The contemporary Italian philosopher and psychologist (and former priest) Vito Mancuso wrote a very rich introduction to my book Original blessing when it was translated into Italian. In Italian, the name was changed to, In principio era la gioia, “In the beginning there was joy,” because, as the translator explained to me, the word “blessing” in Italian came to mean something very ecclesiastical, the blessing of a priest or a pope, so the word lost its original meaning.
Mancuso describes the path from the religion of fall redemption to creation spirituality, which includes the Via Positiva, as follows:
If we put good instead of evil, good instead of male action (or sin), joy instead of sadness, a new pedagogy is almost automatically born, for which our society, so closed and depressed, has an indescribable need.
Is our society closed and depressed?
Every child has a mystical spark, an ability of wonderful origin. It is this dimension that pedagogy must cultivate, awakening in each of us the recognition of the primal joy of being, of being in the world as an innocent part of creation.
Mancuso uses the term “Cosmocentric”, or “cosmocentric” to describe the journey and trip we are taking “amortiocentric”, or “sin-centered” to describe its antithesis. A Journey from the Fall/Redemption to Creation Spirituality. He also addresses the martyr and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer as follows:
Bonhoeffer criticized the theology of God as a “gap” when he shed light on the falsity of a sin-centered Christianity that constantly reminds us of the weakness of humanity in its natural state, for which “if man is unable to bring humanity to account or label his happiness as disaster, his health as a disease, his vitality as despair, then [our theology] it’s for nothing.” He expressed the desire for a theology that knows how to “speak of God not as a limit, but as a center; not weakness, but strength; not in relation to death and guilt, but to the life and goodness of mankind.’
Bahnhofer would have been satisfied with Fox’s cosmocentric spirituality and would have read this book with pleasure.
See Matthew Fox, The Original Blessing: The Initial Basis of Creation Spirituality and In principio era la gioia, P. vii-xiii.
See also Matthew Fox: Major works on the spirituality of creation.
To read the transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.
Banner: “The Milky Way Into Darkness: I’ve Been Waiting For It.” Location: Felita, Italy. Author’s photo Errico Boch on Unsplash
Inquiries for contemplation
Do you agree with Bonhoeffer about what causes despair in religion? And do you find the terms “cosmocentric” as opposed to “sin-centered” to be useful language in regards to looking at the world as holy?
In this book, Matthew Fox lays out a whole new direction for Christianity—a direction that is actually very ancient and very much based on Jewish thought (the fact that Jesus was Jewish is often overlooked in Christian theology). Here Fox sets forth the four paths of creative spirituality, the Vias Positiva, Negativa, Creativa, and Transformativa, in an expanded and deeply elaborated form.
“Original blessing makes available to Christendom and the human community a radical cure for all gloomy and derogatory views of the natural world, wherever they arise.’
– Thomas Berry, author, Dream of the Earth; Great work; co-author World history
Matthew Fox: Essential Writings on Creation Spirituality
To describe the life and work of Matthew Fox would be a difficult task for anyone but his colleague Dr. Charles Burak, who cooperated fully with his subject. Fox has devoted 50 years to developing and teaching the tradition Creating spirituality and in so doing reinvented forms of education and worship. His more than 40 books, translated into 78 languages, span modern science and the world’s spiritual traditions and have awakened millions of people to the neglected earthly mystical tradition of the West. Main works begins with an examination of the influences on Fox’s life and spirituality, then 10 chapters present selections from all of Fox’s major writings.
“The critical insight, creative connections, and centrality of Matthew Fox’s writings and teachings are unmatched for the radical renewal of Christianity.” ~~ Richard Rohr, OFM.