Robert  Traer Author of Evaluating Organization Development
FEATURED AUTHOR

Robert Traer

Adjunct Professor
Dominican University of California

From 1976-1990 I practiced law, did community organizing, renovated two old houses, and helped build a passive solar house. From 1990-2001 I directed the International Association for Religious Freedom (IARF) and represented the IARF at the UN. In 2005 I joined the faculty of the Dominican University of California and taught ethics courses including environmental ethics until 2020. My books are available at https://www.amazon.com/Robert-Traer/e/B001JSD94Q and my essays at www.doingfaith.com.

Areas of Research / Professional Expertise

    Environmental Ethics, Health Ethics, Human Rights Law, Cosmology, Near-Death Experiences (NDEs)

Personal Interests

    My wife, Nancy, and I have been married fifty-two years and have five children (including two adopted daughters from Asia) and ten grandchildren. Over the years I have lived with three of my children to help care for a grandchild, and for ten years I helped my oldest daughter care for her disabled daughter who died early in 2020. I love reading to children and singing them songs.

Books

Featured Title
 Featured Title - Doing Environmental Ethics - 1st Edition book cover

Articles

Gratitude and Hope: Doing Theology at Pilgrim Place, vol. 10:2014-2015 (Wasteland Press).

One Mind: Loving and Evolving Consciousness


Published: Dec 01, 2020 by Gratitude and Hope: Doing Theology at Pilgrim Place, vol. 10:2014-2015 (Wasteland Press).
Authors: Robert Traer

“Given that consciousness exists,” Thomas Campbell explains, “it must be enabled by memory, information processing capability (intelligence), the interactive sharing of data, and free-will choice-making” that moves evolution forward. Free will "reduces to the question of are you conscious, and, if so, is your consciousness part of a complex interactive system of consciousness?”

Doing Theology

Healing Our Wounded Faith


Published: Nov 20, 2020 by Doing Theology
Authors: Robert Traer

Can we “act justly and love mercy and walk humbly with our God” while also affirming a “wounded faith” that does not gloss over the injustice and lack of mercy and outrageous arrogance of so many in the world we know? Can we hope in a “spiritual resurrection” that will bring us to eternal life in the presence of this loving and forgiving Light? May we find hope by affirming that death involves going home?

Dong Theology

Mind the Gap:Science\\Experiencing


Published: Jun 19, 2020 by Dong Theology
Authors: Robert Traer
Subjects: Religion

Minding the gap, attending to the gap in our perceiving and our knowing and our creating and our doing, minding all existing-reality before us and after, the universe being-becoming, like a vast ocean, ebbing and flowing, as we, in our culturing vessels, experiencing the becoming, around us and in us and through us. Each crossing, reflecting my reading and writing, especially about near-death experiences (NDEs), and my recent experiencing of Whitehead’s reasoning.

Doing Theology

Proof of Afterlife?


Published: Apr 25, 2020 by Doing Theology
Authors: Robert Traer

The communications reported in this brief paper, which are more extensively documented in the research by psychiatrist Raymond Moody and others, are between living persons who are not ill, or under anesthesia, or unconscious due to trauma, but instead are verifiably awake and alert when communicating with someone who is verifiably dead. If this evidence is not sufficient to prove life after death, what would?

Doing Theology

Souls and Fields: A Bigger Story


Published: Dec 04, 2019 by Doing Theology
Authors: Robert Traer

The “Big History” science course now taught in many schools and universities begins with nothing and ends with a dark and cold universe. The story of a conscious, evolving universe includes purpose and a non-material dimension of conscious life as well as an evolving narrative of the universe. Energy and mass arise from fields; life and love are gifts of the Source of consciousness.

Doing Theology

Consciousness is Fundamental


Published: Oct 14, 2019 by Doing Theology
Authors: Robert Traer
Subjects: Religion

For cardiologist Pim van Lommel, nonlocal entanglement is the key to conceptualizing the NDE enhanced and endless consciousness. Consciousness is not simply a product of brain activity or limited to physically embodied beings. Instead, he proposes, “consciousness has a primary presence in the universe, and all matter possesses subjective properties.”

