whitehead

Teilhard and Whitehead

Question: 
Are there aspects of Teilhard’s theology that you regard as superior to Whitehead’s?
Publication Month: 
September 2014
Author - First Name: 
John B.
Author - Last Name: 
Cobb, Jr.

Like all good questions, this is multifaceted. If it means are there are features of Teilhard’s thought that lead me to modify what I take from Whitehead, the answer is No. The most obvious difference in doctrinal content is Teilhard’s vivid sense that despite all the horrors and obstacles along the way humanity is moving toward a final consummation. This is a view that has strong biblical grounding. It also has vast appeal. Whitehead does not share it. And I agree with Whitehead.

Wesleyan Theology and Process Theology

Question: 
Process theology has been influential and controversial in Wesleyan-Holiness theology. What about John Wesley’s thought to you find most amenable to process theology?
Publication Month: 
August 2014
Author - First Name: 
John B.
Author - Last Name: 
Cobb, Jr.

I appreciate this question. For a fuller answer, I refer to my book on Wesley, Grace and Responsibility. I think the reader will see that I find most of Wesley’s teaching highly amenable to process theology. Indeed, I think that historically they belong to the same tradition. Like Wesley, process theology comes from an Anglican background.

The Good News of Process

Timothy profile

What is the good news that a process theology kerygma or proclamation has to offer? All things or entities have value for themselves, for others, and for the world.

Why is this more than simply a nice piece of information; why is this good news? If your life is secure and comfortable, the only good news you're inclined to listen to is that all is well and everything's under control.

Is There One Normative Process Theology?

Question: 
Is there one normative process theology?
Publication Month: 
October 2012
Author - First Name: 
John B.
Author - Last Name: 
Cobb, Jr.

Wouldn’t it be nice if there were one normative process theology – at least if it were mine! If someone else’s theology took on that role, I wouldn’t be so happy about it.

The above paragraph is intended to indicate the problem of claiming normativity for any one position on virtually any topic. People involved in the discussion might be pleased if their views were adopted as “normative.” But those whose views were rejected would not, and many of them would simply reject the idea that beliefs they did not share had any claim to authority.

Seventh Sunday of Easter

May 20, 2012
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Acts 1:15-17, 21-26
Reading 2: 
Psalm 1
Reading 3: 
I John 5:9-13
Reading 4: 
John 17:6-19
By Jeanyne B Slettom

Acts 1:15-17, 21-26

This text follows the general theme of legitimating the early Jesus movement via appeals to the Hebrew bible and the work of the Spirit. It also emphasizes continuity with Jewish history by reinforcing the number 12—12 disciples/apostles, 12 patriarchs, 12 tribes of Israel. A quick Internet search results in literally millions of sites that discuss the significance of “12” in numerology, mathematics, and the Bible.

What Is Process Theology: A Conversation with Marjorie

Red book coverA Conversation with Majorie

by Marjorie Hewitt Suchocki

This accessible booklet, written in a question and answer format, addresses questions about the nature of God, sin, redemption, and resurrection, from the perspective of a process theologian. Ideal for small group discussions or church adult study programs.

FREE Download  or purchase ($5/$3 P&F members)

Whitehead Word Book: A Glossary with Alphabetical Index to Technical Terms in Process and Reality

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Whitehead's Metaphysics of Creativity

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Two Great Truths: A New Synthesis of Scientific Naturalism and Christian Faith

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Philosophers Speak of God

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Symbolism: Its Meaning and Effect

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Whitehead and Existentialism

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Whitehead's Distinction in Relation to Process Theologians

Question: 
What is distinctive of Whitehead in relation to other process theologians?
Publication Month: 
January 2007
Author - First Name: 
John B.
Author - Last Name: 
Cobb, Jr.

Dr. Cobb's Response

This question reminds us that “process theologian” is a term that can refer to a wide range of thinkers. The recent publication of Gary Dorrien’s third volume on the history of liberal theology in the United States reminds us of the central role that the Chicago School has played. It received extensive attention in the second volume, dealing with the first half of the twentieth century, and it starts off the account of the subsequent history in the third volume. This volume also gives a full chapter to the Whiteheadian version of process theology.

Whitehead and Buddhism

Question: 
It is well known that process thought affirms along with Buddhism the absence of an intrinsic existence—that is no underlying substance behind any activity. But how then does it maintain this position and at the time affirm the Jamesian account of intrinsic value? Please clarify.
Publication Month: 
September 2006
Author - First Name: 
John B.
Author - Last Name: 
Cobb, Jr.

Dr. Cobb's Response

This is an excellent question, because it brings out the difference between some forms of Buddhism and the implications of Whitehead’s similar vision. Both standard Buddhist thinkers and Whitehead reject any notion of substance as something that underlies the succession of events. Events do not happen to things. Human experiences are not attributes or possessions of underlying subjects.

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