Returning from the Parliament of World Religions in Chicago

This past Saturday morning at 2:30 am, I returned from the Parliament of World Religions in Chicago where, among other things, I and a team of about 18 others led the celebration of a Cosmic Mass.  About 700 people filled a large ballroom at McCormick Center on Lake Michigan to dance and pray and open our hearts. 

Matthew Fox signs books at the Parliament while chatting with Michael Pytlik, Director of Jewish Studies at Oakland University, Rochester, MI. Photo by Ellen Kennedy, published with permission.

I have a certain history with McCormick Center as many years ago, while a student in the Aquinas Institute of Philosophy in River Forest, Illinois—a suburb of Chicago—I remember attending a talk there by a new theologian named Hans Küng.  I remember to this day the theme of his talk where he compared the Roman Catholic Church of the time to the Politburo of Soviet Russia.  It was very early in the Second Vatican Council and needless to say it sort of shook up my image of the Catholic Church I was raised in.   

It was reading and publishing an article by M. D. Chenu in our magazine Listening, entitled “The End of the Constantinian Era,” a few years later, that gave me a context to understand the ecclesial, historical, and societal issues the Council was wrestling with.

Only years later, when I graduated from the Institut Catholique de Paris, did I learn that Hans Küng also graduated from that University.  And that Chenu taught there.  

Giant puppets of Fire, Earth, and the Moon, by Mary Plaster, oversee the Creation Spirituality booth at the Parliament of World Religions. Photo by Mary Plaster, published with permission.

We young Dominicans also attended an event at McCormick Center with Bishop Sheen where our Dominican choir sang and we all shook hands with the smiling Bishop.

The cosmos is very much on my mind lately—and I hope on yours also.  After all, the cosmos is another name for Nature, Creation, Existence, Isness (Eckhart says “isness is God”), Ecology, Evolution, and Relationship.  

Eckhart says, “Relation is the essence of everything that exists.”  Which is very close to what today’s quantum physics teaches us also.  

To be continued.

See Matthew Fox, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ: The Healing of Mother Earth and the Birth of a Global Renaissance 

And Fox, Passion For Creation: The Earth-Honoring Spirituality of Meister Eckhart.

Banner Image: The Cosmic Mass at the Parliament of World Religions, 2023, with wildlife lanterns sculpted by University of Creation Spirituality graduate Mary Plaster, D.Min. Photo by Mary Plaster, published with permission.

Queries for Contemplation

What does “creation” mean to you?  And “cosmos”?

Recommended Reading

The Coming of the Cosmic Christ: The Healing of Mother Earth and the Birth of a Global Renaissance

In what may be considered the most comprehensive outline of the Christian paradigm shift of our Age, Matthew Fox eloquently foreshadows the manner in which the spirit of Christ resurrects in terms of the return to an earth-based mysticism, the expression of creativity, mystical sexuality, the respect due the young, the rebirth of effective forms of worship—all of these mirroring the ongoing blessings of Mother Earth and the recovery of Eros, the feminine aspect of the Divine.
“The eighth wonder of the world…convincing proof that our Western religious tradition does indeed have the depth of imagination to reinvent its faith.” — Brian Swimme, author of The Universe Story and Journey of the Universe.

Passion for Creation: The Earth-Honoring Spirituality of Meister Eckhart

Matthew Fox’s comprehensive translation of Meister Eckhart’s sermons is a meeting of true prophets across centuries, resulting in a spirituality for the new millennium. The holiness of creation, the divine life in each person and the divine power of our creativity, our call to do justice and practice compassion–these are among Eckhart’s themes, brilliantly interpreted and explained for today’s reader.
“The most important book on mysticism in 500 years.”  — Madonna Kolbenschlag, author of Kissing Sleeping Beauty Goodbye.  

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6 thoughts on “Returning from the Parliament of World Religions in Chicago”

  1. Avatar

    We, each and every one of us, reach out far beyond what we conceive. Our presence, our being and our actions extend beyond the physical and five senses. We live totally in ‘a space’ which we know not and acknowledge very little. — BB.

  2. Avatar

    My understanding of Creation and Cosmos is evolving as I have been studying multidimensional-multiverse spirituality the past few year from a few prominent and genuine spiritual channelers and psychics on their website teachings.
    One especially interesting one related to multidimensional-multiverse spirituality and cosmology is Elizabeth Wood. From her website (
    “Considered a world-class seer and oracle… Elizabeth has spent her whole life studying ancient and modern medicine, ‘galactic anthropology’, quantum physics, and futurism.” She lives in Ecuador with her family, also has a science education, and offers workshops on the internet. Her most recent very interesting workshop offering is “12 parts of Our Galactic Past” that can be purchased separately ($26.). The last one in the series is called “The Waters Past – Homo Luminous” about our human evolution as a species.

  3. Avatar

    I agree that Cosmos is just another way to say, Creation. It is God, immanent and transcendent both, a mystery–God is in everything.

  4. Avatar

    Creation of the Cosmos

    Out of the void
    Originated thoughts
    That caused
    All of creation
    To come into being

    Complex harmonies
    Uniquely evolved
    Into ordered designs
    And inclusive systems
    Wonderfully fashioned
    In beauty and goodness

  5. Avatar

    Not “Creation” but “Creating”: God’s unbounded, non-dualistic, intimate Act; the One in which we living-flow, along with all the rest of God’s Self-Act of NowBeing (“Is-ness”) in Her/His Thinking/Creating/Loving-Act, flowing into/through the universe, time, and awareness.
    We are always tightly woven into timelessness and unbounded non-duality, interconnected with all around us, but we’re so totally blinded by our “this is not that”, “you are not me,” (dualistic) thinking, with all its rigid definitions and boundaries, that we rarely break out of our walls of habitualized thought.
    Mystical Awareness is a Divine reminder that we’re not islands. We do NOT stand apart from anyone or anything else, nor from God, but we block our awareness of deep interconnection by falling into the misguided habit of intellectualized perception. We convince ourselves of the delusion of separation — from each other, from the universe, and from God. And then we hurt each other.

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Baruch de Espinoza (1632-1677), the Jewish philosopher know to most as, Benedict Spinoza was excommunicated from his synagogue in Amsterdam. One of the charges was that he believed that “the universe was the body of God.” I know that sound like pantheism, but he said he was NOT a pantheist. The Universe is the body of God… what a metaphor !!!

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