Doing Theology

Back Home: The Near-Death Experience


Published: Jul 10, 2017 by Doing Theology
Authors: Robert Traer

Oncologist Jeffrey Long writes: “It is important to note that near-death experiencers in the God Study come from every walk of life, including physicians, scientists, nurses, teachers, business executives, homemakers, children, pastors, and others. From these varied backgrounds comes a collection of similar experiences of God and the divine. As a scientist,” Long concludes, "I find this not only statistically remarkable but also hopeful.”

Doing Theology

Evolviing Consciousness


Published: Jun 17, 2017 by Doing Theology
Authors: Robert Traer

“The neo-Darwinian theory of evolution,” philosopher Hans Jonas writes, “fails to explain the enormous surplus of the moral, aesthetic, and spiritual characteristics that have emerged” in human life “beyond what is needed for purposes of survival.”

Doing Theology

Celebratiing the Birth of Jesus


Published: Dec 25, 2016 by Doing Theology
Authors: Robert Traer

At its best, Christmas expresses our hope for a world marked by love and justice. This is a fantastic expectation. A king born on a dark night, with angels singing, and shepherds and wise men kneeling before a manger? And a young woman proclaiming a time will come when the powerful are brought down, and the lowly are lifted up, and the hungry are filled!

Doing Theology

An Ethical Reflection on California’s Aid-in-Dying Law


Published: Jun 15, 2016 by Doing Theology
Authors: Robert Traer

As I contemplate the possibility of qualifying for and choosing aid in dying, my greatest ethical reservation is the burden my choice would require my attending physician to bear. Exercising my expanded autonomy under the new California law is an ethical dilemma for me, and might also become an ethical dilemma for the physician who would voluntarily agree to assist me.

Doing Theology

Challenges to Our Faith


Published: Oct 01, 2015 by Doing Theology
Authors: Robert Traer

Andrew Greeley’s stories are sacramental, he says, because God is revealed more “in human stories than in texts based on human stories.” He does mine the New Testament but also explores the tragic and comic aspects of family life and love. In particular, he presents the love of God in the shared love of persons, in marriage as wife and husband, and the love of parents for their children and children for their parents.

Doing Theology

How and Why: Cosmic Story


Published: Mar 08, 2015 by Doing Theology
Authors: Robert Traer

It took more than 3 billion years for our species to evolve on earth, and Darwin’s theory of random change through natural selection affirms that this period of trial and error was necessary to explain the fossil record and the diversity of known species. Therefore, the evolution of human consciousness in less than 200,000 years cannot reasonably be explained as due simply to natural selection.

Doing Theology

Consciousness is Nonlocal, Evolving, and Endless


Published: Sep 14, 2014 by Doing Theology
Authors: Robert Traer

“If someone is unconscious they cannot model-build. If they build an NDE model, they cannot be unconscious.” Also, “memory does not function in unconsciousness.” So, “From the point of view of both memory and model-building, it should be quite impossible to have an NDE when brain function is really very seriously disordered or the brain is seriously damaged.” Yet, neuropsychiatrist Peter Fenwick writes, “NDEs are common as well as cross-cultural, and have a universal quality.”

Seeking the Face of God: Doing Theology at Pilgrim Place, vol. 9:2013-2014 (Wasteland Press).

Near-Death Experiences and Nonlocal Consciousness


Published: Apr 02, 2014 by Seeking the Face of God: Doing Theology at Pilgrim Place, vol. 9:2013-2014 (Wasteland Press).
Authors: Robert Traer

Near-Death Experiences (NDEs) are too numerous, life-changing, and verifiable to be dismissed as fantasy. Also, NDEs offer evidence for rejecting two basic assumptions of scientific materialism: 1) that the mind is a product of the brain, and 2) that consciousness ends with death.

Doing Theology

Faith in a Loving God of the Cross


Published: Mar 01, 2014 by Doing Theology
Authors: Robert Traer

What a loving God is doing in a world marked by suffering and death, as well as by beauty and joy, transcends our understanding, but also depends on what we are doing. Like Jesus, we may take up our cross and face death with faith and hope. We, too, may transcend our suffering in life with love.

Doing Theology

I Am a Hopeful Realist


Published: Mar 10, 2011 by Doing Theology
Authors: Robert Traer

As a realist, because economic, political, and environmental trends seem discouraging, I am pessimistic. Yet, in my experience, love is also real, and so I embrace life with hope. For me, doing theology requires trying to be effective in the world as it is, naturally and culturally, as well as realizing with others the beloved community we are challenged to become and, I hope, may already be.

