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Heresy or Hope? - Lawrence Osborn

Part I

A Critique of Matthew Fox’s Creation Spirituality


In the past decade the Dominican priest Matthew Fox has achieved a remarkable degree of popularity or, at least, notoriety. He has been variously described as ‘one of the best-loved Catholic theologians in the United States’ (Newman 1992, 5), dismissed as ‘an entertainer, not a serious theologian’ (Goodall & Reader 1992, 105) and accused of providing ‘an ideological preparation for . . . a potential new Holocaust’ (Brearley 1989, 48).

Fox joined the Dominicans in 1960. After his ordination to the priesthood in 1967 he continued his studies at the Institut Catholique in Paris under the historian of Catholic spirituality, M-D Chenu. He returned to the United States in 1970 and for several years taught at his old college, the Aquinas Institute. It was during this period that he wrote his first works calling for a new approach to Christian spirituality.

In 1977 this call for a new spirituality was given institutional expression in an Institute in Culture and Creation Spirituality. His ideas received a further boost in 1981 when he co-founded the publishing company, Bear and Company.

However, as Fox’s popularity increased so did doubts about his orthodoxy. Matters came to a head in 1984 when a conservative Catholic pressure group began picketing his lectures and complained to the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. In July 1984, the head of the congregation, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, responded by ordering the Dominicans to investigate Fox.

A commission of enquiry was duly set up and its report, published in May 1985, found in Fox’s favour. In December of that year Cardinal Ratzinger rejected the commission’s findings. Fox’s Provincial responded by defending him against the cardinal’s accusations.

In September 1987 Cardinal Ratzinger again went on the offensive with a document summarising his objections to Fox’s theology. Again his Provincial leapt to Fox’s defence. But this time he was ordered to take disciplinary action: a move which led to the silencing of Fox during 1989.

Ironically (but predictably), far from stifling Fox’s creation spirituality this had the effect of making Fox more popular than ever. At a stroke Cardinal Ratzinger had elevated Fox to a hall of fame containing such worthies as Teilhard de Chardin and Leonardo Boff.

For years the Dominican Order has been supportive of Fox. However he was finally expelled from the Order early in 1993 as a result of his persistent refusal to obey an order to return to the provincial mother house. Earlier this year he cut his remaining ties with Rome when he was welcomed in the Episcopalian Church by Bishop Swing of San Francisco.

The controversy surrounding Matthew Fox has certainly not harmed the popularity of creation spirituality. On the contrary the movement goes from strength to strength with Fox’s centre in California forming an international base from which graduates go out to spread the good news worldwide. In the UK there is a flourishing Centre for Creation Spirituality based at St James’s Piccadilly which publishes its own journal and sponsors conferences and workshops on related issues.

What is creation spirituality?


Creation spirituality has an immediate attraction for all who are unhappy with the way in which the Christian churches have accommodated themselves to modern western culture.

Fox is outspoken in his opposition to the forces driving the environmental crisis. But he sees this as just one symptom of a much more widespread spiritual malaise. Other symptoms highlighted by Fox include the death of mysticism and creativity, the reduction of wisdom to information, the destruction of native cultures by the homogenizing forces of Modernity and the rise of various kinds of fundamentalism.

Creation spirituality is Matthew Fox’s attempt to articulate a constructive response to these destructive powers. However it did not spring fully formed from Fox’s pen. It is possible to trace the gradual development of what is now called creation spirituality over a period of about a decade.

His first book, originally published in 1972, identified the American cultural crisis as a spiritual crisis (Fox 1976). In it he argued that an adequate spiritual response could only be achieved by a union of mysticism and prophecy: spiritual experience and social justice.

There was nothing particularly new about this (e.g., decades earlier Bonhoeffer had suggested that the way forward for Christianity lay through a combination of prayer and righteous action). However, what was striking about this book was Fox’s understanding of mysticism. Far from being a passive world-denying inwardness, this was a mysticism for sensual extraverts; a mysticism understood as the creative enjoyment of life.

This sensual mysticism was further developed in Fox’s next book. Here he picks up the astrological imagery of a transition from the Age of Pisces to that of Aqua­rius.

