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Conversion to global survival concerns did not uproot Dr. Cobb from his Christian faith. It did make him view the historical forms of faith more critically, for he could not doubt that Christian doctrine had contributed to the insensitivity to the nonhuman world that now threatens to destroy the human world as well.
The author writes of happiness from a process theological point of view emphasizing how our industrial age has led to happiness only for the one in a thousand who is in control, and that the whole commercial system, now intrinsically part of our world, has been a mistake.
Born in Japan, service in the army, then University of Chicago and Chicago Divinity School; local United Methodist pastor,five years teaching at Emory and finally thirty-two years at Claremont School of Theology. Influences, process studies and students.
Dr. Cobb believes we should appreciate and respect all religious traditions, but opposes the idea that the various religious traditions are more or less equally effective means of arriving at a common end or meeting a common need.
The essayist compares Christianity and Buddhism, suggesting both can learn from each other.
Dr. Cobb examines wealth and how the wealthy gain control not only of the economy but also of society and government. He believes that the days of the global economy are numbered, and he is glad, because it has done the world great harm. If, on the other hand, the Chinese economy remains largely independent of the global market, China can experiment with its own form of a socially-controlled market economy.
Dr. Cobb indicts the church for substituting the service of wealth and death against service to God and life.
Dr. Cobb gives specific ways in which we as Americans can overcome our desire for empire -- the imposition of our will on others militarily and territorially.
Modernity has left us in a state of intellectual confusion and chaos. It thinks of nature in materialistic terms, but in these terms it can explain neither the natural world nor how it is related to human beings. It can provide no notion of substance, yet matter is inherently a substantialist notion, since matter is understood to take on different forms without ceasing to be the same matter.
John Cobb discusses the issues of poverty and possessions, escape through asceticism and his rejection of consumerism and economism. An alternative is presented: economics for community.
In analysis of Paul, especially in the book of Romans, Dr. Cobb along with David Lull’s translations, discusses how much we misunderstand Paul’s legalism and it’s impact on church doctrine.
The author examines several East Asian perspectives on the global economy including Bhutan, India, Kerala, Sri Lanka, and the Asian "tigers," Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea, and Japan. He deals in more detail with his own personal role in the decision of the Chinese government to announce its goal of making of China an "ecological civilization."
Dr. Cobb explains the need for, and the appeal, of organic agriculture. The Green Revolution succeeded in its goal but made the human future more precarious in the long run. Agriculture has become too much a part of the overall industrial process. Instead, we should build on practices that have developed all over the world out of peasant experience, and follow nature’s guidance in the development of agricultural ecosystems that can have the generative capacities of natural ecosystems.
The essayist describes the impact upon his thinking about civilization, imperialism, modernity, education, colonialism, ecology, economy by three thinkers: Paolo Soleri, Paul Shepard, and Ivan Illich.
There was a time when the West took great efforts to protect the poor and weak, but today the rich and powerful work to advance their interests, rather then seeking justice for the poor and week. What is possible for those who survive is to live locally and in community with others who have the same values rather than those of the self-destroying society around us.
This lecture outlines the periods of scholarly greatness throughout the history of Christianity and tries to understand what quality marks today especially in European theological thought. Dr. Cobb believes that maybe Europe has the cultural and scholarly resources to respond to the present intellectual need.
This lecture discuss two levels of caring: 1. The need to care for others. 2. But what is the goal of that caring, the common good? American history has not been clear on what is the common good.
The author appreciates the thoughts of both Whitehead and Marx but defines the deficiencies of both.
The awareness of a tension between tradition and modernization in China may offer the most hope for the emergence of a new consciousness fully supportive of the move toward an ecological civilization. China deserves high marks for its efforts to deal with the problem of overpopulation. However, the most important research for China to engage in now is how to produce more food and fiber with less water and less arable land.
Dr. Cobb criticizes three positions -- materialism, Humean empiricism, and Kantian dualism -- and considers a fourth -- nonmaterialist naturalism -- with which he identifies Whitehead. He then clarifies one of Whitehead's key concepts: "prehension", that is, the way in which one momentary experience incorporates or takes account of earlier such moments, and considers its implications for process theology and the ecological movement.
