Autobiography

Article by John B. Cobb, Jr.

I was born of Southern Methodist missionary parents in Japan and spent most of my childhood there to the age of 15. This saved me from imbibing the racial attitudes so central to the culture of Georgia, which was their home. If my parents shared those attitudes, they never showed them or spoke in terms …

Beyond `Pluralism’

Article by John B. Cobb, Jr.

To speak of religious pluralism is often simply to state the obvious. There is a plurality of religious traditions. Usually it means something more, that is, that we should be appreciative and respectful toward all of them instead of supposing that one is true and good and the others false and evil. In this sense, …

Capital

Article by John B. Cobb, Jr.

I. Introduction The word "capital," like most important words, has many possible definitions. In its narrowest or most basic meaning , it refers only to those things that make human labor more productive, such as building, machinery, and infrastructure for industrial production. In a much broader and more popular meaning, it refers to …

Choosing Life

Article by John B. Cobb, Jr.

In the 30th chapter of Deuteronomy, after many laws have been laid down, many warnings and promises given, we encounter the climactic exhortation. We have been shown the way of life and the way of death. We are urged to choose the way of life. Judaism has been the vehicle for teaching and practicing this …

Christianity and Empire

Article by John B. Cobb, Jr.

Christianity is a religious tradition with many strands and many potentialities for expression. Tonight I will highlight some of the strands that support empire and some that oppose it. I need hardly say that I regard the latter as more authentically Christian. I say this because I am a Pauline Christian who reads the Bible …

Constructive Postmodernism

Article by John B. Cobb, Jr.

I. What is "post-modern"? "Postmodern" is an intentionally odd term in English. For a long time, the words "modern" and "contemporary" and "up-to-date" were used almost interchangeably. The content of the "modern" changed with time. What was technologically "modern" in the nineteenth century was called "Victorian" in the twentieth century. However, the term, "modern", became …

Consumerism, Economism, and Christian Faith

Article by John B. Cobb, Jr.

I The issues of poverty and possessions have been central to biblical and Christian reflection. That does not mean that there is one clear position. It certainly does not mean that Christians have lived consistently by Christian teachings. Especially since the eighteenth century, confusion has reigned. It has been Christian (or post-Christian) cultures that have …

Prehension

Article by John B. Cobb, Jr.

Gabor Karsai suggested that I might explain to you some of the contributions that Alfred North Whitehead has made to philosophy. I will, of course, speak as an American and in terms of the philosophical situation in the United States. I should also say that I am a theologian, and that means that my interest …

Process Theology and the Bible: How Science Has Changed Our View of God

Article by John B. Cobb, Jr.

I Christian theology is necessarily rooted in the Bible. Nevertheless, the role the Bible plays in theology varies greatly among theologies. At one extreme are theologies that regard their task as systematizing the teaching of the Bible. At the other extreme are theologies that take the best of contemporary thought as normative and then explain …

Religion and Economics

Article by John B. Cobb, Jr.

            In this lecture I am using “religion” in a somewhat broader way than is usual.  I understand “religion” in its root meaning of binding up.  A religion is a system of beliefs and practices that commands personal and social devotion.  The word is most often used for the great universal systems that arose two …

Theological Realism

Article by John B. Cobb, Jr.

We are gathered as a quite diverse group. Yet we sense that what unites us may be more important than what divides us. I propose that what unites us is “realism” in two senses. First, we believe that we are speaking of a real God. For two centuries, now, this has become increasingly difficult, and …

What Shall We Do About “God”?

Article by John B. Cobb, Jr.

1. “God” the Enemy. Somewhere in the widespread preference for “spirituality” over “religion” there is a revulsion toward “God.” Such a revulsion is healthy. “God” has meant many things, and most of them harm more than they help. Beginning with the evolutionary controversies in the late nineteenth century, “God” has symbolized, for many scientists, opposition …