Aquarian spirituality entails a reaffirmation of bodies and sensuality. The goal of mysticism is ecstasy or, as the first chapter suggests, getting high. Amongst the strategies explored are ‘chants . . ., fasting, abstinence, drugs, drink, celibacy, Yoga and Zen exercises, TM, biofeedback’ (Fox 1981, 55). The prophetic dimension is not entirely omitted but certainly takes second place to sensuality. This imbalance is redressed in a later publication (Fox 1979).

Four paths of Fox


Thus all the elements of creation spirituality were in place by the mid-1970s. However, it first emerges in its mature form with the publication of Fox’s edition of Meister Eckhart’s sermons (Fox 1980).

He structures this interpretation of Eckhart according to a fourfold structure: creation; letting go and letting be; breakthrough and giving birth to self and God; the new creation: compassion and social justice. This same structure later became the framework for Original Blessing (Fox 1983) and the interpretative scheme through which he understands the Christian tradition.

The first path, the via positiva, is the path of befriending creation. In contrast to what he argues is the dominant Christian emphasis on sin and redemption, Fox calls for us to focus on God’s first act: creation. The material world was intended to be a blessing not a curse. It is God’s good gift to us and all creatures, to be enjoyed responsibly; not a prison which separates the soul from God.

The second path, the via negativa, is the path of befriending darkness. This involves letting go of our images and words to find God in silence and the luminous darkness of Christian mysticism. In it, Fox recalls us to the true function of asceticism: not a denial of the world and the body but a purification of the senses.

With the third path, the via creativa, we move into a more active mode. This is the path of befriending creativity. Like many western Christians, Fox identifies the human capacity for creativity with the divine image. Thus he is also able to call it it ‘befriending our divinity.’ This path stresses the value of artistic activity as a form of meditation. But Fox does not limit creativity to what is conventionally understood as art. This would be to introduce a divisive elitism into spirituality. On the contrary, Fox presents the whole of life as a work of art to be undertaken creatively for the glorifying of God and the beautifying of God’s good creation.

The fourth path, the via transformativa, brings us back to Fox’s original emphasis on a prophetic concern for social justice. This is the path of ‘befriending new creation’, the path of compassion. It calls us to look outwards to the world around us, marred as it is by the fruits of false ideologies. It calls upon us to work out our Christian faith in the very practical activity of seeking personal, social and ecological justice.

These four paths must be taken together. They are not four alternative modes of spirituality. Nor are they four steps in an ascent to God. Fox’s preferred metaphor is that of a spiral in which each of the paths enriches and is enriched by the others.

Presented in these traditional terms, Fox’s creation spirituality would seem to be an attractive option. Why then has it generated such opposition? Is it just that he makes unfortunate use of outrageous metaphors in his efforts to shake us out of our complacency? Is it simply that his style grates on the ears of the more sober members of the Christian community?

A religious paradigm shift


I wish to suggest that to read Fox merely as a contemporary restatement of traditional themes is to miss a fundamental feature of his entire programme. Fox has set his sights upon something far more radical than a reform of contemporary Catholic spirituality. For example, speaking of modern Roman Catholic worship, he asserts that ‘Liturgy in its present context is not redeemable’ (Fox 1988, 216). In fact, what he wants is nothing less than a paradigm shift:

‘Augustine has failed to solve the problems of religion for the West, and thus, it is time to give a less sexist, less dualistic, less anthropocentric religious paradigm its chance. This paradigm can be found in a creation-centered mysticism.’ (Fox 1988, 80)

In recent years the idea that culture develops through a process of radical changes of emphasis (or paradigm shifts) rather than through gradual progress or evolution has become widespread. It is widely accepted that Modernity has, on balance, created more problems than it has solved. Thus many intellectuals are looking for the emergence of a post-modern culture. On a more popular level, the idea that we are undergoing a transition from one cultural epoch to another is a fundamental tenet of the New Age movement. We have already noted Fox’s use of the New Age imagery of Piscean and Aquarian ages. In a pamphlet, co-authored with Brian Swimme, he uses another popular New Age image: that of the emergence of a global civilization (Fox & Swimme 1982). He has also spoken of interpreting Christianity for a postmodern era (Fox 1992, 27ff).

The popularity of this concept of paradigm shifts owes a great deal to the work of Thomas Kuhn, an American historian of science. In his studies of the way in which the natural sciences have developed, he argues convincingly for development by wholesale transformation of perspective rather than a gradual organic development: science proceeds by revolutions. He defines a paradigm as ‘the entire constellation of beliefs, values, techniques, and so on shared by the members of a given community’ (Kuhn 1970, 175).

