The following interview appeared in the Italian Newspaper, Corriere della Sera , on Feb 17, 2011, the day that Matthew Fox’s Original Blessing appeared in Italy in Italian. It begins with a brief paragraph. The Italian interview was shortened so here, for English-speaking readers, is the fuller interview (the bracket signs are for parts left out in the Italian version). Photos included in the newspaper included Fox nailing 95 theses at the door in Wittenburg church.
“I Challenge the Church Like Luther”
Matthew Fox: Stop the obsession with sin: Rediscover St. Thomas Continue reading
Global Warming, Global Warning: Time to put Original Blessing Before Original Sin
A time of global warming is a time of global warning. It is time for humans to wake up and to grow up. And our religions and governments along with us. The paradigm shift from Original Sin to Original Blessing offers profound implications for our struggles for a healthy earth and for eco-justice. Allow me to articulate a few of those implications in this essay. Continue reading
The Return of the Black Madonna: A Sign of Our Times or
How the Black Madonna Is Shaking Us Up for the Twenty-First Century
Rev. Matthew Fox, Ph.D
© 2006 Matthew Fox
Every archetype has its seasons. They come and go according to the deepest, often unconscious, needs of the psyche both personal and collective. Today the Black Madonna is returning. She is coming, not going, and she is calling us to something new (and very ancient as well). The last time the Black Madonna played a major role in western culture and psyche was the twelfth century renaissance, a renaissance that the great historian M.D. Chenu said was the “only renaissance that worked in the West.”  It worked because it was grass roots. And from this renaissance was birthed the University, the Cathedral, the city itself. She brought with her a resacralization of culture and a vision that awakened the young. In short, it was the last time the goddess entered western culture in a major way.
In this essay I want to address what the Black Madonna archetype awakens in us and why she is so important for the twenty-first century. But before I do that, I want to tell a personal story of my first encounter with the Black Madonna. Continue reading
Original Blessing Twenty Five Year Later
I am grateful to Matt Henry for his ambition and imagination in drawing together so many writers and thinkers for a celebration of twenty-five years of Original Blessing. Because this project has been undertaken under a strict deadline, I have not read any of the essays contained herein—though I certainly look forward to reading them when the book appears. What I write therefore is not in the context of what the authors gathered here have given birth to. I do notice, however, that in my original Introduction, penned at Easter, 1983, I point out that each chapter or theme in this book is merely “an unfinished meditation that is only briefly sketched out” and invite the reader to develop the theology and the theme. Thus, a challenge was laid out twenty-five years ago that Matt Henry has taken up along with each of his writers and artists in this volume. Thank you, Matt, thank you fellow writers and artists. Continue reading
BP vs. Original Blessing
Every pelican we see in the Gulf coated with oil is an Original Blessing.
Every turtle we see drenched in gook is an Original Blessing.
All the shrimp beds and oyster hatcheries being poisoned by BP tar is an Original Blessing.
The sea itself, home to so many marvelous creatures large and small, is an Original Blessing.
“Blessing” is the theological word for “goodness.” Continue reading
Many years ago, after finishing doctoral studies in Paris, I spent a semester at the University of Munster in Germany. While there I lived in a Dominican convent which housed about six other Dominicans, one of whom was old and very strange and never appeared during the day time at meals or for any other reason. He seemed only to go out at night. One day I was asked to go in his room to fetch a book and I was amazed to see the books on his bookshelf (including Mein Kampf). I was especially amazed by a “holy card” on his prie dieu (a place where one kneels to pray). This “holy card” was the most gory I had ever seen, with Jesus depicted as thoroughly bloodied, beaten, abused and victimized. I later learned that this Dominican priest with the gory holy card was a self-appointed “chaplain to the Nazi’s of Munster”. The year was 1970. Continue reading
The Good News from Egypt
Isn’t the news on Egypt great? I am sure I was not the only observer with tears in his or her eyes all day yesterday hearing and watching the good news of the Egyptian uprising. How moving it is to see the young being brave and standing up for their rights and those of their country’s brothers and sisters! Continue reading
Retirement or Refirement?
This month I reached my sixty fifth birthday. I made the requisite pilgrimage to the Social Security Office in downtown Oakland, California where I have been living for the last twenty-two years to sign up for medicare and for a social security check. So much done.
But what is the bigger picture? What do I and the 79 million baby boomers who are rapidly closing in on their sixties really to make of our so-called ‘retirement’ years? Continue reading
On the Future of Religion
When one looks at the wars and rumors of wars abounding around the world—and the number that are religion-based or religion-fed—one cannot be optimistic about religion as we know it or the future of religion as we know it. I think the words of John the Baptist applied to the Christ in John’s gospel may apply here: “I must decrease and he must increase.” Religion may have to decrease in order that spirituality can increase. That is how I see the future of religion playing out. Continue reading
Leadership as a Spiritual Practice
The failures of leadership are everywhere to be seen in the globe today. Whether one speaks of the failure of Wall Street tycoons or its awol government regulators, or the failure of BP and its awol government regulators, or the failure of Catholic hierarchy (including the Vatican) in the pedophile priest scandal, or the failure of legislators to free themselves of ideologies and marriages to uncritical power brokers, it seems that we are living through a colossal failure of leadership in these early years of the twenty-first century. Continue reading