient biblical cultures process ideation is getting back to seeing the world in flow and rhythm, wholeness of parts and the parts of wholeness. All more generally described as a series connecting spacetime events forming consequential possibilities.

Further, process theology sees:

(i) the Creator-God in terms of the First Order of all processes from which all succeeding processes have subtended;

Or, (ii) sees consciousness as arising from the "consciousness innately birthed into" the very organic (on inorganic) nature of creation to which man shares in his relationality backwards by inheritance of creation's innateness;

Or, (iii) in Jesus' redemption having made salvifically possible a freewilled creation's return to an empowered Imago Dei which it was birthed with (and never lost) upon the very first breath of God.

Process theology is substantially different and yet, Westernized Christianity may find many, many connecting points to the older ideations of classic theism - as well as many, if not all, world religions, through the talking points of wellbeing; connection with one another and nature; the inherent value of all things through words and acts of love, kindness, goodness, respect, equality, social justice of people and environment, etc.

It is hoped that process theology may assist dogmatic Christianity in rethinking its mission and outreach to a world which it has distanced itself from through its former institutionalized creeds and religions which have displayed division, exclusion, vengeance, the lack of love and respect for others, and so forth. 

R.E. Slater
December 6, 2021

PS - I found this a healthy review which pointed out the succinct differences between a non-processed view of Christianity vs. the process view of Christ and Christianity.


Saturday, December 4, 2021

John B. Cobb Jr. – Environmental “Evangelist”




John B. Cobb Jr. – Environmental “Evangelist”

by Ruth Broyde Sharone
September 14, 2017

John Cobb with his great grandchildren – Photo: JC

John Cobb with his great grandchildren – Photo: JC

No ivory tower has ever been able to contain Dr. John B. Cobb, Jr. Even at 92, the premier “eco-theologian” of our times is a man on a mission. He urgently wants to convert us. But not in the conventional sense. He wants us all – regardless of our religious orientation, our racial, national, and cultural origins – to “evangelize” for an “ecological civilization” whose guiding principle recognizes that we are all on one planet and that the care and preservation of our planet is a shared responsibility.

Born in 1925 to Methodist missionary parents in Japan, he self-identifies today as a liberal Protestant. John’s earliest memories were formed in an interfaith context. The primarily Buddhist culture he encountered, as well as a Canadian missionary school he attended in Kobe, had a profound impact on him. Japan’s culture and religion were substantially different from his own, but that never phased him. “Throughout my career, I have emphasized differences. I’m not one of those people who thinks that all religions are very similar. On the contrary, I think it’s wonderful that they are different. But difference doesn’t mean one is better than the other,” he underscores.

Thus, at age 15, Cobb was utterly perplexed by and unprepared for the racism he encountered when he returned with his parents to the U.S. in 1940. During World War II he watched incredulously as the American government created internment camps for Japanese-Americans and labeled them as “enemies of the country.” It flew in the face of his personal experience living in Japan. America’s actions were an affront to his moral conscience and subsequently informed not only his world view, but also his view of interfaith.

“My view is different from that of many people who have been involved in interfaith because I want to emphasize how different Christianity and Buddhism are and how wonderful it is that they are different,” he repeats. “It’s because they’re so different that we can both learn from each another.”

Throughout his life, Cobb’s criticism of the dominant view in churches, media, universities, and government has earned him the label of a counter-cultural rebel. His philosophical “run-ins” with church doctrine and practice have also characterized his work. Yet it would be hard to deduce that just by observing the unassuming, soft-spoken professor who still speaks with a slight Southern twang. In spite of his gentility, Cobb can readily assume a prophetic voice – deep, passionate and resonant – when holding forth on the urgency of his mission to change people’s ways in order to save our planet.

The Influence of Whitehead

Alfred North Whitehead at Harvard in 1936 – Photo: Wikipedia, Richard Carver Woods

Alfred North Whitehead at Harvard in 1936 – Photo: Wikipedia, Richard Carver Woods

To understand Cobb’s contribution and the ecological civilization he promotes, one needs to know about Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947). Whitehead, a distinguished English mathematician, who was a senior lecturer at Trinity College Cambridge for 25 years, became deeply involved in the history of science at the University of London, and at age 63 crossed the Atlantic to accept a chair in philosophy at Harvard University. Over the next 23 years he wrote books on science, education, religion, and, most importantly, philosophy.

Process and Reality (1929) became the foundational text in process philosophy. As one scholar notes, in Whitehead’s process philosophy “there is urgency in coming to see the world as a web of interrelated processes of which we are integral parts, so that all of our choices and actions have consequences for the world around us.” Before process philosophy became a school of thought, it was called the philosophy of organism, or what Whitehead called “world loyalty.”

Process philosophy served as both catalyst and groundwork for John Cobb and powered his deep dive into interfaith dialogue, ecological civilization, and environmental ethics. Professor Cobb has written or edited more than 50 books, including Process Theology: An Introductory Exposition with D. R. Griffin (1976); Is It Too Late? A Theology of Ecology (1995), and Sustaining the Common Good (1994). Along the way, he co-founded the Center for Process Studies in Claremont, California, where he remains co-director.

In explaining how process thought underscores his drive to save the planet, Cobb highlights the importance of Rene Descartes, a 17th century French philosopher/scientist/theologian who has been called “the father of Western philosophy.” “Descartes, for the first time in human history, really created a metaphysical dualism of the most drastic sort between the mind and matter,” Cobb notes.

The Journey Beyond Dualism

Rene Descartes – Photo: Wikipedia

Rene Descartes – Photo: Wikipedia

“Following Descartes’ pronouncements, philosophers scrambled,  including the German philosopher Immanuel Kant. The most sophisticated philosophers were the ones who dealt the least with the natural world. In popular piety people still thought the whole of creation was God’s, but sadly the preachers were taught not to teach that in the seminaries,” Cobb laments.

“The idea that something is either mental or else material still has an enormous effect on the way that people think. Descartes thought that our bodies were material and our minds were, of course, mental. That dualistic perspective was the dominant result of Descartes’s work and influence until the evolutionary understanding that human beings are also a part of nature. If nature is just matter in motion, then it means that human beings are also matter in motion.