Thus paradigm change is far more radical than mere reform. It is, in fact, a change in world-view. Competing paradigms are simply incommensurable. According to Kuhn, ‘Like the choice between competing political institutions, that between competing paradigms proves to be a choice between incompatible modes of community life’ (Kuhn 1970, 94). Old concepts take on new meanings, e.g., ‘Chemists could not . . . simply accept Dalton’s theory on the evidence, for much of that was still negative. Instead, even after accepting the theory, they still had to beat nature into line . . . When it was done, even the percentage composition of well-known compounds was different. The data themselves had changed’ (Kuhn 1970, 135).

This suggests that when Fox speaks of a new religious paradigm he is signalling that nothing can be taken for granted. We cannot simply assume that we know what he means when he uses terms like God, Jesus Christ or Holy Spirit! The terminology may be familiar while the content it is given is entirely novel.

From fall / redemption to creation


This is a natural starting point for any examination of Fox’s proposed paradigm shift since Fox himself often presents it as the most fundamental part of his programme. According to Fox, the problems confronting western culture and religion are rooted in a faulty perception of the cosmos.

Fox rejects the Augustinian conception of original sin. He denies that human nature is inherently disordered. Instead we enter sinless into a broken world. It is our assimilation to that world which imposes upon us an ‘original sin mentality’ (Fox 1988, 29).

According to Fox the cause of that brokenness is the sin behind sin, namely, dualism (Fox 1983, 214). Thus he identifies all forms of dualism as original sin (Fox 1984, 88).

As is well known, dualism opposes the rational subject to the material object. Fox accuses it of encouraging rationalism, individualism, anthropocentrism, reductionism and determinism. A dualistic perspective suppresses creativity (which, as we shall see, is particularly important to Fox). Furthermore, it results in master-slave relationships; relationships characterized by ‘power-over’ rather than ‘power-from-within.’

Fox’s language is extravagant and, at times, hard to take seriously. Is it really true, as he often seems to suggest, that all the evils of the modern world may be traced to the faulty theology of Augustine? Even if we trace the roots of Augustine’s ‘errors’ back to Plato or as far back as the emergence of patriarchy, it seems inherently unlikely that prior to such a time the human race enjoyed a paradisial existence. To suggest, with Fox, that dualism is the root of evil seems to credit human ideas with far too much power.

Salvation as holism


If our ‘fall’ can be identified with the emergence of a faulty perception of the world, it follows that an idea can save us: ‘Creation-centered spirituality names dualism as original sin and offers . . . a wonderful alternative. For it defines salvation as holism, as making whole, making one, and therefore making healthy, holy, and happy’ (Fox 1984, 88).

By looking away from ourselves to creation as a whole we become aware of the biological reality of interconnectedness. Taken as a metaphysical principle, this concept provides Fox with the necessary corrective to dualism and separation.

Everything is related to everything else. Awareness of the interrelatedness of all reality encourages us to delight in creation, unblocks the wellsprings of creativity and enables communal healing to take place.

Because of this emphasis Fox is sometimes wrongly accused of advocating a monistic worldview (e.g., Brow 1989, 28). However, Fox insists on a dialectical approach to reality. Faced with deciding which is prior, the one or the many, Fox would want to say ‘both.’ In the words of his colleague Starhawk, ‘All things are one, yet each is separate, individual, unique’ (Starhawk 1979, 25).

It is certainly possible to reconcile such a view of reality with orthodox Christian theology. Elsewhere I have argued that a dynamic trinitarianism based on Eastern Orthodox insights would lead quite naturally to a holistic understanding of creation (albeit one in which there remained an ontological gulf between Creator and created).

More problematic is the suggestion that salvation is merely a matter of adopting a different perspective. This is, strictly speaking, a gnostic view of salvation. When the theologians of the early Church (including Fox’s arch- enemy, Augustine) rejected gnosticism, it was not just because of its dualism. Equally important was the Christian insistence that sin and evil touch more than the merely human understanding. Knowledge of the good does not ensure that I will choose to do the good.

From Theism to Panentheism


Corresponding to Fox’s shift from fall/redemption to creation is an equally radical change in the western understanding of God: a shift from theism to panentheism.

