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Matthew Fox (born 1940) is an American Episcopal priest and theologian.[1] He is an exponent of Creation Spirituality, a movement grounded in the mystical philosophies of medieval visionaries Hildegard of Bingen, Thomas Aquinas, Meister Eckhart and Nicholas of Cusa.[2] His books have sold millions of copies and by the mid 1990s had a "huge and diverse following".[3]

Contents

Early life

Fox, originally named Timothy James, was born in Madison, Wisconsin. He entered the Order of Preachers (the Dominicans) where he was given the name Matthew, his "name in religion". Fox was ordained to the priesthood in the Roman Catholic Church in 1967. He received masters degrees in both philosophy and theology from the Aquinas Institute of Theology and later earned a Ph.D. in spirituality (summa cum laude) from the Institut Catholique de Paris. Due to controversy surrounding his denial of original sin, he was forbidden to teach theology by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI), then Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, an administrative body of the Holy See in 1988. In 1992 he was dismissed from the Dominican order after refusing to appear upon summons to discuss his writings with his superiors. (Note: John L. Allen, Jr. said he was expelled from the Dominicans in 1993.[4]) He was received into the Episcopal Church (Anglican Communion) in 1994 by Bishop William Swing of the Episcopal Diocese of California.[5]

Creation Spirituality

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Denomination change experience

His 1996 autobiography, Confessions: The Making of a Post-Denominational Priest, describes his life as a Dominican priest and his struggle with the Vatican as he wrote about his experiences and understanding of early Christianity. He has also authored 22 other books on various spiritual teachings (listed below).

Techno Cosmic Mass

A Techno Cosmic Mass is an event that attempts to combine the religious ritual of the Eucharist with evocative and connecting religious rituals and the ecstatic energy of Techno music and rave parties. It developed from a group called the Nine O'Clock Service in Sheffield, England in the late 1980s and was brought to the United States and developed by Fox in the mid 1990s.[6]

95 theses

In Spring 2005, while preparing for a presentation in Germany, Fox was moved to prepare 95 theses of his own which he had translated into German. On the weekend of Pentecost, arrangements were made for him to nail these to the door of Wittenberg church (the location where Martin Luther nailed the original 95 Theses in the 16th century, the act which is cited as the beginning of the Protestant Reformation).[1][7]

In his theses, Fox calls for a new reformation in Western Christianity. In his supporting book, A New Reformation, Fox argues that two Christianities already exist and it is time for a new reformation to acknowledge that fact and move the Western spiritual tradition into new directions.[8]