“The influence of dualistic philosophy on theology at that time has been enormous. But there were some people who said ‘No, if human beings are part of nature, then nature is not simply material. We have got to rethink the notion of nature.’” This is what John Cobb learned studying at the University of Chicago in the 1950s. “We called it neo-naturalism, but of course, that still means you have to rethink a lot of what science does and how science is formulated, and it’s not an easy matter to just change your view. I think the one who did the most thorough job in transforming his view was Alfred Whitehead. As I see it, the modern world has unfortunately by-passed the thinking of this new view of nature. In universities, today, you don’t find it very much, but nevertheless it is still what we desperately need.”

Cobb believes that science which has not given up the Cartesian view renders itself unable to deal with a great many facts. “One of these is that the things that we do, psychologically or spiritually, effects what happens physically. According to mainstream scientific teaching, stemming back to Descartes, this is impossible. One of the problems facing science today is that many things that happen, science insists can’t happen. If science would accept the need to rethink nature and give up its strictly materialistic view, then these facts are just as important scientific facts as any others.

“We have to think historically, because the controversy between science and religion grew out of a very specific kind of science and a very specific kind of religion ... Many forms of religion are not in conflict with any form of science; and there are forms of religion that are in total conflict with science. Take Zen Buddhism, for example, among the most thorough-going of the Buddhist groups. Zen Buddhism is very different from science, but it is not in conflict with science. And it doesn’t get into any conflict with science in the way the Abrahamic religions do.”

Rethinking the notion of nature and science and humankind’s role in protecting the planet has been at the fulcrum of Cobb’s academic career and environmental activism. In 2015, at age 90, he conceived and organized a ground-breaking conference at Pomona College in Claremont called Seizing an Alternative: Toward an Ecological Civilization, where some 2000 people attended including more than 200 from China. (Read TIO’s report on it here.)

John Cobb (middle in red) with at Chinese delegation at the Seizing an Alternative conference – Photo: JC

John Cobb (middle in red) with at Chinese delegation at the Seizing an Alternative conference – Photo: JC

He says there were virtually no eco-theologians until the 1960s. Theologians before then were almost entirely – and he includes himself – anthropocentric, dealing only with human relationships. “But in the late '60s we were awakened to the fact that ignoring the natural world meant that we were not only ignoring it; we were destroying it.

We need to think not in mechanical terms but in organic terms. And there’s lots of evidence that that’s a good, sound way of thinking about nature. We really need to shift our view so that other things – besides human beings – have value in and of themselves. We need to respect all things in nature and not treat them simply as resources for our use. Then there would be a chance of having what we are calling for: an ‘ecological civilization.’ And that’s what I’m committed to. It’s still a civilization. It’s got science. It’s got technology. But it subordinates the use of things to the appreciation of all things.

John B. Cobb Jr. speaks softly, but he carries a big mandate for humanity: to move into a new phase of consciousness, an organic phase of consciousness, one that will allow us to create the ecological civilization we urgently need.The impact of Cobb’s environmental evangelism shows up in the work of Pando Populus, an organization he founded two years ago to ensure his ideas would not be seen as ivory tower theory but would actually take practical form and shape. Recently he spent a morning with members and supporters of Pando to bring the resources of many different organizations to bear on local needs in a specific part of L.A.

“We had an event in Death Alley, the section in L.A. that has the most murders year after year, a section that is very far removed from an ecological civilization. People there wanted to take advantage of the availability of a little piece of land to help build community out of the existing less-than-communitarian situation. The people who showed up that day represented about 20 different organizations that are all interested in improving what happens there. Pando’s role was to bring together people who live there with people from the outside.

“We also work with large institutions. UCLA and the whole University of California system want to have zero waste. Of all the universities, UCLA is furthest along. Yet they throw away a billion dollars of waste every year and have come to the realization that it’s possible to avoid being so wasteful. In the near future, we will be bringing people together from all over the state to celebrate their achievements.”

Cobb is encouraged now that the concept of an ecological civilization is finally taking root in our society.

“Obviously the movement didn’t develop around that term. But from my point of view the most important part of the movement is not its own special teaching, but rather its potential to change the world.”



























Wikipedia - Philosopher / Theologian John B. Cobb, Jr.



Philosopher / Theologian John B. Cobb, Jr.



John B. Cobb

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John B. Cobb, Jr.
John B. Cobb, Jr.jpg
Cobb in 2013
Born
John Boswell Cobb, Jr.

9 February 1925 (age 96)
NationalityAmerican
Spouse(s)
Jean L. Cobb
 
(m. 1947)
[1]
Academic background
Alma materUniversity of Chicago
ThesisThe Independence of Christian Faith from Speculative Beliefs[2] (1952)
Doctoral advisorCharles Hartshorne
Influences
Academic work
Discipline
School or tradition
Institutions
Doctoral students
Main interests
Notable ideas
Influenced

Biography

Harborland in KobeHyōgo prefecture, Japan

John Cobb was born in Kobe, Japan, on 9 February 1925, to parents who were Methodist missionaries.[13] Until age 15, he lived primarily in Kobe and Hiroshima and received most of his early education in the multi-ethnic Canadian Academy in Kobe,[13] to which he attributes the beginnings of his pluralistic outlook.[14]

In 1940, Cobb moved to Georgia, US, to finish high school.[13] He found himself both bewildered and disgusted by the pervasive racism in the region, particularly the demonization of the Japanese.[15] Seeing how the same events could be presented in such different ways based on the country in which he was living, Cobb became ever-more counter-cultural and critical of the dominant views in churches, media, universities, and government.[16]

After his graduation from high school, Cobb attended Emory College in Oxford, Georgia, before joining the US Army in 1943.[17] He was chosen for the Japanese language program, which was filled mainly with Jewish and Catholic intellectuals who helped make him aware of the narrow, parochial nature of his Georgia Protestantism.[18]

Cobb served in the occupation of Japan, then returned to the United States and left the army soon afterward. He then entered an interdepartmental program at the University of Chicago in 1947. There, he set out to test his faith by learning the modern world's objections to Christianity.[19] His faith did not come out intact.

I was determined to expose my faith to the worst the world could offer. Within six months of such exposure my faith was shattered ... God, who had been my constant companion and Lord up to that point, simply evaporated, and my prayers bounced back from the ceiling unheard.[19]

Hoping to reconstruct a Christian faith more compatible with scientific and historical knowledge, Cobb entered the University of Chicago Divinity School.[20] He was successful in restoring his personal faith primarily with the help of Richard McKeonDaniel Day Williams, and Charles Hartshorne.[20] McKeon introduced Cobb to philosophical relativism, while Hartshorne and Williams taught him Whiteheadian process philosophy and process theologyAlfred North Whitehead's thought became the central theme of Cobb's own work.