Theism is the dominant understanding of God within Judaism, Christianity and Islam. It is a blanket term which is capable of covering a wide range of interpretations from the detached watchmaker of the deists, through an interventionist deity (the most popular interpretation in those cultures most affected by the Enlightenment) to a God who is intimately involved in every aspect of creation. However, there are certain featrues common to all forms of theism, namely, the transcendence of God and the notion that creation is a voluntary divine act. Together, these imply that, if such a God is related in any way to creation, it must be a personal relationship.

According to Fox such a view is incorrigibly dualistic. It opposes creatures here to a God ‘out there’: ‘The idea that god is ‹out there“ is probably the ultimate dualism . . . All theism sets up a model or paradigm of people here and God ‹out there.“ All theisms are about subject/object relationships to God’ (Fox 1983, 89).

In rejecting a subject/object relationship with God, Fox appears to be denying the possibility of any personal relationship with God. Elsewhere he writes, ‘in a panentheistic world view there is no other. God is not other . . .’ (Fox 1984, 100).



Fox feels that to settle for a voluntary personal relationship between God and the world is inadequate. The metaphysical principle of interconnectedness must govern this relationship as well as the relationships between creatures. Thus Fox presents panentheism as the only adequate way to ensure an intimate relationship between God and the world (Fox 1988, 134).

Panentheism has been popularized by process theologians as a way of distinguishing their position from pantheism. Thus one leading process theologian defines it as ‘the doctrine that all is in God. It is distinguished from pantheism, which identifies God with the totality or as the unity of the totality, for it holds that God’s inclusion of the world does not exhaust the reality of God’ (Cobb 1983, 423).

Thus God is the ultimate environment of creation: the matrix of the world. As Fox points out, such a concept of God lends itself to maternal imagery (Fox 1983, 223), e.g., he speaks of the environment as a divine womb (Fox 1984, 84).

The relationship between God and creation which results from this conception of God may be described in dynamic terms as a process of flow and return. Beginning from its enclosure in the divine, creation flows out into multiplicity and returns to unity. This is traditionally known as emanationism and Fox takes over traditional emanationist imagery from the mediaeval mystic Hildegard of Bingen: ‘every ray of God is God (though not all of God). Thus, every creature is a ray of God, a radiance of God, a divine expression of God’ (Fox 1988, 111). However, he is reluctant to admit this since emanationism is characteristic of the Neoplatonism he finds so distasteful in Augustine.

Alternatively, the God-world relationship envisaged by panentheism may be presented by means of an analogy with the relationship between mind and body (Fox 1991, 63-65). However, there are difficulties with this analogy. It may seem attractive to say God is related to the world as mind is to body. But how is mind related to body? This is one of the most intractable problems of western philosophy. In using this analogy, Fox is simply transposing that problem into theology.

Fox clearly cannot accept a dualistic solution. Similarly he claims to reject a pantheistic solution in which God and world are co-equal, different aspects of the one reality. Presumably he would be equally dissatisfied with a materialistic solution which would deny ultimate reality to mind and God. But the remaining alternative would give mind and God a priority over physical reality which would be equally unpalatable. In practice, the easiest option for panentheists is to slide towards an unacknowledged pantheism.

Creativity and compassion


Fox’s tendency to emanationism is also clear from his account of creativity and compassion. These are polar aspects of Fox’s God: the twin forces which drive cosmogenesis.

Fox frequently refers to dabhar, a Hebrew word which is usually translated as ‘word’ but which Fox prefers to interpret as the creative energy of God (Fox 1983, 37, 38). For Fox, this divine creativity is revealed primarily in creation itself (Fox 1983, 38). Thus the universe becomes the primal mystery into which the mystic must enter (Fox 1988, 40).

This primordial revelation in nature takes priority over any written revelations. Thus theology must be built upon a view of nature (Fox & Swimme 1982, 30f). In saying this, Fox is simply following in the footsteps of Roman Catholic tradition since Aquinas. However, as Barth pointed out, the danger with such an approach is that is vulnerable to distortion: that which is self-evidently obvious to a culture is regarded as natural and through natural theology may be projected onto God.

By rejecting the association of dabhar with ‘word’, Fox detaches it from its association with morality and order. It becomes the unqualified amoral creative self-outpouring of God: it is the force that drives the outward movement of divine emanation. Small wonder that the imagery of giving birth should seem so appropriate.