Dr. Cobb lends processes theological concepts to those who systematize the teaching of the Bible, to those who consider contemporary thought as normative and access the Bible in that context, to those who give simplistic traditional understanding of the Bible, and to those searching the perplexities and mysteries of quantum thought.
(ENTIRE BOOK) Dr. Cobb applies process theology to the relevance of the world in expressions of hope, liberation theology, political theology and issues facing the global environment.
The author examines aspects of economism, including greed, industrialization, capitalism and consumerism and suggests a Christian alternative.
John Cobb reviews the history of the relationship between science and religion focusing on how Western science and Christian theology are both influenced by philosophy. He believes God's role in the world has nothing to do with violating otherwise well-established laws of nature.
ven though Jesus made it clear we cannot serve both God and wealth, our government, our society and our personal lives are sucked into a life where wealth is the primary value. If we choose God, we will become part of the solution of the world’s problems rather than part of the problem.
Modern economics is not an empirical or historical discipline making globalization of the economy harder and harder to ignore.
Our shrinking planet cannot afford the continuation of the view of individual people or individual nations competing for scarce resources. It can only survive if the movements toward cooperation for the common good gain dominance.
Dr. Cobb uses process thought both broadly and narrowly, discussing it in terms of speculative metaphysics, as assumption criticism in general and as assumption criticism in physics, along with alternative assumptions in economics and theology.
Dr. Cobb examines the damage done by holding to established metaphysics in the natural sciences and theology, and also the danger of dismissing metaphysical inquiry altogether. He then proposes a process metaphysics as a way forward in those two fields.
While the dominant economic theory supports policies that are destructive both of human community and of the natural environment creating a global situation becoming less sustainable daily, nevertheless, the writer believes, there are helpful signs.
Dr. Cobb suggests that Christianity needs the actual adoption of already-developed ideas as well as new ideas: "It is as important to liberate theology to pursue saving truth wherever it can be found (scientists, philosophers, Hindus…) as to liberate particular groups of people from oppression."
Because we have inherited, in the old-line churches, a vague belief in the reality of God, the church has declined. Dr. Cobb challenges the diverse group of the American Academy of Religion, to work in complementary ways to a commitment to a "real God."
Should we continue to follow Jesus today? Cobb professes to be among "progressive" Christians -- liberals who have broken with the dominant strand of past liberalism but have continued to remain open to developments in the culture and presentation of reasons for the Christian faith without any appeal to supernatural authority. To follow Jesus means to hope and pray for a world structured on principles that would turn present society upside down, create countercultural communities, nonviolently, and to do this while remaining open to ideas and ways of being of quite different sorts.
Cobb examines secular alternatives to following Jesus, especially Buddhism, then gives reasons for choosing to follow Jesus. He concludes that the response of Jesus to the Roman Empire of his day is deeply needed in our time. We must demonstrate in our communities that "another world is possible." And we must so present that other world that hundreds of millions of people will gravitate towards it and create the context in which that other world will replace the present one.
Dr. Cobb examines an option to which Western Christians commonly turn today, namely the University, and enumerates its failings. He then suggests that we need to resist the imperial order in which we, like Jesus, live. A large part of that resistance consists in demonstrating that another order is possible and far superior. The vision of this other order has practical implications for the reordering of the world system for the sake of all of its inhabitants instead of the exploitation of the many for the enrichment of the few. We have much to learn from the university. But we must learn it as disciples of Jesus and not as promoters of the university’s mentality.
Both the East and the West have largely abandoned their religious traditions. There are severe limitations to these traditions, but their abandonment is not promising. Dr. Cobb discusses the challenge in terms of Process Theology. Following Jesus today requires complete openness to the best thinking of our times, both religiously and scientifically.
Dr. Cobb shows how misinterpretations of Jesus as God has done great harm to our history. It’s not authentic Christianity and has separated Jews and Muslims from Christians far more than they should be.
Dr. Cobb presents the process theology view that the exclusion of God in our universal experience is contrary to that very experience, that God plays a role in human life and in the whole of history and nature.