Creation Spirituality

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Matthew Fox (born 1940) is an American Episcopal priest and theologian.[1]

Fox was an early and influential exponent of a movement that came to be known as Creation Spirituality, a movement that draws inspiration from the mystical philosophies of such medieval Catholic visionaries as Hildegard of Bingen, Thomas Aquinas,Saint Francis of Assisi, Julian of Norwich, Dante Alighieri, Meister Eckhart and Nicholas of Cusa, as well as the wisdom traditions of Christian scriptures, following traditions that some scholars say were first laid out by Jesus.[2]

Creation Spirituality also is aligned strongly with ecological and environmental movements of the late 20th century and with a focus on “deep ecumenism” that embraces numerous spiritual traditions around the world, including Buddhism, Judaism, Sufism, and Native American teachings.

Fox has written 30 books that have sold millions of copies and by the mid 1990s had attracted a "huge and diverse following".[3]

Fox was likened by academic theologians in one New York Times article to the controversial and influential 20th century Jesuit priest, philosopher and paleontologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, particularly for his interpretations of issues such as the doctrine of original sin and the Cosmic Christ and for the resulting conflicts with church authorities.

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Personal life

Fox, originally named Timothy James Fox, was born in Madison, Wisconsin. In 1967, when he entered the Roman Catholic Church's Order of Preachers (the Dominican order) he was given the name Matthew Timothy Fox, his "name in religion." He received masters degrees in both philosophy and theology from the Aquinas Institute of Theology and later earned a Ph.D. in spirituality (graduating summa cum laude) from the Institut Catholique de Paris. After receiving his Ph.D., Fox began teaching at a series of Catholic universities, beginning in 1972 in Chicago with Barat College of the Sacred Heart (later purchased by DePaul University and subsequently closed). In 1976, he moved to Chicago’s Mundelein College (now part of Loyola University), to start the Institute of Culture and Creation Spirituality, which developed an alternative pedagogy whose divergences from Catholic orthodox theology eventually would lead to severe conflict with church authorities. The institute’s programs integrated such training as “art as meditation” and “body prayer” with an intention to recreate for modern practitioners the visceral, emotional and intellectual connections that early church mystics had with their faith. In 1983, Fox moved The Institute of Culture and Creation Spirituality to Oakland and began teaching at Holy Names University, where he was a professor for 12 years.[4]

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