The self-outpouring of divine creativity is balanced by compassion. Fox rejects both the popular understanding of compassion as ‘feeling sorry for others’ and the conventional theological understanding of it as ‘entirely free and gracious, bestowing rather than recognizing and desiring goodness and lovableness’ (McDonagh 1983, 341). ‘Compassion as feeling sorry for others is explicitly rejected in creation theology precisely because in a panentheistic world view there is no other’ (Fox 1984, 100). The difficulty with this move is that the rejection of otherness risks undermining the possibility of personal relatedness.

Instead Fox sees compassion as ‘an awareness of the interconnectedness of all things’ which entails ‘the struggle for justice or for seeing the balance to things restored when it is lost’ (Fox 1984, 100). The compassionate one is aware of his or her relatedness, of his or her need for others. Hence it motivates the struggle to achieve balance or harmony. Compassion is the force that overcomes dualism, the force that unites the many.

Elsewhere Fox describes this force as Mother Love (e.g., Fox 1983, 225). In a move which reminds us that he is seeking nothing less than a religious paradigm shift he also uses the concept as the basis of a redefinition of grace (Fox 1984, 99). Instead of being God’s free gift of himself to be personally related to the creature, it becomes deity’s awareness of its need for the creature and the related activity to ensure a harmonious balance between deity and creature.

These twin forces of compassion and creativity come together in another concept which emerges from time to time in Fox’s thought, namely, eros. He sum­marises this as ‘love of life’ (Fox 1983, 9, 55). It is explictly related to dabhar, creativity. But he also relates it to the desire or lust that unites creation when he speaks of cosmic unity as ‘the union of love’ (Fox 1988, 50) or relates human erotic love to desire for the Cosmic Christ (Fox 1988, 165). In summary, Fox’s eros is the power of fertility (Fox 1983, 53) in both its outpouring, ejaculative, aspect and its unitive, copulative, aspect.

This is by no means a new concept. On the contrary, eros is a recurring feature of Graeco-Roman spirituality. In any world-view which sees the cosmos as an organism rather than a mechanism sexual reproduction is a very natural metaphor for cosmogenesis. Plato and his successors extended the concept so that it became the force which unites this world of multiplicity with the divine One (Armstrong 1986, 86). Thus philosophy came to be seen as a fundamentally erotic pursuit!

Nor was this the exclusive preserve of pagan philosophers. Eros enters Christian theology primarily through the work of two theologians, Augustine and Pseudo-Dionysius. In his classic work on the subject Anders Nygren has argued that Augustine’s concept of caritas was, in fact, a novel fusion of eros and agape (the New Testament concept of gracious divine love). Similarly Oliver O’Donovan can argue that ‘Augustine stands in a tradition of classical cosmology which was used to explaining the motions of the heavens by the attraction of like to like, an attraction described as philia or eros, and he sees the love of man for God as a special case of the same attraction’ (O’Donovan 1980, 19). Fox would repudiate any connection with Augustine. However, he does admit that two of the theologians whom he most admires (Aquinas and Eckhart) were influenced by Pseudo-Dionysius. Dionysius goes even further than Augustine, identifying eros with agape (Beierwaltes 1986, 310). Thus the historian of ideas, Arthur Lovejoy, can argue that ‘God’s ‹love,“ . . . in medieval writers consists primarily rather in the creative or generative than in the redemptive or providential office of deity’ (Lovejoy 1936, 67).

It should be noted that this is a point of affinity between Fox and contemporary pagan thought. For example, his colleague Starhawk describes cosmogenesis in the following terms,

‘The Goddess falls in love with Herself, drawing forth her own emanation, which takes on a life of its own. Love of self for self is the creative force of the universe. Desire is the primal energy, and that energy is erotic: the attraction of lover to beloved, of planet to star, the lust of electron for proton. Love is the glue that holds the world together.’ (Starhawk 1979, 25)

Fox’s Cosmic Christ


This is another good example of Fox working hard to redefine traditional Christian terminology. At the beginning of his book The Coming of the Cosmic Christ he represents his paradigm shift in religion as ‘a shift from the ‹quest for the historical Jesus“ to the ‹quest for the Cosmic Christ“’ (Fox 1988, 2).

Contrary to some of the over-reactions against Fox’s spirituality, there is a clear Cosmic Christ tradition within the New Testament as well as in various Christian traditions. However, where this motif occurs, the Cosmic Christ is always clearly identified with the historical Jesus.

