Abstract/Details

THE PROCESS CHRISTOLOGY OF JOHN B. COBB, JR.: CHRIST AS CREATIVE TRANSFORMATION AND JESUS AS A UNIQUE STRUCTURE OF HUMAN EXISTENCE IN A PLURALISTIC AGE


1986 1986

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Abstract (summary)

John B. Cobb, Jr. constructs his unique Whiteheadian Christology in response to the contemporary context of religious pluralism and believes that it will further dialogue and mutual transformation among diverse religions.

Cobb develops his understanding of Christ as the image of creative transformation out of Whitehead's concept of the primordial nature of God as the principle of limitation and order. Cobb conceptualizes Christ as the incarnate Logos, the offer of relevant possibility to every actual occasion. Christ names the universal process that brings about creative advance in religions and everywhere in the world.

Jesus is understood as a distinctive structure of human existence in which Christ, the initial aim, co-constitutes Jesus' selfhood. Jesus identifies with the offered perfect possibility; he fully embodies Christ. Cobb's understanding of Jesus implies a very positive attitude toward religious pluralism for although Jesus is fully Christ, he is not the totality of Christ. It is possible that there have been or will be other persons who perfectly actualize Christ in a different cultural, historical context.

Cobb's Christology is not without its problems. First, Cobb's dual understanding of incarnation is confusing. On the one hand, incarnation refers to the offer of relevant possibility in Christ, and on the other hand, to the actualization of possibility in Jesus. The offer of possibility is not incarnation at all. Second, Christ and Jesus cannot adequately be understood in a Whiteheadian perspective if attention is limited to God's primordial nature. Cobb's understanding of Christ fails to recognize the necessary interweaving of the primordial and consequent natures of God in the initial aim. Only in relation of the consequent nature of God can the kenotic aspect of Jesus Christ be conceptualized in Whiteheadian categories. Third, if Christ is understood as creative transformation and Christianity as faithfulness to Christ, it is imperative that explicit criteria for discerning creative change be developed. Fourth, Cobb's Christology is an inadequate response to the contemporary context of religious pluralism.

Indexing (details)


Subject
Theology
Classification
0469: Theology
Identifier / keyword
Philosophy, religion and theology
Title
THE PROCESS CHRISTOLOGY OF JOHN B. COBB, JR.: CHRIST AS CREATIVE TRANSFORMATION AND JESUS AS A UNIQUE STRUCTURE OF HUMAN EXISTENCE IN A PLURALISTIC AGE
Author
BOELHOWER, GARY JOHN
Number of pages
326
Publication year
1986
Degree date
1986
School code
0116
Source
DAI-A 47/12, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
University/institution
Marquette University
University location
United States -- Wisconsin
Degree
Ph.D.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
8708720
ProQuest document ID
303482694
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/303482694
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