Podcast: Sean Maguire… John B Cobb – Theologian /Philosopher + Rebellion Hour 08/06/2022

In the first 2 hours I spoke LIVE with John Cobb.  John B. Cobb, Jr. was born in Japan in 1925 of Methodist missionary parents. He spent most of his first fifteen years in the Hiroshima and Kobe areas. On “furlough” the family stayed with his mother’s parents in Newnan, Georgia.
He served in the U.S. army from 1943 to 1946 as a Japanese language officer. He entered the University of Chicago in January of 1947 and married Jean Loftin that June. His studies were primarily in philosophy and philosophical theology.
He became a “process” thinker, especially committed to the thought of Alfred North Whitehead, and he has been a leader in that field internationally. Whereas the Indo-European languages are built around nouns or pronounces that our thought posits as stable entities through time and independent of each other, the Japanese and Chinese languages place the emphasis on the verb. This has led people in India and Europe to think of the world as made up of separate objects, whereas people in East Asia think more about interconnected events and so find process philosophy congenial. Quantum physics supports this focus.
Cobb’s teaching was first at Emory University and mostly in the Claremont School of Theology and Graduate School. His understanding of the world as made up of interconnected events led him to explore a variety of topics from his “process” perspective. Whereas Western universities separate what they teach into mutually independent academic disciplines, process thought calls for an emphasis on their connections. He wrote a number of books in partnership with scholars in various fields: especially biology, economics, and New Testament. In 1970 he wrote “Is It Too Late?” which was republished in 2020, and concerns for the future of the Earth and its inhabitants have been central to his interests in all the fields he has studied. All told, he has written, edited, or co-authored more than fifty books.
His leadership in process thought was solidified in 1973, when, with David Griffin, he organized the Center for Process Studies. It published a journal and held conferences in many fields. It worked internationally, and by far its greatest success was in China. Under the leadership of Zhihe Wang, with Cobb’s support, the China Project became the Institute for the Postmodern Development of China. It sponsored hundreds of lectures in China, and thirty-five Chinese universities established related centers.
The Chinese government declared its goal to be an “ecological civilization”. The IPDC held, in Claremont, the first conference on this topic and followed with annual events attracting from fifty to a hundred participants from China. During this time Cobb was also annually visiting China, and he became well known there. He was welcomed by Chinese leaders including the Vice President.
In 2015, the tenth of the ecological civilization conferences was turned into a major international conference on “Seizing at Alternative: toward an Ecological Civilization.”  Out of a total audience approaching 2000 people, three hundred were from China. As the U.S. increasingly and explicitly treated China as its No. 1 enemy, bringing large groups of Chinese to Claremont for conferences could not be continued, but Cobb is frequently invited to make videos used to welcome people to conferences in China and sometimes gives talks that reach thousands of Chinese by their version of zoom.
For more information, visit www.livingearthmovement.eco

In the final hour I will play music from bands who have been ANNOUNCED to play Rebellion Festival 2022!  This week I played tracks by Cock Sparrer, The Stranglers, T.V. Smith, Headsticks, Church Of Confidence, XSLF, Mau Maus, Demob, Radical Dance Faction, Crass, Steve Ignorant’s Slice Of Life, Billy Bragg, The Dickies, Levellers, Bishops Green, Discharge, G.B.H. and The Jam! 
Check out www.rebellionfestivals.co

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