Creativity—My Own—Answering a Question from a Reader

This morning a DM subscriber took me up on my comment that the books I write have often surprised me.  I will attempt a few examples of what I mean in today’s DM.

Matthew Fox with Tristan, just before his expulsion from the Dominican Order (author photo from The Reinvention of Work, by Mari Kane)

When I was writing my book The Reinvention of Work some 27 years ago, I thought I was finished after treating chapters on The Pain of Work; How a new cosmology moves us from machine to green work and helps us to revision work; On inner work and vocation; How creativity merges our inner and outer work; and applying creation spirituality to reinventing education, farming, art, business, health care, psychology, etc.

I thought I was finished with the book when a dream said to me: You are missing a chapter, one on reinventing ritual. Sure enough, I added a chapter on “The Reenchantment of Ritual: Reinventing Work by Rediscovering the Festive.”  Not long after, I was expelled from the Dominican Order, had to reinvent my work, and joined the Episcopal church where I was allowed to reinvent forms of Liturgy into what we today call the “cosmic mass.” 

Matthew Fox protests Church corruption at the gates of the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome, where Cardinal Law was reassigned following the 2001 pedophilia scandal in the Archdiocese of Boston. Learn more about the direct action HERE.

In writing my book on The Pope’s War: How Ratzinger’s Crusade Imperiled the Church and How It Can Be Saved, I laid out the story of the 34-year papacies of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict, their killing of base communities and liberation theology, their siding up to fascist organizations and encouraging the like of Opus Dei, Legion of Christ, etc., their silencing of 108 theologians and attempts to kill theology outright. 

I asked near the end of the book: “Is there a purpose and a reason for this sordid history?”  And the answer came through very clear: The Holy Spirit wants to kill the church in its present form and restart Christianity as a more authentic witness to the teachings and person of Jesus.  This surprised me; still does to this day.

Icon of Julian of Norwich, with her cat. Icon by Br. Robert Lentz OFM.

Most recently, I just finished a book entitled Julian of Norwich: Wisdom in a Time of Pandemic—and Beyond. Julian lived through the worst pandemic in European history, the bubonic plague, yet stayed completely grounded and refused to run down the rabbit hole with those who hated life and nature in their panic response to what was transpiring.  Then, in examining more deeply her amazingly creation-centered and goodness-centered and feminist theology I was struck by not only her powerful mysticism but by her prophetic stance. 

Julian, by her emphasis on the feminine side of God, and also by her insistence on the goodness of nature and on non-dualism, was deconstructing the entire patriarchal agenda and Godhead.  No wonder she has been so little studied over the centuries!  She is addressing directly the cause of the pandemic—matricide and our hatred of mother nature that has resulted in climate change.  She is interfering with patriarchy big-time.  She is a prophet as well as mystic.

These are a few examples of my writing surprising me.  

See Matthew Fox, The Reinvention of Work: A New Vision of Livelihood for Our Time.

See Matthew Fox, The Pope’s War: How Ratzinger’s Crusade Imperiled the Church and What Can be Saved.

Soon to come: Matthew Fox, Julian of Norwich: Wisdom in a Time of Pandemic—and Beyond.  Publication date, October 15, 2020.

Banner Image: A collage of Matthew Fox’s books.

Do you have stories to tell of how your creativity and what you have given birth to has surprised you? 

Natural Grace: Dialogues on Creation, Darkness, and the Soul in Spirituality and Science 
by Matthew Fox and Rupert Sheldrake

Natural Grace, a 208 page inspired dialogue between theologian Matthew Fox and scientist Rupert Sheldrake, unites wisdom and knowledge from unconventional angles. Considering themselves heretics in their own fields, Matthew and Rupert engage the conversation from postmodern and post-postmodern perspectives, deconstructing both religion and science—while setting the foundation for a new emerging worldview. Having outgrown the paradigms in which they were raised, both Fox and Sheldrake see it as part of their life missions to share the natural synthesis of spirituality and science rooted in a paradigm of evolutionary cosmology.

The Pope’s War: Why Ratzinger’s Secret Crusade Has Imperiled the Church and How It Can Be Saved

The Pope’s War offers a provocative look at three decades of corruption in the Catholic Church, focusing on Josef Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI. The final section in the book focuses on birthing a truly catholic Christianity.
“This book should be read by everybody, not only for its ferocious courage, but also for its vision for what needs to be saved from the destructive forces that threaten authentic Christianity.” ~ Andrew Harvey, author of The Hope.
“In the gripping The Pope’s War, Matthew Fox takes an unwavering look at the layers of corruption in the Catholic Church, holding moral truth against power.”   — Jason Berry, author of Vows of Silence: The Abuse of Power in the Papacy of John Paul II

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8 thoughts on “Creativity—My Own—Answering a Question from a Reader”

  1. Avatar

    Thank Mathew Fox for daily eyes to see and ears to hear. I first met you in the 90’s at a weekend conference at Hamline University, MPLS. MN. I was joyful to hear about Creation Centered theology.! And I still am. I deeply appreciate all the work you did/do to show us God’s beautiful kaleidoscope of all that is. One River, Many Wells is precious to me. With all my heart, THANK YOU♥️

  2. Avatar

    Examples of the work of the Holy spirit, for sure. Thank you for all your good work. “Original Blessing” was and is a blessing in my life.

    1. Carol Kilby

      Sue, it would be inspiring to hear howOriginal Blessing has been blessing to you.
      Carol Kilby, D.Min. M.Div. For DMTeam.

  3. Avatar

    Thank you Matt, for the sharing of your surprises as you write your wonderful books. I’ve remarked how often you speak about your attention to dreams. You gave one example today in your sharing about the writing of: “The Reinvention of Work”. I also recall at the beginning of “The Coming of the Cosmic Christ” you wrote: “This book began with a dream and ends with a vision”. You have inspired me to pay more attention to my own dreams and to bring them to prayer. Thank you again and again for all the good your share with us, for the helping us to get through these difficult times. I’m waiting with great eagerness to read your new book on Julian. Thank you again. Joan Doyle

    1. Carol Kilby

      Joan, yes to our dreams. In Matt’s schools, U CS, which I attended, courses on dreams were offered. We need more education in interpreting dreams. Imagine our world if no one had ever paid attention to dreams. Dream on! Carol Kilby for DMTeam

    1. Carol Kilby

      Donna, I so appreciate your yearning for ‘more’. You might like to know the Creation spirituality Community is launching a weekly interfaith ritual program on zoom. Visit the CSCwebsite.

      Carol Kilby MDiv., DMin. For DMTeam.

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