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Ömsesidig förvandling: En studie av John B. Cobb Jr:s teologi med särskilt avseende på den buddhistiskt-kristna dialogen
Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology, Studies in Faith and Ideologies.
2003 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Mutual Transformation : A Study of the Theology of John B. Cobb, Jr., with Particular Attention to the Buddhist-Christian Dialogue (English)
Abstract [en]

John B. Cobb, Jr., (1925- ) is as a Christian theologian renowned for his contribution to process theology. He has long been active in interfaith dialogue, and with Buddhists in peculiar. Cobb has worked with Masao Abe to initiate theological dialogue between Buddhism and Christianity.

The first purpose of this thesis is to study the theology of John Cobb with particular attention to his theology of religions, and the relation between Buddhism and Christianity according to him. The second purpose is to analyse how Cobb uses the idea of mutual creative transformation in his theology of religions and in his interfaith dialogue with Buddhism.

Chapter 2 deals with the philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead, and in which ways Cobb finds his metaphysical theory useful for developing a Christian process theology. Chapter 3 describes and analyses the Christology of Cobb. Cobb identifies Christ with creative transformation. He believes that christocentrism requires being open to others. This specific understanding of Christ leads Cobb to realize the necessity of dialogue with believers of other faiths.

The aim of chapter 4 is try to find out which kind of theology of religions Cobb represents, and what the goal of the dialogue is according to him. Cobb’s pluralism is emphasizing the differences, questioning a common ground of the world religions. He believes that the goal of the dialogue is a mutual transformation of each dialogue partner. In chapter 5 Cobb’s dialogue with Buddhism - especially with Mahayana Buddhism – is analysed. In the perspective of his process theology Cobb sees Buddhism and Christianity as complementary. In the dialogue he urges Christians and Buddhists to transform themselves by learning the truth of the other side. Cobb claims that Christianity influenced by process theology can be creatively transformed by incorporating into the conception of God insights from the Buddhist doctrine of Emptiness (sunyata). He believes that Buddhism can be creatively transformed by appropriating insights from Christian christological teaching.

Chapter 6 discusses and compares Cobb’s and John Hick’s models of theology of religions. The last chapter describes how Catholic dialogue with Buddhists has been mainly intrested in Buddhist meditative practice, while the Protestant dialogue tends to focus on Buddhist theory. Cobb is criticized for divorcing Buddhist theory from Buddhist practice. It is argued that if the purpose of interreligious dialogue is the mutual creative transformation then the unity of theory and practice for future Buddhist-Christian dialogue is important.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Tros- och livsåskådningsvetenskap , 2003. , 174 p.
Keyword [en]
Religion, Masao Abe, Buddhist-Christian dialogue, Christ, creative transformation, dipolarity, God, John Hick, mutual transformation, nirvana, pluralism, process theology, sunyata, theology of religions, Alfred North Whitehead
Keyword [sv]
National Category
Religious Studies
Research subject
Studies In Faiths and Ideologies
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-3457OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-3457DiVA: diva2:162889
Public defence
2003-05-23, Sal IV, Universitetshuset, Uppsala, 14:15
Available from: 2003-04-25 Created: 2003-04-25Bibliographically approved

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