After receiving his Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Chicago under the supervision of Charles Hartshorne in 1952,[21] he spent three years teaching at Young Harris College in north Georgia, while also serving as part-time pastor to a six-church circuit and establishing a seventh congregation in the area.[22] Ernest Cadman Colwell, formerly president of the University of Chicago, brought Cobb to Emory University in Georgia to teach in the new graduate institute for liberal arts. In 1958, Cobb followed Colwell to ClaremontCalifornia,[23] where he was named Ingraham Professor of Theology at Claremont School of Theology and Avery Professor of Religion at Claremont Graduate University.[5] He established the Process Studies journal with Lewis S. Ford [de] in 1971 and co-founded the Center for Process Studies with David Ray Griffin in 1973, making Claremont the center of Whiteheadian process thought.[23] Twenty-five years later, together with Herman Greene, he organized the International Process Network. This organization holds biennial conferences, the tenth of which will be taking place in Claremont in 2015.[24]

During his career, Cobb has also served as Visiting Professor at Harvard Divinity SchoolChicago Divinity SchoolVanderbilt Divinity SchoolIliff School of TheologyRikkyo University in Japan, and the University of Mainz in Germany.[5] He has received six honorary doctorates.[25]

Transdisciplinary work

Although Cobb is most often described as a theologian, the overarching tendency of his thought has been toward the integration of many different areas of knowledge, employing Alfred North Whitehead's transdisciplinary philosophical framework as his guiding insight.[26] As a result, Cobb has done work in a broad range of fields.

Philosophy of education

Cobb has consistently opposed the splitting of education and knowledge into discrete and insulated disciplines and departments.[27] He believes that the current university model encourages excessive abstraction because each specialized area of study defines its own frame of reference and then tends to ignore the others, discouraging interdisciplinary dialogue and inhibiting a broad understanding of the world.[27]

To combat these problems, Cobb argues that discrete "disciplines" in general—and theology in particular—need to re-emerge from their mutual academic isolation.[28] Theology should once again be tied to ethical questions and practical, everyday concerns, as well as a theoretical understanding of the world. In service to this vision, Cobb has consistently sought to integrate knowledge from biologyphysicseconomics, and other disciplines into his theological and philosophical work.[29]

Constructive postmodern philosophy

Cobb was convinced that Alfred North Whitehead was right in viewing both nature and human beings as more than just purposeless machines.[30] Rather than seeing nature as purely mechanical and human consciousness as a strange exception which must be explained away, Whiteheadian naturalism went in the opposite direction by arguing that subjective experience of the world should inform a view of the rest of nature as more than just mechanical. In short, nature should be seen as having a subjective and purposive aspect that deserves attention.[30]

Speaking to this need of moving beyond classically "modern" ideas, in the 1960s Cobb was the first to label Whiteheadian thought as "postmodern".[31] Later, when deconstructionists began to describe their thought as "postmodern", Whiteheadians changed their own label to "constructive postmodernism".[32]

Like its deconstructionist counterpart, constructive postmodernism arose partly in response to dissatisfaction with Cartesian mind–matter dualism, which viewed matter as an inert machine and the human mind as wholly different in nature.[32][33] While modern science has uncovered voluminous evidence against this idea, Cobb argues that dualistic assumptions continue to persist:

On the whole, dualism was accepted by the general culture. To this day it shapes the structure of the university, with its division between the sciences and the humanities. Most people, whether they articulate it or not, view the world given to them in sight and touch as material, while they consider themselves to transcend that purely material status.[32]

While deconstructionists have concluded that we must abandon any further attempts to create a comprehensive vision of the world, Cobb and other constructive postmodernists believe that metaphysics and comprehensive world-models are possible and still needed.[32][34] In particular, they have argued for a new Whiteheadian metaphysics based on events rather than substances.[32][35] In this formulation, it is incorrect to say that a person or thing ("substance") has a fundamental identity that remains constant, and that any changes to the person or thing are secondary to what it is.[36] Instead, each moment in a person's life ("event") is seen as a new actuality, thus asserting that continual change and transformation are fundamental, while static identities are far less important.[37] This view more easily reconciles itself with certain findings of modern science, such as evolution and wave–particle duality.[38]

Environmental ethics

Ecological themes have been pervasive in Cobb's work since 1969, when he turned his attention to the ecological crisis.[7] He became convinced that environmental issues constituted humanity's most pressing problem. Cobb writes:

During the seventies my sense of the theological vocation changed. I did not lose interest in developing the Christian tradition so as to render it intelligible, convincing, and illuminating in a changing context. But I did reject the compartmentalization of my discipline of 'constructive theology,' especially in its separation from ethics, and more generally in its isolation from other academic disciplines ... I was persuaded that no problem could be more critical than that of a decent survival of a humanity that threatened to destroy itself by exhausting and polluting its natural context.[7]

Cobb went on to write the first single-author book in environmental ethicsIs It Too Late? A Theology of Ecology, in 1971.[39] In the book, he argued for an ecological worldview that acknowledges the continuity between human beings and other living things, as well as their mutual dependence. He also proposed that Christianity specifically needed to appropriate knowledge from the biological sciences in order to undercut its anthropocentrism (human-centeredness) and devaluation of the non-human world.[40]

Critique of growth-oriented economics

Cobb's economic critiques arose as a natural extension of his interest in ecological issues. He recognized that he could not write about an ecological, sustainable, and just society without including discussion of economics.[41]

As part of his investigation into why economic policies so frequently worsened the ecological situation, in the 1980s Cobb decided to re-evaluate gross national product and gross domestic product as measures of economic progress.[42] Together with his son, Clifford Cobb, he developed an alternative model, the Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare,[42] which sought to "consolidate economic, environmental, and social elements into a common framework to show net progress."[43] The name of the metric would later change to genuine progress indicator.[44] A recent (2013) article has shown that global GPI per capita peaked in 1978, meaning that the social and environmental costs of economic growth have outweighed the benefits since that time.[45]

Cobb also co-authored a book with Herman Daly in 1989 entitled For the Common Good: Redirecting the Economy Toward Community, Environment, and a Sustainable Future, which outlined policy changes intended to create a society based on community and ecological balance. In 1992, For the Common Good earned Cobb and Daly the Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order.[46]

