A Religious Liberal Blog

This site hopefully can provide some vehicle by which I can comment, complain, and once in a while praise the state of religion in this country and around the world from a liberal protestant perspective.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Just a quick note, Bethquick, a progressive United Methodist blog will soon be linked to this site. Her musings on the church, ministry, and the world make for an excellent read. And now for the second installment of highlighting liberal protestant thinkers:

John Cobb

Denomination: Methodist

Education: University of Chicago, 1947-50 MA 1949, Ph.D. 1952 from the Divinity School, University of Chicago

Position: Emeritus Professor, Claremont School of Theology and Claremont Graduate School, Co-Director of the Center for Process Studies, Co-Founder of Progressive Christians Uniting, Co-winner of the Grawemeyer Award of Ideas Improving World Order.

Project: Cobb is one of the central figures in process theology today. He has spent much of his career integrating a relational process vision and Christian faith. Process thought is usually associated with the metaphysics of Alfred North Whitehead who saw reality as marked by events which are continually reconstituting themselves by taking in the other into itself.

Such a view insists that we are constituted by our relations with other people and with the whole cosmos. That we live in a world which is fully interdependent. John Cobb draws out the implications of such thought not just on Christian doctrinal claims but also on the social, political, and environmental problems that we face today. Of particular interest to me is how he applies it to questions of religious pluralism and interfaith dialogue. For him, the openess to self transformation in dialogue with the other is central.

Books: John Cobb has written over 30 books on a range of subjects. Some work out a process understanding of God and God's relationship to human life. Some works include A Christian Natural Theology, God and the World, and Talking about God. Others tackle social and political problems such as A Theology of Ecology, Sustaining the Common Good, and The Earthist Challenge to Economism. Other focus on interfaith dialogue including Death or Dialogue, Beyond Dialogue: Toward a Mutual Transformation of Christianity and Buddhism, and Christ in a Pluralistic Age.

Here's a site which includes a number of his articles that focus on some social and political problems we face today. This is where he has put much of his energies in recent years, articulating and organizing a progressive vision of Christian faith that ought to be a part of the public conversation.


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