US seminars to offer a radical vision of Christianity

By staff writers
20 Feb 2013

US theologian/activist Matthew Fox and author Andrew Harvey have launched a three-year series of workshops on what they call "radical, relevant Christianity".

During 'The Christ Path Seminars', each weekend focuses on a crucial theological, mystical, social or political issue, and addresses responses to today’s religious crises: "tools to cultivate critical dialogue and creative initiatives for spiritual and social transformation", as its originators put it.

The workshops feature a lineup of well-known guest speakers, including eco-philosopher Joanna Macy, Biblical scholar Bruce Chilton, contemplative activist Adam Bucko, cosmologist Brian Swimme, economist David Korten, healer/author Caroline Myss, and more.

Matthew Fox, who founded the Friends of Creation Spirituality and the University of Creation Spirituality, says: “Andrew and I feel that a healthy Cosmic Christ spirituality—one that fuses action and contemplation, mysticism and prophecy, masculine and feminine, science and consciousness—can make all the difference. The revolution unleashed by Jesus might still happen even with time running out, indeed especially with time running out.”

Formerly a member of the Dominican Order within the Roman Catholic Church, Matthew Fox is now a priest of the Episcopal (Anglican) Church in the USA.

Fox was an early and influential exponent of a movement that came to be known as Creation Spirituality, drawing 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.

Creation Spirituality has been strongly aligned with contemporary ecological and environmental movements and also embraces numerous spiritual traditions around the world, including Buddhism, Judaism, Sufism, and Native American spirituality, with a focus on what some call "deep ecumenism".

Matthew Fox is a controversial figure. His detractors accuse him of gnosticism, syncretism and dissolving incarnation into cosmic mysticism. His supporters say that he is bringing back ancient wisdom and challenging the Greek dualism that has corrupted so much later Christian thinking.

The 12 workshops will be offered both on-site at locations around the United States, and online by live-streaming. The first event, “Cosmic Christ and the New Humanity,” takes place from 8-10 March 2013 at the former location of the University of Creation Spirituality in Oakland, CA, and features guest speaker Joanna Macy.

To make the workshops accessible to the widest possible audience, the Christ Path Seminar is being presented as "an experiment in the emerging gift economy".

This means that participants are requested to contribute a minimal registration fee of $50 (whether they are attending on-site or online). At the weekend’s conclusion, participants will be invited either to donate as they are able, to cover the real expenses of the seminar, or to move the gift forward through some other way of their choosing.

* For more information and to register, visit www.christpathseminar.org.

[Ekk/3]

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