In recent years, Cobb has described current growth-oriented economic systems as the "prime example of corruption" in American culture and religion: "Since the rise of modern economics, Christians have been forced to give up their criticism of greed, because the economists said 'greed is good, and if you really want to help people, be as greedy as possible.'"[47] Cobb sees such values as being in direct opposition with the message of Jesus, which in many places explicitly criticizes the accumulation of wealth. Because of Christianity's widespread acceptance of such economic values, Cobb sees Christians as far less confident in proclaiming the values of Jesus.[47]

Biology and religion

Along with Whitehead, Cobb has sought to reconcile science and religion in places where they appear to conflict, as well as to encourage religion to make use of scientific insights and vice versa.[48]

In the area of religion and biology, he co-wrote The Liberation of Life: From the Cell to the Community with Australian geneticist Charles Birch in 1981. The book critiqued the dominant biological model of mechanism, arguing that it leads to the study of organisms in abstraction from their environments.[49] Cobb and Birch argue instead for an "ecological model" which draws no sharp lines between the living and non-living, or between an organism and its environment.[50] The book also argues for an idea of evolution in which adaptive behavior can lead to genetic changes.[51] Cobb and Birch stress that a species "co-evolves with its environment" and that in this way intelligent purpose plays a role in evolution:

Evolution is not a process of ruthless competition directed to some goal of ever-increasing power or complexity. Such an attitude, by failing to be adaptive, is, in fact, not conducive to evolutionary success. A species co-evolves with its environment. Equally, there is no stable, harmonious nature to whose wisdom humanity should simply submit. Intelligent purpose plays a role in adaptive behaviour, and as environments change its role is increased.[52]

The Liberation of Life stresses that all life (not just human life) is purposeful and that it aims for the realization of richer experience.[53] Cobb and Birch develop the idea of "trusting life" as a religious impulse, rather than attempting to achieve a settled, perfected social structure that does not allow for change and evolution.[54]

Religious pluralism and interreligious dialogue

Cobb has participated in extensive interreligious and interfaith dialogue, most notably with Masao Abe, a Japanese Buddhist of the Kyoto School of philosophy.[55] Cobb's explicit aim was to gain ideas and insights from other religions with an eye toward augmenting and "universalizing" Christianity.[56] Cobb writes:

... it is the mission of Christianity to become a universal faith in the sense of taking into itself the alien truths that others have realized. This is no mere matter of addition. It is instead a matter of creative transformation. An untransformed Christianity, that is, a Christianity limited to its own parochial traditions, cannot fulfill its mission of realizing the universal meaning of Jesus Christ.[57]

In short, Cobb does not conceive of dialogue as useful primarily to convert or be converted, but rather as useful in order to transform both parties mutually, allowing for a broadening of ideas and a reimagining of each faith in order that they might better face the challenges of the modern world.[58][59]

Cobb has also been active in formulating his own theories of religious pluralism, partly in response to another Claremont Graduate University professor, John Hick.[60] Cobb's pluralism has sometimes been identified as a kind of "deep" pluralism or, alternately, as a "complementary" pluralism.[61] He believes that there are actually three distinct religious ultimates: (1) God, (2) Creativity/Emptiness/Nothingness/Being-itself, and (3) the cosmos/universe.[62] Cobb believes that all of these elements are necessary and present in some form in every religion but that different faiths tend to stress one ultimate over the others.[63] Viewed in this way, different religions may be seen to complement each other by providing insight into different religious ultimates.[64] Cobb's pluralism thus avoids the criticism of conflating religions that are actually very different (for instance, Buddhism and Christianity) while still affirming the possible truths of both.[64]

Revitalizing Christianity in a pluralistic world

David Ray Griffin, with whom Cobb co-founded the Center for Process Studies in 1973

Cobb believed that through at least the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century, American Protestant theology had been largely derivative from European (specifically German) theology.[65] In the late 1950s, Cobb and Claremont professor James Robinson decided that the time had come to end this one-sidedness and move to authentic dialogue between American and European theologians.[66] To establish real mutuality, they organized a series of conferences of leading theologians in Germany and the United States and published a series of volumes called "New Frontiers in Theology."[67]

After writing several books surveying contemporary forms of Protestantism, Cobb turned in the mid-1960s to more original work which sought to bring Alfred North Whitehead's ideas into the contemporary American Protestant scene.[68] Cobb aimed to reconstruct a Christian vision that was more compatible with modern knowledge and more ready to engage with today's pluralistic world.[61] He did this in a number of ways.

For one, Cobb has stressed the problems inherent in what he calls the "substantialist" worldview—ultimately derived from Classical Greek philosophy—that still dominates Christian theology, as well as most of western thought.[69] This "substantialist" way of thinking necessitates a mind–matter dualism, in which matter and mind are two fundamentally different kinds of entities. It also encourages seeing relations between entities as being unimportant to what the entity is "in itself".[70] In contrast to this view, Cobb follows Whitehead in attributing primacy to events and processes rather than substances.[69] In this Whiteheadian view, nothing is contained within its own sharp boundaries. In fact, the way in which a thing relates to other things is what makes it "what it is". Cobb writes:

If the substantialist view is abandoned, a quite different picture emerges. Each occasion of human experience is constituted not only by its incorporation of the cellular occasions of its body but also by its incorporation of aspects of other people. That is, people internally relate to one another. Hence, the character of one's being, moment by moment, is affected by the health and happiness of one's neighbors.[69]

For Cobb, this metaphysics of process is better-aligned with the Bible, which stresses history, community, and the importance of one's neighbors.[69]

Claremont School of Theology, 2013

Also, instead of turning further inward to preserve a cohesive Christian community, Cobb turned outward in order to discover truths that Christianity may not yet possess.[56] This is in direct opposition to those who feel that Christianity as a religious system is absolutely final, complete, and free of error. Cobb has not only turned to other religions (most notably Buddhism) in order to supplement Christian ideas and systems,[71] but also to other disciplines, including biology, physics, and economics.

