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Original Blessing: A Primer in Creation Spirituality Presented in Four Paths, Twenty-Six Themes, and Two Questions [Paperback]

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Item Specifications...

Pages   364
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.98" Width: 5.96" Height: 0.94"
Weight:   1.15 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 9, 2000
Publisher   Tarcher
Age  18
ISBN  1585420670  
EAN  9781585420674  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Here is a reissue of the critically acclaimed bestseller, named one of the "20 books that changed the world" in New Age Journal's Annual Source Book for 1995. Maverick theologian Matthew Fox provides a daring view of historical Christianity and a theologically sound basis for personal discovery of spiritual liberation.
In this revolutionary work, Fox shows how Christianity once celebrated beauty, compassion, justice, and provided a path of positive knowledge and ecstatic connection with all creation.

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More About Matthew Fox

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Matthew Fox is an internationally acclaimed theologian and spiritual maverick who has spent the past forty years revolutionizing Christian theology, taking on patriarchal religion, and advocating for a creation-centered spirituality of compassion, justice, and resacralizing of the earth. Originally a Catholic priest, Fox was silenced for a year and then expelled from the Dominican Order by Cardinal Ratzinger for teaching liberation theology and Creation Spirituality. Fox currently serves as an Episcopal priest, having 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 postmodern art forms to the Western liturgical tradition. He has written more than thirty books, which have sold over 1.5 million copies in sixty languages. He lives in Oakland, CA.

Matthew Fox currently resides in Oakland, in the state of California. Matthew Fox was born in 1940 and has an academic affiliation as follows - University of Birmingham.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
A wonderful Book  May 23, 2008
I bought this book on the recommendation of a friend. I am not dissapointed. It has a few flaws, but the ideas and concepts introduced by this book more than outweigh them.

The book is to be treated as a spiritual journey. You begin with Path 1, Theme 1 and read on to the end. It is not something that can be read in one sitting, nor should it be. It attempts to reawaken an awareness of different parts of reality to the individual, and while the words used are identical to the words overused by new age groups galore, the concepts themselves are actually very down-to-earth and simple. You don't look for some great, mystical light to appear in addition to the sun, or the lamp in your room. You look at your lamp, and enjoy it. It also attempts to undo the damage of mainstream Christianity's deepset paranoia and set the reader up for pure trust in God.

On the negative side of the ledger, the book feels a little incomplete. I think this isn't due to a lack of depth on Fox's part, but rather an inadvertant assumption that the reader would have the same theological training as Fox and be able to fill in the gaps. This would pose a problem for a reader who does not have that training (which would be most Christians in the world today). Another problem I had with the book is the near-constant criticism of Mainstream Christianity. By choosing to focus part of every chapter on the problems within the Church, Fox breaks the "flow" of his thoughts. Yes, mainstream Christianity has problems, and if it did not, people would not be reading his books.

However, that said, a reader can go through this book and weigh the ideas and concepts within it. There are some amazing gems of truth that will enrich any Christ-follower's life, and if at times the idea doesn't feel like it goes as far as it could, further study of that particular concept (eg. contemplative meditation) might give you what you want. The book is exactly what it says it is: a Primer. I did not read it as an in-depth study of any concept, but rather as an introduction to the concepts and a framework for future study. You read this book knowing you want to go somewhere without knowing how to get there or where "there" is. By the end, you'll have a more definite idea of where to go AND who has written the in-depth material on what you want to study. Even if the concepts within are repellant to you, at least you'll know this is not the way you want to go.

I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a greater relationship with God. It will answer a few of your questions, and more importantly, show you which questions you want to ask next.
Put on your thinking cap...  Jul 21, 2007
The Matthew Fow premier of alternative Christian spirituality can be a little tough to get through, unless you are pretty motivated. But for those who are looking for a way to keep the Christian faith and also trying to live in the real world, this dated theology crosses all generations. He offers an intellectual yet heartfelt alternative to the standard Christian theology we were spewed in the media. It is not just a feel good theology, either. It is beyond brilliant. Dig in!
A must read for all Christians   May 30, 2007
First up, a little about me, the reader! If I do a BeleifoMatic quiz I come up as "100% Mainline Conservative Protestant", so that's the position from which I read this book. The main message that I took from this book is that the churches have and are focusing (particularly the Evangelical ones) solely on justification to the detriment of sanctification. Where sanctification is focused on it is seen as a negative exercise (i.e., pursuit of a mortified body rather than a resurrected one). So many churches are very keen to "get" people saved, but are weak on what it means to thereafter "be" saved on a day to day life basis.
Fox corrects this, showing that the biblical vision of salvation is that we are saved for sanctification and that sanctification involves becoming an integral part of God's solution for a creation that, altough fallen, is still one sustained through His presence within it. Seeing God as being present in creation as well as transcending was something great that reading this book enabled me to do. So why only 4 stars?
Well, the book is a product of its times and regardless of the wonderful content, the form is one of 70s new age narrative. Sometimes reading between the lines is needed to see that what is being said has relevance beyond this context. Also, whilst Fox has some profound and thought provoking insights from a biblical perspective on issues such as original sin, in other areas he lacks the same incisiveness (e.g., sexuality), so that what he has to say might be appealing, but not wholly convincing. Still, this book is in my top 10 of Christian books, and I have read a lot!
True inspiration  Apr 10, 2007
Other reviews gave good summaries, so I'll just add my voice to those who gave this book a five-star rating. Just what we need in today's turbulent world. He helps us discover how we got that way, and offers a way back to our primeval Oneness with all of life.
Interesting and necessary theological exploration of the God-world relationship  Nov 15, 2006
In the 21st century, we face a depressing series of enviromental crises. These range from global warming to pollution to mass extinction of species to collapse of global ecosystems. It seems something is very seriously wrong with the way we live and the way we view the world.

The ecological crisis the world faces has several different root causes, but certainly one is related to a desacralisation of nature which leads to us not seeing nature as something to be protected and cherished, but rather just another resource to be exploited for our own use. In one of his works Fox uses the dramatic image of Earth as being crucified daily to represent the terrible strain our species is placing on the planet.

What Fox argues for in this book and also others is that Christianity desperately needs to consider the God/world relationship not just in terms of God being the sovereign and omnipotent maker of all (the Father in Christian creeds) but also in terms of God's immanent relationship with the world (as the Holy Spirit and also in terms of the incarnation of the Son). Fox argues for a panentheistic picture of God, that is, of nature existing in God, but not nature being God. This position is in fact well supported by both the Bible and also theological tradition in most of the major branches of Christianity. Fox sets out four paths to rethinking the creation and God/world relationship, using the 'via positiva', 'via negativa', via creativa and via transformita as symbols for the new ways we can think of the relationship in panenthetic terms. Fox has also used this template to look at Thomas Aquinas and Meister Eckhart, great Dominican thinkers who also had a positive view of the world.

I agree with a lot of what Fox argues, and certainly there is a need to re-appropriate a positive incarnational spirituality rather than a dualistic one which sets matter against spirit. This is certainly important in terms of learning to live in a more sustainable way, and also having a better relationship between religion and science, which recently have been in bitter conflict but were originally seen as part as the overall task of understanding God and the good world he has made. While sometimes he can overdo the syncretism, in most parts he is quite accurate in his judgement and I have few reservations about his work.

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