MATTHEW FOX (NO RELATION) AND THE REINVENTION OF WORK – INTRODUCTION
The following is from this webpage
“Matthew Fox is author of 28 books including Original Blessing, The Reinvention of Work, Creativity, and A New Reformation. He was a member of the Dominican Order for 34 years. He holds a doctorate (received summa cum laude) in the History and Theology of Spirituality from the Institut Catholique de Paris. Seeking to establish a pedagogy that was friendly to learning spirituality, he established an Institute in Culture and Creation Spirituality that operated for seven years at Mundelein College in Chicago and twelve years at Holy Names College in Oakland. For ten of those years at Holy Names College, Cardinal Ratzinger, (Ed.Note on 19 April 2005 he became Pope Benedict XVI) as chief Inquisitor and head of the Congregation of Doctrine and Faith (called the Office of the Holy Inquisition until 1965), tried to shut the program down. Ratzinger silenced Fox for one year in 1988 and forced him to step down as director. Three years later he expelled Fox from the Order and then had the program terminated at Holy Names College.
“Rather than disband his amazing and ecumenical faculty, Fox started his own University called University of Creation Spirituality nine years ago in Oakland, California. Fox was President and a member of the Board of Directors for nine years. He is currently lecturing, teaching and writing and is President of the non-profit that he created in 1984, Friends of Creation Spirituality. The principle objections from the Congregation of the Faith to Fox’s work were that he is a “feminist theologian;” that he calls God “Mother” (Fox has proven the medieval mystical tradition did exactly that); that he prefers “original blessing” to “original sin;” that he calls God “child”; that he associates too closely with Native Americans and people of the wikka tradition; that he does not condemn homosexuals; that he has replaced the naming of the spiritual journey as Purgation, Illumination and Union with the four paths of Creation Spirituality: The Via Positiva (joy, delight and awe); the Via Negativa (darkness, silence, suffering, letting go and letting be); the Via Creativa (creativity); and the Via Transformativa (justice, compassion, interdependence).”
The following is a review of The Reinvention of Work by Diane Schirf
“In The Reinvention of Work, Matthew Fox brings together the work of Eastern and Western mystics, ancient, medieval, and modern, to propose a new paradigm for how we work and what we do. … Fox explores the concept of work and how it can be healthier physically, emotionally, and intellectually, but primarily socially, environmentally, and spiritually. Fox believes that the Enlightenment and the industrial age have left us with a machine-centered, anthropocentric world that focuses on outer work and rewards at the cost of inner work and spirituality, and destroys rather than creates. Real wealth results from preserving the health of the planet, not in the artificiality of money or possessions. The result has been a world often at war, where the gaps between affluent and poor continue to spread, where the environmental health of non-industrialised nations is sacrificed for the comforts of the industrialised, and where the work that is available and that most people have serves machines and leaves the worker stressed, addicted to work, ill, angry and even violent, and unfulfilled intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually. He also recounts the stories of people who reinvent themselves through work, who are willing to sacrifice position and possessions to find an avocation that matters, like the man who gives up a high-paying position to become a fireman and who is ecstatic about the meaning it brings to his life. Fox carefully sets up all that is wrong with our modern concept of work and, indeed, life, since so much of who we are, how we feel, and how we live is tied up in what we do for a living, or what we mistakenly call “work.”
“To get billions of conditioned consumers (and their consumers-in-training children) to give up their increasingly complex lifestyles, comforts, and amusements in the interest of a healthier, more just world for all and for better personal mental and physical health requires a utopian change that most people will not embrace. As with the Woolgers in their book, The Goddess Within, Fox tries to find a movement in the mid-1990s that has not materialised yet. Generally, people do not choose to change; they are forced to. Perhaps someday, when the gaps have widened too far, and society and our home can no longer support our appetites (and the corresponding waste), we may be ready to listen to Fox and his adherents, at which point they will need to provide practical answers. What if there is imbalance between what people want to do and what needs to be done? In practical, everyday terms, what does the reinvention of work look like? And do I want to live long enough to experience the disasters that are likely to be required to bring it about?”
AFTER YOU HAVE FINISHED READING THIS, I SUGGEST THAT YOU READ QUOTES FROM THE REINVENTION OF WORK HERE.