In fact, Cobb has not shied away even from re-imaging what is now regarded as the "traditional" Christian notion of God. He does not believe that God is omnipotent in the sense of having unilateral control over all events, since Cobb sees reconciling total coercive power with love and goodness to be an impossible task.[69] Instead, all creatures are viewed as having some degree of freedom that God cannot override.[72] Cobb solves the problem of evil by denying God's omnipotence, stressing instead that God's power is persuasive rather than coercive, that God can influence creatures but not determine what they become or do.[73] For Cobb, God's role is to liberate and empower.[74]

Against traditional theism, Cobb has also denied the idea that God is immutable (unchanging) and impassible (unfeeling).[75] Instead, he stresses that God is affected and changed by the actions of creatures, both human and otherwise.[69] For Cobb, the idea that God experiences and changes does not mean that God is imperfect—quite the contrary. Instead, God is seen as experiencing with all beings, and hence understanding and empathizing with all beings, becoming "the fellow sufferer who understands."[76] Cobb argues that this idea of God is more compatible with the Bible, in which Jesus suffers and dies.

Additionally, Cobb's theology has argued against the idea of salvation as a singular, binary event in which one is either saved or not saved for all time. Rather than seeing one's time in the world as a test of one's morality in order to enter a heavenly realm, Cobb sees salvation as the continual striving to transform and perfect our experience in this world.[69] Cobb's idea of salvation focuses less on moral categories and more on aesthetic categories—such as a preference for intense experience over dull experience, or beauty rather than ugliness. Cobb writes:

If morality is bound up with contributing to others, the crucial question is: What is to be contributed? One contribution might be making them more moral, and that is fine. But finally, true morality cannot aim simply at the spread of morality. It must aim at the wellbeing of those it tries to help in some broader sense. For process thought that must be the perfection of their experience inclusively.[69]

Cobb admits that the idea of morality being subservient to aesthetics is "shocking to many Christians",[69] yet he argues that there must be more to life than simply being morally good or morally bad and that aesthetic categories fulfill this function specifically because they are defined as goods in themselves.

Within the last twenty years, Cobb has become increasingly distressed by the popular identification of Christianity with the religious right and the weak response of mainstream Protestants. To encourage a stronger response, he organized Progressive Christians Uniting with the Episcopal priest George Regas in 1996,[77] chaired its reflection committee, and edited a number of its books. As the perceived gap between the policies of the American government and Christian teaching grew wider, these books moved beyond simply reformist proposals. The last of these was entitled Resistance: The New Role of Progressive Christians.

Cobb's most recent book is entitled Spiritual Bankruptcy: A Prophetic Call to Action. It argues against both religiousness and secularism, claiming that what is needed is the secularization of the wisdom traditions.[78]

The influence of Cobb's thought in China

Process philosophy in the tradition of Alfred North Whitehead is often considered a primarily American philosophical movement, but it has spread globally and has been of particular interest to Chinese thinkers. As one of process philosophy's leading figures, Cobb has taken a leadership role in bringing process thought to the East, most specifically to help China develop a more ecological civilization—a goal which the current Chinese government has written into its constitution.[12][79]

With Zhihe Wang, Cobb founded the Institute for Postmodern Development of China (IPDC) in 2005, and currently serves on its board of directors.[80] Through the IPDC, Cobb helps to coordinate the work of twenty-three collaborative centers in China, as well as to organize annual conferences on ecological civilization.[11][12]

Institutions founded

Cobb has founded numerous non-profit organizations throughout his career.

In 1973, Cobb co-founded the Center for Process Studies with David Ray Griffin as a faculty research center of the Claremont School of Theology, and currently still serves as its Co-Director.[81] The Center for Process Studies is the leading institute on the process philosophy and process theology inspired by Alfred North WhiteheadCharles Hartshorne, and others.[citation needed]

In 1996, Cobb co-founded the Claremont Consultation with George Regas in an effort to organize and mobilize progressive Christian communities.[82] In 2003, the organization's name was changed to Progressive Christians Uniting. PCU today describes itself as "a social justice and faith organization dedicated to amplifying hope and actions individuals can take that lead to a more compassionate and just world."[citation needed]

In 2005, Cobb was the founding President of the Institute for the Postmodern Development of China.[80] The IPDC works to promote new modes of development in China and the West, drawing from both classical Chinese philosophy and constructive forms of Western thought in order to address practical problems associated with economic growth, social change, and globalization. Cobb continues to work on the IPDC's board of directors.[citation needed]

In 2013, Cobb was a founding board member of Process Century Press, an academic press dedicated to transdisciplinary applications of process thought. He remains on PCP's advisory board.[83]

In 2014, Cobb was the founding chairperson of the board for Pando Populus, an LA-based non-profit organization that seeks to enact a more ecologically balanced way of life in the LA area. Cobb remains on Pando Populus' board of directors.[84]

In 2015, Cobb was a founding board member of the Institute for Ecological Civilization (EcoCiv), a non-profit organization which seeks to enact "a fully sustainable human society in harmony with surrounding ecosystems and communities of life." Cobb remains on EcoCiv's board of directors.[85]

In 2019, Cobb led the formation and was a founding board member of the Claremont Institute for Process Studies, a non-profit organization that aims to "promote a process-relational worldview to advance wisdom, harmony, and the common good" by engaging "in local initiatives and cultivates compassionate communities to bring about an ecological civilization." One year later, the organization was renamed the Cobb Institute to honor his life, leadership, and influence, and to better align its work and mission with its name. Cobb continues to be an active board member and guiding influence.[86]