Books

  • On Becoming a Musical, Mystical Bear: Spirituality American Style (1972), Harper & Row, ISBN 0-06-062912-6, Paulist Press 1976 paperback: ISBN 0-80911913-7
    • republished as Prayer: A Radical Response to Life (2001), Tarcher/Putnam, ISBN 1-58542-098-0
  • A Spirituality Named Compassion and the Healing of the Global Village, Humpty Dumpty and Us (1979), Winston Press, ISBN 0-03051566-1, Harper San Francisco 1990 paperback: ISBN 0-06-254871-9, Inner Traditions 1999: ISBN 0-89281-802-6
  • Whee! We, Wee All the Way Home: A Guide to Sensual Prophetic Spirituality (1980), Bear & Company, ISBN 0-939680-00-9
  • Breakthrough: Meister Eckhart's Creation Spirituality, in New Translation (1980), Doubleday ISBN 0-385-17034-3 (translated from German, with commentary)
    • republished as Passion for Creation: The Earth-honoring Spirituality of Meister Eckhart (2000), Inner Traditions, ISBN 0-89281-801-8
  • Western Spirituality: Historical Roots, Ecumenical Routes (1981), Bear & Company, ISBN 0-939680-01-7
  • Meditations with Meister Eckhart (1983), Bear & Company, ISBN 0-939680-04-1
  • Original Blessing: A Primer in Creation Spirituality (1983), Bear & Company revised ed. 1996, ISBN 1-879181-27-4
    • Original Blessing: A Primer in Creation Spirituality Presented in Four Paths, Twenty-Six Themes, and Two Questions, Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam 2000, ISBN 1-58542-067-0
  • Hildegard of Bingen's Book of Divine Works: With Letters and Songs (1987), Bear & Company, ISBN 0-939680-35-1
  • The Coming of the Cosmic Christ (1988), Harper San Francisco, ISBN 0-06-062915-0
  • Creation Spirituality: Liberating Gifts for the Peoples of the Earth (1991), Harper San Francisco, ISBN 0-06-062917-7
  • Sheer Joy: Conversations With Thomas Aquinas on Creation Spirituality (1992), Harper San Francisco, ISBN 0-06-062914-2, Tarcher/Putnam 2003 paperback: ISBN 1-58542-234-7, forward: Rupert Sheldrake, afterword: Bede Griffiths
  • The Reinvention of Work: A New Vision of Livelihood for Our Time (1995), Harper San Francisco reprint, ISBN 0-06-063062-0
  • Wrestling With the Prophets: Essays on Creation Spirituality and Everyday Life (1995), Harper San Francisco, ISBN 0-06-062919-3, Tarcher 2003 paperback: ISBN 1-58542-235-5
  • The Physics of Angels: Exploring the Realm Where Science and Spirit Meet (1996), coauthor Rupert Sheldrake, Harper San Francisco, ISBN 0-06-062864-2
  • Natural Grace: Dialogues on Creation, Darkness, and the Soul in Spirituality and Science (1996), coauthor Rupert Sheldrake, Doubleday, ISBN 0-385-48356-2, Image 1997 paperback: ISBN 0-385-48359-7
  • Confessions: The Making of a Post-Denominational Priest (1996), Harper San Francisco, 1997 paperback: ISBN 0-06-062965-7, (Fox autobiography)
  • One River, Many Wells: Wisdom Springing from Global Faiths (2000), Jeremy P. Tarcher, ISBN 1-58542-047-6 paperback: ISBN 1-58542-326-2
  • Creativity: Where the Divine and the Human Meet (2002), Jeremy P. Tarcher, ISBN 1-58542-178-2, 2004 paperback: ISBN 1-58542-329-7
  • A New Reformation: Creation Spirituality and the Transformation of Christianity (2006), Inner Traditions, ISBN 1-59477123-5 (Fox's "95 Theses")
  • Passion for Creation: The Earth-honoring Spirituality of Meister Eckhart, Doubleday, 1995. ISBN 978-0-385-48047-5
  • Natural Grace: Dialogues on Creation, Darkness, and the Soul in Spirituality and Science (with Rupert Sheldrake), Doubleday, 1997. ISBN 978-0-385-48359-9
  • Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh: Lessons for Transforming Evil in Soul and Society, Doubleday (published, 2000. ISBN 978-0-609-60087-0

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Step into environment fray Peterborough Examiner
  2. ^ Romancing the Past, A Critical Look at Matthew Fox & the Medieval “Creation Mystics” by Barbara Newman
  3. ^ "Matthew Fox confronts life outside the Catholic Church", The Toledo Blade, 28 March, 1993
  4. ^ Allen, Jr., John L., "Vatican looks at ‘New Age,’ issues ‘appeal to discernment’", National Catholic Reporter, http://www.natcath.org/NCR_Online/archives/022103/022103a.htm Retrieved: 31 December 2009
  5. ^ Fox, Matthew (1996). Confessions: the making of a postdenominational priest. [San Francisco, Calif.]: HarperSanFrancisco. pp. 250. ISBN 0-06-062965-7.  
  6. ^ The Way We Pray by Maggie Oman Shannon, Conari Press, ISBN 1573245712, p. 204-206
  7. ^ A New Reformation, Matthew Fox, (2006)
  8. ^ Theologian Nails 95 Theses for a New Reformation, Ekklesia (think tank), 7 June, 2005

External links


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