John Cobb
Biography & Resources


Dr. John B. Cobb, Jr. was born of Southern Methodist missionary parents in Japan in 1925. Most of his childhood was lived in Hiroshima and the Kobe area. Furloughs were spent in his mother's parents' home in Newnan, Georgia. Because of the approach of war, he returned to Newnan. He attended junior college of Emory University, located in Oxford, Georgia, but before completing he joined the army to attend the Japanese language school at the University of Michigan. His subsequent military service was mainly translating captured military documents at Camp Ritchie, Marlyand. Soon after Japanese surrender he became part of the army of occupation.

After discharge from the army Cobb earned his PhD from the Divinity School of the University of Chicago. Thereafter he joined the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church, and his appointment for the first year was part-time teaching at Young Harris College, with part-time pastoral responsibility for six churches. He founded a seventh. The next two years he was full time at the college from where he went to Emory University for five years (1953-58). The rest of his teaching career, until his retirement in 1990, was at the Claremont School of Theology and Claremont Graduate University. He has been guest professor at the University of Mainz, Rikkyo University, Iliff School of Theology, Vanderbilt Divinity School, the University of Chicago, and Harvard Divinity School. He also served as a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.

Throughout his career Dr. Cobb has been committed to the process thought of Alfred North Whitehead. In 1970, together with Lewis Ford, he founded the journal Process Studies, and with David Ray Griffin he founded the Center for Process Studies at the School of Theology at Claremont. He has written a number of theological books, including A Christian Natural Theology (1965), The Structure of Christian Existence (1967), Christ in a Pluralistic Age (1975), Beyond Dialogue (1982), Reclaiming the Church (1997), and Grace and Responsibility (1995). He has co-authored books in other fields with process thinkers: The Liberation of Life (with Charles Birch, biologist), For the Common Good (with Herman Daly, economist), and Romans (with David Lull, New Testament scholar).

selected books

The Structure of Christian Existence
Univ Pr of Amer; Reprint edition (April 1990)
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The American Empire and the Commonwealth of God: A Political, Economic, Religious Statement
with Richard Falk, Catherine Keller, David Griffin (editor) (Westminster John Knox Press, 2006)
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The Process Perspective: Frequently Asked Questions About Process Theology
(Chalice Press, 2003)
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Searching for an Adequate God: A Dialogue Between Process and Free Will Theists
(Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2000)
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Christ in a Pluralistic Age
(Wipf & Stock Publishers, 1999)
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other related websites

The Center for Process Studies
CPS seeks to promote the common good by means of the relational approach found in process thought

Process & Faith
The aim of the organization is to provide a conceptual orientation (process theology) by which communities of faith can come to develop a theological foundation for their faith practices.

The Institute for the Postmodern Development of China
The aim of the Institute is to create and promote new modes of development in China and the West.

Religion Online
Included are large archives of articles from the journal Process Studies, and a section of articles by John Cobb.

Progressive Christians Uniting
Progressive Christians Uniting is committed to equipping individuals and congregations for the work of transforming society through the radically inclusive gospel of Jesus Christ.

articles & interviews