Bibliography

Books written

  • Varieties of Protestantism, 1960
  • Living Options in Protestant Theology, 1962 (online edition)
  • A Christian Natural Theology, 1965 (online edition)
  • The Structure of Christian Existence, 1967 (online edition)
  • God and the World, 1969
  • Is It Too Late? A Theology of Ecology, 1971 (revised edition, 1995)
  • Liberal Christianity at the Crossroads, 1973 (online edition)
  • Christ in a Pluralistic Age, 1975
  • with David Ray GriffinProcess Theology: An Introductory Exposition, 1976, ISBN 0-664-24743-1
  • Theology and Pastoral Care, 1977
  • with Charles BirchThe Liberation of Life: from the Cell to the Community, 1981
  • Process Theology as Political Theology, 1982 (online edition)
  • Beyond Dialogue: Toward a Mutual Transformation of Christianity and Buddhism, 1982
  • with David TracyTalking About God, 1983 (online edition)
  • Praying for Jennifer, 1985
  • with Joseph HoughChristian Identity and Theological Education, 1985
  • with Beardslee, Lull, Pregeant, Weeden, and Woodbridge, Biblical Preaching on the Death of Jesus, 1989
  • with Herman DalyFor the Common Good: Redirecting the Economy Toward Community, Environment, and a Sustainable Future, 1989 (revised edition, 1994) which won the 1992 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order.[87]
  • Doubting Thomas, 1990, ISBN 0-8245-1033-X (online edition)
  • with Leonard SwidlerPaul Knitter, and Monika Helwig, Death or Dialogue, 1990
  • Matters of Life and Death, 1991
  • Can Christ Become Good News Again?, 1991
  • Sustainability, 1992
  • Becoming a Thinking Christian, 1993
  • Lay Theology, 1994, ISBN 0-8272-2122-3
  • Sustaining the Common Good, 1994, ISBN 0-8298-1010-2
  • Grace and Responsibility, 1995
  • Reclaiming the Church, 1997, ISBN 0-664-25720-8
  • The Earthist Challenge to Economism: A Theological Critique of the World Bank, 1999, ISBN 0-312-21838-9
  • Transforming Christianity and the World: A Way Beyond Absolutism and Relativism, 1999, ISBN 1-57075-271-0
  • Postmodernism and Public Policy: Reframing Religion, Culture, Education, Sexuality, Class, Race, Politics, and the Economy, 2002, ISBN 0-7914-5166-6
  • The Process Perspective: Frequently Asked Questions About Process Theology (edited by Jeanyne B. Slettom), 2003, ISBN 0-8272-2999-2
  • Romans (with David J. Lull), 2005
  • with Bruce Epperly and Paul Nancarrow, The Call of the Spirit: Process Spirituality in a Relational World, 2005
  • A Christian Natural Theology, Second Edition, 2007
  • Whitehead Word Book: A Glossary with Alphabetical Index to Technical Terms in Process and Reality, 2008 ISBN 978-0-9742459-6-6
  • Spiritual Bankruptcy: A Prophetic Call to Action, 2010
  • The Process Perspective II (edited by Jeanyne B. Slettom), 2011
  • Theological Reminiscences, 2014
  • Jesus' Abba – The God Who Has Not Failed, 2015
  • China and Ecological Civilization: John B. Cobb, Jr. in conversation with Andre Vltchek, 2019, ISBN 978-6025095450

Books edited

  • with James RobinsonThe Later Heidegger and Theology, 1963
  • with James RobinsonThe New Hermeneutic, 1964
  • with James RobinsonTheology as History, 1967
  • The Theology of Altizer: Critique and Response, 1971
  • with David Ray GriffinMind in Nature, 1977 (online edition)
  • with Widick Schroeder, Process Philosophy and Social Thought, 1981
  • with Franklin GamwellExistence and Actuality: Conversations with Charles Hartshorne, 1984 (online edition)
  • Christian Faith and Religious Diversity: Mobilization for the Human Family, 2002, ISBN 0-8006-3483-7
  • with Christopher Ives, The Emptying God: A Buddhist-Jewish-Christian Conversation, Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2005, ISBN 1-59752-421-2
  • with Kevin Barrett and Sandra Lubarsky, 9/11 & American Empire: Christians, Jews, and Muslims Speak Out, 2006, ISBN 1-56656-660-6
  • Resistance: The New Role of Progressive Christians. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press, 2008. ISBN 978-0-664-23287-0
  • Back to Darwin, 2008
  • Dialogue Comes of Age, 2010
  • Religions in the Making: Whitehead and the Wisdom Traditions of the World, 2012
  • with Ignacio Castuera, For Our Common Home: Process-Relational Responses to Laudato Si', 2015
  • with Wm. Andrew Schwartz, Putting Philosophy to Work: Toward an Ecological Civilization, 2018

