American export

The Chinese embrace process thought

After giving the keynote address at a recent conference on “ecological civilization” attended by more than 60 scholars and government officials from China, theologian John Cobb joined conferees in a group photo. Then, in a spontaneous break in the schedule, Chinese participants took turns standing or sitting near Cobb while associates and friends snapped their pictures.

The soft-spoken Cobb, 85, a longtime advocate for liberal Christian causes and a preeminent thinker in process theology, remarked that he never had this kind of popularity with U.S. audiences. Some leading figures in China, however, see in process thought a philosophical framework for dealing with that nation’s burgeoning economic growth and the problems of modernization.


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