Doing Theology

Faith in the Power of Good


Published: May 11, 2010 by Doing Theology
Authors: Robert Traer

Muslims have, since the 9th century, taught that Jesus said: "Charity does not mean doing good to him who does good to you, for this is to return good for good. Charity means that you should do good to him who does you harm." We may act in solidarity with this Muslim teaching by taking to heart the words of Paul: "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." (Romans 12:21)

Ian Ramsey Centre Oxford 2009 Conference

An Ideological Use of Natural Selection in Ethics?


Published: Jun 10, 2009 by Ian Ramsey Centre Oxford 2009 Conference
Authors: Robert Traer
Subjects: Philosophy

Many scientists and philosophers dispute the relevance of evolutionary theory. In science and philosophy, therefore, the clash continues over teleology, naturalism, determinism, and altruism. We should expect, however, from those who write textbooks in either discipline, a fair summary of these issues.

Doing Theology

Public Banking: A Saving Grace?


Published: Mar 18, 2004 by Doing Theology
Authors: Robert Traer

In a recent article published in Asia Times, Ellen Brown characterizes as “a saving grace” the Japanese government’s resistance to privatizing its public bank. If public banking is a saving grace, presumably we, who affirm that grace is saving, ought to support it. In doing theology we will perhaps also want to ask whether or not we concur with this (or any) spiritual characterization of a secular public policy.

Doing Theology

Evolution, Mind, and God


Published: Sep 11, 2003 by Doing Theology
Authors: Robert Traer

The Big Bang story cannot explain consciousness and our intentional world unless whatever consciousness represents or reflects was present in some way at the beginning. To say that the intentional world we inhabit evolved from the "nothingness" at the origin of the universe is to make a statement about "God," whether we use the word of not. The cosmos is creative.

Doing Theology

The Greatest Commandment


Published: May 19, 2003 by Doing Theology
Authors: Robert Traer

The wondrous challenge of Jesus is to discover the love of God by loving our neighbors as we love ourselves. We should be grateful for all worship and prayer that inspire and sustain this quest. But the greatest commandment does not call us to worship or to perform any other religious practice. The greatest commandment calls us “to love justice, and to do mercy, and to walk humbly with our God.” (Micah 6:8)

Promises to Keep: Prospects for Human Rights, ed. Charles McCoy (GTU 2002)

U. S. Ratification of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights


Published: Jun 15, 2002 by Promises to Keep: Prospects for Human Rights, ed. Charles McCoy (GTU 2002)
Authors: Robert Traer
Subjects: Law

An explanation of the ICESCR and the reasons why the United States has not ratified this international human rights covenant implementing the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Dharma World

Nonadversarial Conflict Resolution


Published: Jan 30, 1992 by Dharma World
Authors: Robert Traer

A reflection on Buddhist teaching and nonviolence practice as developed by Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Doing Theology

A Process World Theology?


Published: Feb 12, 1990 by Doing Theology
Authors: Robert Traer

In this paper I argue: 1) that Wilfred Cantwell Smith's concept of faith may be understood within Whitehead's process metaphysics as a response to the consequent nature of God, 2) that Whitehead's conception of God as primordial and consequent may be useful in discussing how the common character of religious experience is expressed, and 3) that Whitehead's notion of creativity allows for a plurality of ultimate experiences.

The California Prisoner

Abolishing the Death Penalty


Published: Dec 15, 1989 by The California Prisoner
Authors: Robert Traer

Ethical arguments for abolishing the death penalty.

Human Rights vol 16, no. 1 (spring 1989)

On Human Rights: The U. S. Lives in a Glass House


Published: Dec 01, 1989 by Human Rights vol 16, no. 1 (spring 1989)
Authors: Robert Traer
Subjects: Law

Highlights the failure of the U. S. government to ratify international human rights covenants.

Buddhist Christian Studies, vol. 8, pp. 13-19.

Buddhist Affirmations of Human Rights


Published: Nov 19, 1988 by Buddhist Christian Studies, vol. 8, pp. 13-19.
Authors: Robert Traer

An analysis of Buddhist writings supporting human rights from 1956 when the London-educated Indian lawyer B. R. Ambedkar embraced Buddhism and our million other "untouchables" followed his example.