Prayers to an Evolutionary God

Prayers to an Evolutionary God

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by William Cleary
     
 

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Your image of God has evolved from a distant, all-knowing father to a creative force of the universe. Now it's time to update your prayer, too.

An evolutionary God is the one whose fingerprints and embraces and music we find in the evolutionary patterns in the unfinished world around us, the elusive mother and inventor of this ever

Overview

Your image of God has evolved from a distant, all-knowing father to a creative force of the universe. Now it's time to update your prayer, too.

An evolutionary God is the one whose fingerprints and embraces and music we find in the evolutionary patterns in the unfinished world around us, the elusive mother and inventor of this ever-changing milieu. It is a God who pretends—for some purpose we do not comprehend—not even to exist, but whom we can reach out for and give thanks to, if we wish—as most of our race has done throughout its history.
—from the Introduction

In this unique collection of eighty prose prayers and related commentary, William Cleary invites you to consider new ways of thinking about God and about the world around you. Inspired by the spiritual and scientific teachings of Diarmuid O’Murchu and Teilhard de Chardin, Cleary reveals that religion and science can be combined to create an expanding view of the universe—an evolutionary faith.

Prayers to an Evolutionary God inspires you to discover your own place in the story of the universe, challenges you to rethink life in new ways, and enables you to express yourself in words that make sense—to an evolutionary God.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Sure to intrigue thoughtful readers."
Quest Magazine

"Karl Rahner once said that the Christian of the future will be a mystic, or nothing at all. Bursting with energy, full of deep wisdom, these prayers do more than address God in the light of evolution. They set the heart on the path of mysticism, beautiful and awesome."
Elizabeth A. Johnson, CSJ, professor of theology, Fordham University; author of She Who Is: The Mystery of God in Feminist Theological Discourse and Women, Earth, and Creator Spirit

“If prayer means (as W. H. Auden said) 'paying attention to something larger than yourself,' these prayers by William Cleary invite us to pay attention to the largest thing imaginable, the creativity that resides at the core of our Cosmos, teaching us to speak with reverence in this post-Newtonian universe. Faith and science embrace happily in these pages, to the betterment of both.”
Rev. Gary Kowalski, author of Science and the Search for God

“Good theology is rooted in worship and prayer. In Bill Cleary's book, the 'God of evolution’ is not an abstract topic of theological reflection but the focus of meditation, prayer, and praise. In a unique and creative way, the author brings the insights of science into contact with the very heart of religious experience. I think Teilhard de Chardin would smile on this bold project.”
John F. Haught,Thomas Healey Professor of Theology, Georgetown University

Publishers Weekly
Cleary, a former Jesuit priest, offers a prayer-book and catechism of sorts, rooted in process theology and the evolutionary mysticism of Jesuit paleontologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Chardin's poetic and scientific artistry, however, is sadly lacking in this volume of lyrically flat-footed prayers interspersed with pedantic metaphysical commentary. Cleary struggles to articulate a role for verbal prayer in post-traditional spirituality: "you know in advance that talking to God is like talking to your dog"-perhaps not pointless, but not essentially concerned with what is being said. Accordingly the book's prayers tend to equivocate between disclaiming God's personal involvement in the world ("You really have no divine face that smiles on us, no hands that distribute blessings or hold us safe") and recognizing it ("We bless you for your caringness through all the eons of evolutionary unfolding"). Evolution is, as expected, a dominant theme for many of the prayers. But Cleary's concept of evolution is hard to untangle, especially when the possibility of divine guidance makes evolution almost like creation, albeit without the accountability that a traditional Creator bears towards creation: "Holy Mystery, our relational spirit-creator, allow us to feel nonplussed by your evolutionary strategies." Reflections like these put humanity in its place, but confronted with such profound ambiguities about who is being addressed in prayer and what its relationship to us might be, meditation or silent contemplation probably come more easily than verbal or written prayers. (June) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781594730061
Publisher:
Skylight Paths Publishing
Publication date:
04/01/2004
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
794,433
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.62(d)

Meet the Author

William Cleary was former assistant editor at the Catholic weekly America and the author of many books on spirituality. He is a former Jesuit priest, filmmaker, and composer. His musical Chun Hyang Song was performed at the Seoul Olympics. Cleary was married to a Unitarian Universalist minister and was the father of two musician sons. His website is www.clearyworks.com.

Diarmuid O'Murchu is a priest and social psychologist currently based in London. He lectures internationally and writes extensively on new paradigms from a multidisciplinary point of view. His works include Quantum Theology: Reclaiming Spirituality and Our World in Transition.

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