Visionary theologian and award-winning author Matthew Fox challenges traditional perceptions of good and evil by offering a new theology that lays the groundwork for a more enlightened treatment of ourselves, one another, and all of nature. In this revised edition with a luminous foreword by Deepak Chopra and a new preface that brings the book up to date with the cataclysmic events of the new millennium, Fox illustrates how, contrary to mainstream church doctrine, flesh is the grounding of spirit.
Fox argues that our culture has concentrated far too much on transgressions of the flesh while failing to take into account its sacredness. Artfully weaving together the wisdom of East and West, he considers Thomas Aquinas's definition of sin as "misdirected love" and applies parallels between the Eastern teachings of the seven chakras and the Western teachings of the seven capital sins. Fox explains how the chakras teach us to direct the love-energies we all possess and proposes seven positive precepts for living a full and spirited life. He invites us to change the way we think about sin and asserts that we can combat and transform evil through love, generosity, letting go, and creativity.
Crafting a blueprint for social change, Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh points the way toward a deeper and more compassionate way to live while eloquently revealing the means to confront evil both within and without.
|Publisher:||North Atlantic Books|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.20(d)|
About the Author
Matthew Fox is an internationally acclaimed theologian and spiritual maverick who has spent the last forty years revolutionizing Christian theology, taking on patriarchal religion, and advocating for a creation-centered spirituality of compassion and justice and re-sacralizing of the earth. He has written more than thirty books, which have sold over 1.5 million copies in fifty-nine languages.
Originally a Catholic priest, Fox was silenced for a year and then expelled from the Dominican order, to which he had belonged for thirty-four years, by Cardinal Ratzinger for teaching liberation theology and creation spirituality. Fox currently serves as an Episcopal priest, after he received what he calls “religious asylum” from the Episcopal Church. With exciting results he has worked with young people to create the Cosmic Mass to revitalize worship by bringing elements of rave and other post-modern art forms to the western liturgical tradition.
Fox has worked extensively and consciously to reinvent forms of education for thirty-four years in master's degree and doctor of ministry programs with adults, as well as with inner city high school students in his program called YELLAWE. Key to that reinvention, he believes, is putting Creativity first.
In 1976 Fox founded the Institute in Culture and Creation Spirituality (ICCS) at Mundelein College in Chicago, Illinois. The master’s program was designed to step out of the overly heady academic pedagogy that dominated in European-based models of education in order to educate all the chakras including the heart. The program included many artists as faculty along with scientists and teachers from many faith traditions. After seven years Fox moved it to Holy Names College in Oakland, California where it thrived for twelve years. The program was eventually terminated in the wake of Fox’s expulsion from the Dominican order.
Rather than disband his amazing and ecumenical faculty, Fox started his own University in 1996 called the University of Creation Spirituality, where he was president, professor, chief fundraiser and recruiter for nine years. Its Doctor of Ministry degree was unique in the world since it honored the inherently priestly work of all workers who are midwives of grace (Fox’s definition of the priesthood archetype) in their work. It drew amazing students from a variety of professions, all of whom felt called to deepen their spirituality and to reinvigorate their work as agents of social transformation.
Fox is a recipient of numerous awards, including the Gandhi-King-Ikeda Peace Award from Morehouse College, the Humanities Award of the Sufi International Association of Sufism, the Tikkun Ethics Award, and the Courage of Conscience Award from the Peace Abbey of Sherborn, Massachusetts. Other recipients of this award include the Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa, Ernesto Cardinal, and Rosa Parks. Fox is currently a visiting scholar at the Academy of the Love of Learning in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and lives in Oakland, California.
Table of Contents
Foreword Deepak Chopra xiii
Preface to the Revised Edition: The Black Jaguar and the Purification from Evil xix
Introduction: A Species Wanting Attention 1
Part I Blessings of the Flesh: The Sacred Flesh 21
1 Redeeming the Word "Flesh" 25
2 Universe Flesh 45
3 Earth Flesh 63
4 Human Flesh 77
5 The Seven Chakras: Further Blessings of our Human Flesh 105
Part II Sin in Context: The Evolution of Sin and its Meanings 131
6 What the Mystics Say about Sin Including Rumi, Kabir, Julian, Eckhart. Jesus, Paul 135
7 Meanings of Sin from Theologians and Biologists 153
Part III Sins of the Spirit: The Seven Chakras and the Seven Capital Sins 183
8 Misdirected Love in the First Chakra Acedia 189
9 Misdirected Love in the Second Chakra Control, Addiction, "Lust" 237
10 Misdirected Love in the Third Chakra Victimization, "Anger," and Violence 267
11 Misdirected Love in the Fourth Ghakra Fear, Avarice, and Resentment 285
12 Misdirected Love in the Fifth Chakra Gluttony, Consumerism 313
13 Misdirected Love in the Sixth Chakra Rationalism, Reductionism, Pessimism Born of Despair 333
14 Misdirected Love in the Seventh Chakra: Envy, Resentment 359
Conclusion: The Blessings of Flesh and Spirit and the Launching of a Moral Wave for Our Future 375
Appendix A Hitler as a Religious Figure 389
Appendix B Synonyms for "Sin" in Our Language 399
Appendix C Ricoeur on the Evolution of Sin 401
About the Author 451