Letter from John Cobb – Jun 10, 2021

Dear Friends,

Much is happening of interest to our Nexus, and much of it is happening among our members. We plan to open the platform for early review on July 15. On August 21 we will have a kickoff event to officially celebrate the formation the Claremont Process Nexus and the launch of our online presence. We will have an opportunity to discuss the platform with its creator, Richard Livingston, who emphasizes that it will still be in process. Save the date to celebrate! And be sure to help us test the usefulness of the platform by logging in and posting information. Details about how to access it will be provided in the coming weeks. In the meantime, if you are not yet sharing information about the Nexus with those working with you, please begin to do so.

The fourteenth conference on “Ecological Civilization” was radically different from its predecessors. First, it was all Zoom. That allowed forty thousand Chinese to attend. But what was more important, it was a three-language event, with South Korea playing an equal role. It has only been a couple of years since the mayor of Seoul became committed to ecological civilization, but already South Korea shows signs of being the global leader. The Common Good award was given to Dr. Kongjian Yu, a truly remarkable Chinese urbanist and landscape architect. I urge you to look on Jay McDaniel’s website, Open Horizons, to learn about him (click here). He may be doing more to build an ecological civilization than anyone else in the world. Jay has won a place in Dr. Yu’s pantheon for the excellence of his introductory speech.

In Claremont we are excited about the possibility of having in Pomona a second factory based on a technological breakthrough. There are other aspects to the breakthrough, but the one that especially caught our eye is the prospect of turning plastics into energy. For years, this has been dismissed as far too costly, but, it seems, no longer!

As I had hoped, the Institute for Ecological Civilization is beginning to play a role in circles where there is wealth and power. Philip Clayton has achieved a visibility in this world that leads to his being consulted by people with far greater influence than any of us will ever have. A difficult role, but certainly an important one.

And back at home, in the nitty gritty of the process movement, Jeanyne Slettom has published through the Process Century Press, two more books growing out of the 2015 conference: Unprecedented Evolution, edited by Spyridon Koutroufinis and Rene Pikarski, and Rethinking Consciousness, edited by John Buchanan and Chris Aanstoos. Both are excellent. And because of the decades long labor and leadership of Daniel Dombrowski, Volume 50.1 of Process Studies has appeared right on time. The journal is older than the Center, and it has maintained a toe-hold in academia for half a century, through thick and thin. This has been an enormous gift to all of us, even to those who hardly know of its existence. Meanwhile Bonnie Tarwater has added some goats to the little farm where she hopes many will come to join her in praying for the Earth. 

I hope you will think of all this multifarious activity as part of what “you” are doing. As a Southerner, may I say “you all”? And let me know if there is something you would like for me to announce or highlight in my next letter.


  • John Cobb

    John B. Cobb, Jr. taught theology at the Claremont School of Theology from 1958 to 1990. In 1973, with David Griffin, he established the Center for Process Studies, and throughout his career he has contributed to scholarship on Alfred North Whitehead, and promoted numerous process programs and organizations. In recent years he has given special attention to supporting work toward the building an ecological civilization. Toward that end, he led the effort to found the Claremont Institute for Process Studies in early 2019, which was renamed in his honor one year later.