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The Process Perspective: Frequently Asked Questions about Process Theology Paperback – September 1, 2003
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About the Author
John Cobb Jr. is Ingraham Professor of Theology, emeritus, at Claremont School of Theology. He is the author of more than twenty books, including The Process Perspective and Lay Theology, from Chalice Press.
Top customer reviews
As Calvin once likened the scriptures to lenses through which we see God, so does Slettom liken this book as a lens through which to view process thought. She does not promise that with Cobb they will give an absolute, accurate and final description of God or any other theological topic, but they do give a perspective on faith that has been making itself felt in academic circles and increasingly in congregations for the past generation.
One might well ask, what is process theology? Ironically, for a question-and-answer book on the process perspective, this question is not addressed, at least not explicitly. Slettom in her introduction talks of process theology as something many people intuitively `get' (which, one wonders, may mean that others don't get) - that the world and all in it are connected and undoing continuing processes of both growth and decay. Key to the ideas of process are the interconnections of humanity, the influence and persuasive manner of God, and the always `becoming' aspect of reality. Rather than viewing reality as a physical, static set-piece, process looks at the functioning and interrelatedness of all things.
This text strives to answer things in non-specialist language, making it accessible to clergy and lay, student and casual reader alike. While putting forward the theological ideas of process in this basic language, the authors also look at theological perspectives of the past in the same terms, to see shortfalls and dangers of some of those paradigms. One criticism might be that this text does not do enough self-reflection and self-critical analysis of process, but again, as an introductory text, it is more concerned (appropriately so) with putting forward the arguments for process.
Another criticism of this text is that those interested in further study (and process theologians produce enough that there is a great supply of material) will not find guidance here, a great oversight in an introductory text. There is no bibliography, no list of suggested readings, and no index, making it a bit more difficult for students to use.
These problems aside, this is still a very good text, particularly for those who are not as familiar with theology in general (or process theology in particular), and need a short, basic and quick introduction to the subject. Barely topping 130 pages of easy-to-read print, the text can easily be read in a few hours even by those with little-to-no theological and philosophical background. In that respect, this is a book with great possibilities for group bible and theology studies as well as independent reading.