Expanding Process

Exploring Philosophical and Theological Transformations in China and the West

By John H. Berthrong

Subjects: Philosophy, Confucianism, American Philosophy, Chinese Religion And Philosophy, Chinese Studies
Series: SUNY series in Chinese Philosophy and Culture
Paperback : 9780791475164, 249 pages, July 2009
Hardcover : 9780791475157, 249 pages, November 2008

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Table of contents

1 Introduction
2 Xunzi: Acting in the Dao
3 Coursing through the Dao: The Liezi
4 Daoxue: Zhu Xi and Chen Chun
5 Modern Permutations: North American Naturalism and Global Philosophy
Appendix: The Alchemy of Process

Brings Chinese Daoist and Confucian thought into conversation with Western process, pragmatic, and naturalist philosophy and theology.


Expanding Process explores how comparative philosophy expands our understanding of the critical themes of process, change, and transformation. John H. Berthrong examines how notions of process manifest and shape the classical Confucianism of Xunzi, the early medieval Daosim of the Liezi, and Zhu Xi's Song Dynasty daoxue (Teaching of The Way). Berthrong links these various Chinese views of process and transformation to contemporary debates in the American process, pragmatic, and naturalist philosophical movements. Stressing how our pluralistic world calls for comparing and even appropriating insights from diverse cultural traditions, Berthrong contends that comparative philosophy and theology can broaden the intellectual frontiers and foundations of any serious student of contemporary global thought.

John H. Berthrong is Associate Professor of Comparative Theology at Boston University School of Theology. He is the author of several books, including Concerning Creativity: A Comparison of Chu Hsi, Whitehead, and Neville and All Under Heaven: Transforming Paradigms in Confucian-Christian Dialogue, both also published by SUNY Press.


"…Expanding Process is yet another excellent contribution from Berthrong to the fields of comparative philosophy and theology. " — Philosophy East & West

"…Expanding Process is an important contribution on the notion of process and a fine case study in comparative philosophy. It provides a great deal of useful information, especially that from the Chinese side. This will promote a further exploration of the universal concept of process and stimulate people to think more on the formation of global philosophy. " — Sophia

"…Berthrong continues his masterful, erudite exploration of shared themes arising in global philosophy, comparing mostly process philosophy with the ancient Chinese wisdom traditions, Confucianism and Taoism. " — Journal of Ecumenical Studies

"This is one of the best examples of comparative philosophy that I have seen in a very long time. It is an eminently readable exposition that puts Chinese philosophy into a global and contemporaneously relevant context, while also deftly drawing on the very best scholarship on the history of Chinese thought and American philosophy. " — Judith A. Berling, author of Understanding Other Religious Worlds: A Guide for Interreligious Education

"Berthrong aspires not just to compare but also to use each pole of the comparison to reconfigure and reconceptualize the other, which is a much more demanding enterprise. " — John B. Henderson, author of The Construction of Orthodoxy and Heresy: Neo-Confucian, Islamic, Jewish, and Early Christian Patterns