In Paris, at the Institut Catholique de Paris he met his mentor, Pere M. D. Chenu. It was Chenu who named two traditions within the teachings of the Church, and it is Chenu that Matthew is now writing a book about. The two traditions are:
1. The Fall/Redemption Tradition born of Original Sin.
2. Creation-Centered Spirituality born of Original Blessing.
More than this, Fox found that he had questions concerning the relationship between mysticism and justice-making, and the fall/redemption tradition’s denigration of the body, the senses, and matter in general.
After receiving his Ph.D. Fox taught religion in a number of colleges, but he first established his Institute in Culture and Creation Spirituality in 1976, at Mundelein College, Lake County, Illinois. There he began to develop his own unique form of pedagogy. His teaching integrated the creative spirit with the intellect. So, one had academic studies (often studying the mystics) as well as art-as-meditation.
In 1984 he moved to Holy Names College in Oakland, California and set up his Institute in Culture and Creation Spirituality. At ICCS at Holy Names College, Fox had a very diverse faculty—with an American witch named Starhawk who taught ritual-making, and Jeremy Taylor, a Unitarian–Universalist minister who taught dream interpretation in a group setting. There was also artist-with-clay and poet, M. C. Richards, painter, Adrianna Diaz, Native American teacher Buck Ghosthorse, and others.
Banner image: Entrance to Institut Catholique de Paris. Wikimedia Commons.
Queries for Contemplation
Share a place where you learned to be who you really are, spiritually.
Confessions: The Making of a Post-Denominational Priest (Revised/Updated Edition)
Matthew Fox’s stirring autobiography, Confessions, reveals his personal, intellectual, and spiritual journey from altar boy, to Dominican priest, to his eventual break with the Vatican. Five new chapters in this revised and updated edition bring added perspective in light of the author’s continued journey, and his reflections on the current changes taking place in church, society and the environment.
“The unfolding story of this irrepressible spiritual revolutionary enlivens the mind and emboldens the heart — must reading for anyone interested in courage, creativity, and the future of religion.”
—Joanna Macy, author of World as Lover, World as Self
Matthew Fox: Essential Writings on Creation Spirituality
Selected with an Introduction by Charles Burack
To encapsulate the life and work of Matthew Fox would be a daunting task for any save his colleague Dr. Charles Burack, who had the full cooperation of his subject. Fox has devoted 50 years to developing and teaching the tradition of Creation Spirituality and in doing so has reinvented forms of education and worship. His more than 40 books, translated into 78 languages, are inclusive of today’s science and world spiritual traditions and have awakened millions to the much neglected earth-based mystical tradition of the West. Essential Writings begins by exploring the influences on Fox’s life and spirituality, then presents selections from all Fox’s major works in 10 sections.
“The critical insights, the creative connections, the centrality of Matthew Fox’s writings and teaching are second to none for the radical renewal of Christianity.” ~~ Richard Rohr, OFM.