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Matthew Fox is an internationally acclaimed spiritual theologian, an Episcopal priest, and an activist who was a member of the Dominican Order for 34 years. He holds a doctorate, summa cum laude, in the History and Theology of Spirituality from the Institut Catholique de Paris.
As a spiritual theologian, he has written 30 books that have been translated into 48 languages and have received numerous awards. Among them are Original Blessing, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ, A Spirituality Named Compassion, The Reinvention of Work, The Hidden Spirituality of Men, and Christian Mystics.
Matthew Fox has been renewing the ancient mystical tradition of Creation Spirituality that was named for him by his mentor, the late Father Marie Dominic Chenu, o.p., in his studies in Paris. This tradition is feminist, welcoming of the arts and artists, wisdom centered, prophetic and committed to eco-justice, social justice and gender justice.
Fox's effort to reawaken the West to its own mystical tradition has included revivifying awareness of Hildegard of Bingen, Meister Eckhart, Thomas Aquinas and the Cosmic Christ tradition, as well as interacting wi th contemporary scientists who are also mystics. He has authored two books with British biologist Rupert Sheldrake, and has worked closely with Native American leaders such as Buck Ghosthorse.
In a conscious effort to reinvigorate Western ritual, Fox deconstructed forms of worship inherited from the modern era (such as sitting in benches and being read to, preached at or reading from books including song books) and reconstructed these forms of worship by going back to the pre-modern practice of dance. The result, created in collaboration with a group of Anglican youth of the "rave" generation, was the " Techno-Cosmic Mass " that mixes dance, techno and live music, dj, vj, rap and contemporary art forms with the western liturgical tradition. The Cosmic Mass continues to be celebrated in many cities across the U.S.; many people are now trained in celebrating this post-modern form of worship.
Fox founded the Institute in Culture and Creation Spirituality that operated for seven years at Mundelein College in Chicago and twelve years at Holy Names C ollege in Oakland.
For ten of those years at Holy Names College, Cardinal Ratzinger -- now Pope Benedict XVI -- tried to shut the program down. As chief Inquisitor and head of the Congregation of Doctrine and Faith (called the Office of the Holy Inquisition until 1965), Ratzinger silenced Fox for one year in 1989 and forced him to step down as director. Three years later he expelled Fox from the Order, thus terminating the program at Holy Names College.
Rather than disband his amazing and ecumenical faculty, Fox started his own University called University of Creation Spirituality where it thrived for nine years and closed in 2007. Fox has since taught at Stanford University, Vancouver School of Theology, Association for Transpersonal Psychology, and the California Institute of Integral Studies, among other places.
Fox believes that "by reinventing work, education and worship we can bring about a non-violent revolution on our planet" and has committed himself to this vision for many years. His 2006 book, The A.W.E. Project: An Educational Transformation for Post-Modern Times , lays out the elements of an educational revolution for young people that is based on his 40 years of educating adults with an alternative pedagogy based on cosmology, creativity and contemplation.
Fox is currently implementing this vision in a project for inner city teenagers in Oakland called YELLAWE : "Youth and Elder Learning Laboratory for Ancestral Wisdom Education." The goal is to reinvent education from the inner city out. Offshoots from this project have now taken root in Chicago.
In 2005, when Cardinal Ratzinger was made pope, Fox went to Martin Luther's church in Wittenberg, Germany and pounded 95 contemporary theses at the door to call people to a New Reformation . Knowing Ratzinger well from a protracted battle with him over the years in his role as chief inquisitor of our day, Fox wanted to alert people to what the future held. Six years later, after documenting the ongoing evolution of that future in The Pope's War Why Ratzinger's Secret Crusade Has Imperiled The Church And How It Can Be Saved , Fox repeated his protest, nailing his 95 Theses outside of Cardinal Law's Basilica in Rome to call attention to the corruption in the Vatican.
interview notes: (mostly my questions)
ther Catholics hounded by Ratzinger: Leonardo Boff, Eugen Drewermann, Oscar Romero
What do you mean he brought back the Inquisition?
I've thought that the Catholic church is one of the most top-down hierarchies in human history.
Effort to bring a horizontal dimension to the church from the Vatican Council was stopped by last two Popes, Ratzinger and John Paul II. They are in Schism.
Liberation theology was a movement that John Paul and Ratzinger killed. It was a big deal.
"CIA under Reagan worked closed with the pope to destroy LIberation Theology."
Tell me more about LIberation Theology-- what it is, does it still exist?
Is it possible for the Catholic Church to exist as a bottom up religion, instead of the ultra Hierarchical religion that starts with the Pope?
Are any of the Catholic Supreme Court Justices members of Opus Dei?
Is there a connection between "The Family" and Opus Dei?
George Weigel wrote a book Evangelical Catholicism-- goal is to link evangelical Catholicism with Evangelical Protestantism.
What are your thoughts on Ratzinger's replacement?
"It's a closed system and closed system don't work in nature."
Humans have to wake up and a healthy church would be leading the way in that.
How will a new, bottom up Catholicism look as it emerges?
Book: One River Many Wells
"Jesus was a revolutionary teacher about love and justice."
What will it look like? How can people find churches that manifest this way?
Creation spirituality communities.
Small groups in communities are getting together in circles, sometimes led by women-- at homes, in halls, in Protestant churches.
Book Hidden Spirituality of Men
I've long felt that right wingers and conservatives are at war not just with women but with the archetypal feminine.
What do the Taliban, Vatican and Pat Robertson all have in common-- the fear of the divine feminine.
In the old days, the Goddess Chaos was celebrated before patriarchy took over about 4500 BC.
You have Marduk Killing Tiamat (Gilgamesh)
What happened in 4500 BC?
--Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah"
You've written a lot about Christ Consciousness. What's that?
- The cosmic Christ" the unleashing of the christ consciousness-- the kingdom of god is within you, is among you-- the awareness of the divine presence.
In the East they call this the Buddha nature-- it's a metaphor-- an archetype for the utter holiness and sacredness of all beings. It includes the wounds, about suffering, as the Buddhists also talk about"
Merton-- how is it possible to tell everybody walking around that they are filled with brilliant light like the sun. The Christ is light in all things.
Ecclesia semper Reformanda The church must always be reformed
Religion is very simple"
What about atheism?
"I am an anti-theist.
"I pray god to rid me of god" meister Eckhart
Book on Atheism Religion for Atheists Alan Bottom
It's time to move from religion to spirituality.
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