Articles

For a list of Cobb's published articles through 2010, see the list at The Center for Process Studies.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Jean Cobb: Loving Wife and Mother, Librarian"Claremont Courier. 4 February 2016. Retrieved 8 March 2019.
  2. ^ Cobb, John B. (1952). The Independence of Christian Faith from Speculative Beliefs (PhD thesis). Chicago: University of Chicago. OCLC 80987653.
  3. ^ "Dissertations Completed"Religious Studies Review18 (2): 170–176. 1992. doi:10.1111/j.1748-0922.1992.tb00087.x.
  4. ^ Roland Faber, God as Poet of the World: Exploring Process Theologies (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2008), 35; C. Robert Mesle, Process Theology (St. Louis: Chalice Press, 1993), 126; Gary Dorrien, "The Lure and Necessity of Process Theology," CrossCurrents 58 (2008): 316; Monica A. Coleman, Nancy R. Howell, and Helene Tallon Russell, Creating Women's Theology: A Movement Engaging Process Thought (Wipf and Stock, 2011), 13.
  5. Jump up to:a b c Process and Faith, "John B. Cobb Jr." http://processandfaith.org/misc/john-b-cobb-jr
  6. ^ "American Academy of Arts and Sciences". Retrieved 24 June 2014.
  7. Jump up to:a b c John B. Cobb, "Intellectual Autobiography", Religious Studies Review 19 (1993): 10.
  8. ^ Alfred North Whitehead, Religion in the Making (New York: Fordham University Press, 1996), 60.
  9. ^ The Center for Environmental Philosophy, "History of Environmental Ethics for the Novice," http://www.cep.unt.edu/novice.html
  10. ^ The Center for Process Studies, "About the Center for Process Studies," "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 January 2010. Retrieved 14 December 2009.
  11. Jump up to:a b Institute for the Postmodern Development of China, "Collaborative Centers," "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 19 December 2013. Retrieved 19 December 2013.
  12. Jump up to:a b c "China embraces Alfred North Whitehead," last modified 10 December 2008, Douglas Todd, The Vancouver Sun, retrieved 5 December 2013, http://blogs.vancouversun.com/2008/12/10/china-embraces-alfred-north-whitehead/.
  13. Jump up to:a b c David Ray Griffin, "John B. Cobb Jr.: A Theological Biography," in Theology and the University: Essays in Honor of John B. Cobb Jr., ed. David Ray Griffin and Joseph C. Hough Jr. (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1991), 225.
  14. ^ John B. Cobb, Theological Reminiscences (unpublished manuscript), 5-9.
  15. ^ John B. Cobb, Theological Reminiscences (unpublished manuscript), 7.
  16. ^ John B. Cobb, Theological Reminiscences (unpublished manuscript), 9.
  17. ^ David Ray Griffin, "John B. Cobb Jr.: A Theological Biography", in Theology and the University: Essays in Honor of John B. Cobb Jr., ed. David Ray Griffin and Joseph C. Hough Jr. (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1991), 225-226.
  18. ^ David Ray Griffin, "John B. Cobb Jr.: A Theological Biography," in Theology and the University: Essays in Honor of John B. Cobb Jr., ed. David Ray Griffin and Joseph C. Hough Jr. (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1991), 226.
  19. Jump up to:a b David Ray Griffin, "John B. Cobb Jr.: A Theological Biography," in Theology and the University: Essays in Honor of John B. Cobb Jr., ed. David Ray Griffin and Joseph C. Hough Jr. (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1991), 227.
  20. Jump up to:a b David Ray Griffin, "John B. Cobb Jr.: A Theological Biography," in Theology and the University: Essays in Honor of John B. Cobb Jr., ed. David Ray Griffin and Joseph C. Hough Jr. (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1991), 228.
  21. ^ Sherburne, Don (2008). "Cobb, John B., Jr.". In Lachs, JohnTalisse, Robert (eds.). American Philosophy: An Encyclopedia. New York: Routledge. p. 109. ISBN 978-1-135-94887-0.
  22. ^ "John B. Cobb Jr". The Interfaith Observer. Archived from the original on 30 December 2013. Retrieved 28 December 2013.
  23. Jump up to:a b David Ray Griffin, "John B. Cobb Jr.: A Theological Biography", in Theology and the University: Essays in Honor of John B. Cobb Jr., ed. David Ray Griffin and Joseph C. Hough Jr. (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1991), 229.
  24. ^ Worldwide Process, "'Seizing An Alternative' by John Cobb", http://www.worldwideprocess.org/seizing-an-alternative-by-john-cobb.html[permanent dead link]
  25. ^ The Center for Process Studies, "John B. Cobb's CV," http://www.ctr4process.org/about/CoDirectors/cobb_cv.pdf, Claremont School of Theology, "CST to Award Cobb Honorary Doctorate at Commencement," http://www.cst.edu/news/2013/02/15/cst-to-award-cobb-honorary-doctorate-at-commenceme/[permanent dead link]
  26. ^ Gary Dorrien, "The Lure and Necessity of Process Theology," CrossCurrents 58 (2008): 333.
  27. Jump up to:a b Delwin Brown, "The Location of the Theologian: John Cobb's Career as Critique," Religious Studies Review 19 (1993): 12.
  28. ^ Delwin Brown, "The Location of the Theologian: John Cobb's Career as Critique," Religious Studies Review 19 (1993): 13.
  29. ^ Butkus, Russell A. and Steven A. Kolmes (2011). Environmental Science and Theology in Dialogue. Maryknoll NY: Orbis Books. pp. 19–21. ISBN 978-1-57075-912-3.
  30. Jump up to:a b Charles Birch and John B. Cobb Jr., The Liberation of Life (Denton: Environmental Ethics Books, 1990), 5-6.
  31. ^ David Ray Griffin, Whitehead's Radically Different Postmodern Philosophy: An Argument for Its Contemporary Relevance (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2007), 4.
  32. Jump up to:a b c d e John B. Cobb Jr. "Constructive Postmodernism", Religion Online"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 8 August 2013. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
  33. ^ David Ray Griffin, Whitehead's Radically Different Postmodern Philosophy: An Argument for Its Contemporary Relevance (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2007), 11. Cf. Michel Weber and Anderson Weekes (eds.), Process Approaches to Consciousness in Psychology, Neuroscience, and Philosophy of Mind (Whitehead Psychology Nexus Studies II), Albany, New York, State University of New York Press, 2009.
  34. ^ David Ray Griffin, Whitehead's Radically Different Postmodern Philosophy: An Argument for Its Contemporary Relevance (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2007), 5-7.
  35. ^ David Ray Griffin, Whitehead's Radically Different Postmodern Philosophy: An Argument for Its Contemporary Relevance (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2007), 60.
  36. ^ Charles Birch and John B. Cobb Jr., The Liberation of Life (Denton: Environmental Ethics Books, 1990), 95.
  37. ^ Hodgson, Peter Crafts (1994). Winds of the Spirit: A Constructive Christian Theology. Louisville KY: Westminster John Knox Press. p. 93. ISBN 0664254438.
  38. ^ Charles Birch and John B. Cobb Jr., The Liberation of Life (Denton: Environmental Ethics Books, 1990), 65; also John B. Cobb Jr. "Constructive Postmodernism," Religion Online"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 8 August 2013. Retrieved 11 August 2013..
  39. ^ The Center for Environmental Philosophy, "Environmental Ethics Books," http://www.cep.unt.edu/eebooks.html
  40. ^ Min, Anselm Kyongsuk (1989). Dialectic of Salvation: Issues in Theology of Liberation. Albany NY: SUNY Press. p. 84. ISBN 0887069096.
  41. ^ John B. Cobb Jr., "Intellectual Autobiography," Religious Studies Review 19 (1993): 10.
  42. Jump up to:a b Herman E. Daly and John B. Cobb Jr., For The Common Good: Redirecting the Economy toward Community, the Environment, and a Sustainable Future (Beacon Press, 1994).
  43. ^ Ida Kubiszewski et al, "Beyond GDP: Measuring and achieving global genuine progress," Ecological Economics 93 (2013), 57.
  44. ^ Stephen M. Posner and Robert Costanza, "A summary of ISEW and GPI studies at multiple scales and new estimates for Baltimore City, Baltimore County, and the State of Maryland," Ecological Economics (2011), 2, http://www.green.maryland.gov/mdgpi/pdfs/MD-PosnerCostanza%202011%20GPI.pdf
  45. ^ Ida Kubiszewski et al, "Beyond GDP: Measuring and achieving global genuine progress," Ecological Economics 93 (2013), 67.
  46. ^ University of Louisville, "1992 – Samuel Huntington, Herman Daly and John Cobb," "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 December 2013. Retrieved 9 October 2013.
  47. Jump up to:a b The Institute on Religion and Democracy, "12-06-18 Process Theologian John Cobb Urges 'Secularizing Christianity,'" http://juicyecumenism.com/2012/06/18/process-theologian-john-cobb-urges-secularizing-christianity/
  48. ^ Jay McDanielOf God and Pelicans: A Theology of Reverence for Life (Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1989), 139.
  49. ^ Charles Birch and John B. Cobb Jr., The Liberation of Life: From the Cell to the Community (Denton: Environmental Ethics Books, 1990), 94. For a further description of Cobb's conception of all entities as possessing subjectivity and the constitutive relatedness of all entities, see also Charles Birch, "Process Thought: Its Value and Meaning to Me," Process Studies 19 (1990): 222-223, available online at http://www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?title=2801 Archived 24 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
  50. ^ Charles Birch and John B. Cobb Jr., The Liberation of Life: From the Cell to the Community (Denton: Environmental Ethics Books, 1990), 94-96.
  51. ^ Charles Birch and John B. Cobb Jr., The Liberation of Life: From the Cell to the Community (Denton: Environmental Ethics Books, 1990), 58. See also Charles BirchA Purpose For Everything (Mystic: Twenty-third Publications, 1990), Chapter 2, available online at http://www.religion-online.org/showbook.asp?title=2283 Archived 24 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
  52. ^ Charles Birch and John B. Cobb Jr., The Liberation of Life: From the Cell to the Community (Denton: Environmental Ethics Books, 1990), 65.
  53. ^ Charles Birch and John B. Cobb Jr., The Liberation of Life: From the Cell to the Community (Denton: Environmental Ethics Books, 1990), 197. See also Charles BirchA Purpose For Everything (Mystic: Twenty-third Publications, 1990), Introduction, available online at http://www.religion-online.org/showbook.asp?title=2283 Archived 24 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
  54. ^ Charles Birch and John B. Cobb Jr., The Liberation of Life: From the Cell to the Community (Denton: Environmental Ethics Books, 1990), 188.
  55. ^ Jay McDanielOf God and Pelicans: A Theology of Reverence for Life (Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1989), 93–94.
  56. Jump up to:a b Linell E. Cady, "Extending the Boundaries of Theology," Religious Studies Review 19 (1993): 16.
  57. ^ John B. Cobb Jr., Beyond Dialogue: Toward a Mutual Transformation of Christianity and Buddhism (Eugene: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 1982), 142.
  58. ^ John B. Cobb Jr., Beyond Dialogue: Toward a Mutual Transformation of Christianity and Buddhism (Eugene: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 1982), 48.
  59. ^ Jay McDanielOf God and Pelicans: A Theology of Reverence for Life (Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1989), 127.
  60. ^ David Ray Griffin, "Religious Pluralism: Generic, Identist, Deep," in Deep Religious Pluralism, ed. David Ray Griffin (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2005), 28.
  61. Jump up to:a b David Ray Griffin, "John Cobb's Whiteheadian Complementary Pluralism," in Deep Religious Pluralism, ed. David Ray Griffin (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2005), 39-40.
  62. ^ David Ray Griffin, "John Cobb's Whiteheadian Complementary Pluralism," in Deep Religious Pluralism, ed. David Ray Griffin (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2005), 47-49.
  63. ^ David Ray Griffin, "John Cobb's Whiteheadian Complementary Pluralism," in Deep Religious Pluralism, ed. David Ray Griffin (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2005), 47-50.
  64. Jump up to:a b David Ray Griffin, "John Cobb's Whiteheadian Complementary Pluralism," in Deep Religious Pluralism, ed. David Ray Griffin (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2005), 48.
  65. ^ John B. Cobb, Theological Reminiscences (unpublished manuscript), 52.
  66. ^ John B. Cobb, Theological Reminiscences (unpublished manuscript), 62.
  67. ^ The Later Heidegger and Theology (1963), The New Hermeneutic (1964), and Theology as History (1967).
  68. ^ David Ray Griffin, "John B. Cobb Jr.: A Theological Biography," in Theology and the University: Essays in Honor of John B. Cobb Jr., ed. David Ray Griffin and Joseph C. Hough Jr. (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1991), 230-231.
  69. Jump up to:a b c d e f g h i Process and Faith, "Process Theology", "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 September 2012. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
  70. ^ Farmer, Ronald L. (1997). Beyond the Impasse: The Promise of a Process Hermeneutic. Macon GA: Mercer University Press. pp. 66–67. ISBN 0-86554-558-8.
  71. ^ Lønning, Per (2002). Is Christ a Christian?: On Inter-religious Dialogue and Intra-religious Horizon. Gøttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. pp. 173–176. ISBN 3-525-56225-X.
  72. ^ Jay McDanielOf God and Pelicans: A Theology of Reverence for Life (Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1989), 41.
  73. ^ John B. Cobb Jr., God and the World (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1969), 90.
  74. ^ John B. Cobb Jr., Talking About God: Doing Theology in the Context of Modern Pluralism (New York: Seabury Press, 1983), 84. Available online at "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 26 November 2005. Retrieved 25 January 2006..
  75. ^ Huffman, Douglas S. and Eric L. Johnson (2009). God Under Fire: Modern Scholarship Reinvents God. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan. p. 235n. ISBN 978-0310232698.
  76. ^ Alfred North Whitehead, Process and Reality (New York: The Free Press, 1978), 351.
  77. ^ Progressive Christians Uniting, "about," http://www.progressivechristiansuniting.org/PCU/about.html
  78. ^ Van Meter, Eric. "Spiritual Bankruptcy: A Call to Prophetic Action by John B. Cobb Jr"Circuit Rider i. United Methodist Publishing House. Retrieved 23 December 2013.
  79. ^ China Daily, "Ecological civilization is meaningful to China," last edited 19 November 2012, http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/opinion/2012-11/19/content_15942603.htm
  80. Jump up to:a b Institute for the Postmodern Development of China, "Our Team," http://postmodernchina.org/about-us/our-team/
  81. ^ Center for Process Studies, "Faculty and Staff," https://ctr4process.org/faculty/
  82. ^ Progressive Christians Uniting, "Our Story," https://www.progressivechristiansuniting.org/history
  83. ^ Process Century Press, "About," http://processcenturypress.com/about/
  84. ^ Pando Populus, "Team," https://pandopopulus.com/about/pando-populus-team/
  85. ^ Institute for Ecological Civilization, "Board of Directors," https://ecociv.org/about/board-of-directors/
  86. ^ Cobb Institute, "About the Cobb Institute," https://cobb.institute/about/
  87. ^ "1992- Samuel Huntington, Herman Daly and John Cobb". Archived from the original on 2 December 2013.

External links