For Fox the Cosmic Christ is first and foremost a symbol or archetype which ‘encourages us to reverence our origins’ and also ‘our divinity and our responsibility as co-creators’ (Fox 1988, 1). It is an expression of the divinity of all creation, since all creation is marked with the image of God (Fox 1988, 140, 241). More especially, it is an expression of our divinity. At one point he asks, ‘Is the Cosmic Christ not an archetype about how we are all in some way anointed kings, queens, priests, and messiahs?’ (Fox 1988, 242). We are all Cosmic Christs (Fox 1988, 137, 235).

But how does this concept express the divinity of ourselves and the cosmos? In seeking to name the Cosmic Christ more clearly, Fox highlights a number of familiar features: coherence (Fox 1988, 135), interconnectedness (Fox 1988, 141), (sexual) union (Fox 1988, 164ff) and creativity (Fox 1988, 148, 202). He effectively identifies the Cosmic Christ with the divine eros: it is a symbol for the divine power of fertility which permeates the universe and drives its evolution.

How does this Cosmic Christ relate to the historical Jesus? Fox insists that they are interdependent, that we cannot divorce the two (Fox 1988, 141). However, it appears that they are interdependent only in the same sense that Christ and all creation are interdependent. Fox is equally insistent that Christ is immanent in all creatures (Fox 1988, 2). Jesus was an incarnation of the Cosmic Christ. Thus he asks, ‘Does the fact that the Christ became incarnate in Jesus exclude the Christ’s becoming incarnate in others – Lao-Tzu or Buddha or Moses or Sarah or Sojourner Truth or Gandhi or me or you?’ and gives the answer ‘Just the opposite is the case’ (Fox 1988, 235). However, Christ’s incarnation in Jesus was special – it was an examplary incarnation (Fox 1988, 154).

In spite of his attempts to maintain that there is something special about the relationship between Jesus and the Christ, Fox cannot hide the fact that Jesus was only one agent or vehicle of the Cosmic Christ (Fox 1988, 152). His view of Jesus and the Christ is reminiscent of the classical Christological heresy of adoptionism as well as of many anthroposophical and New Age discussions of the Christ (cf., Osborn 1992, 143-52).

Divinization of the cosmos


Fox’s emanationism means that there is an ontological continuity (a continuity of being or substance or essence) between God and the world. Thus the cosmos is essentially divine. It may not exhaust what is meant by ‘God’ but when we speak of the cosmos we are, according to this view, speaking of an aspect of God. For Fox, this is what is meant by the term ‘omnipresence’ (Fox 1988, 8).

Fox expresses this continuity in a variety of ways but one of the most interesting (given contemporary developments in western culture and religion) is surely the metaphor of ‘Mother Earth.’ For Fox, she is a unique example of the divinity of all creatures (Fox 1988, 147). He presents her as a conscious agent, suffering at the hands of an exploitative human race but capable of defending herself and executing judgment upon us in her own time (Fox 1988, 18).

Fox compares the sufferings of Mother Earth with those of Jesus upon the Cross. Both the crucifixion and eco-cide are examples of the same crime: matricide. We are killing Mother Earth. The crucifixion is an example of matricide because we are assured that what the Jewish and Roman authorities really objected to was Jesus’ teaching about the motherhood of God (Fox 1988, 148)! This identification of Mother Earth with Jesus leads Fox to a grotesque reinterpretation of the eucharist. According to Fox, we should understand it as a celebration of the dying and rising of Mother Earth (Fox 1988, 149ff): it is the ‘sacrament of the wounded earth’ (Fox 1988, 214).

Fox can make this identification of Mother Earth with Jesus because he has already identified her with the Cosmic Christ: ‘Like the risen Jesus she [Mother Earth] has the power to walk through closed doors, through the closed hearts of the people to wish them peace, to breath the common breath (ruah) of life upon them as the source of rebirth and creativity’ (Fox 1988, 145). She is the source of creativity and life. In other words, she is another symbol of the divine eros.


The second part of Lawrece Osborn's article will be brought in the next issue of Update & Dialog



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Lawrence Osborn

was born in 1954. He is a physical scientist turned theologian and holds more than one academic degree in both fields. For the past five years he has worked with The Gospel and our Culture, an ecumenical programme inspired by the writings of Bishop Lesslie Newbegin and dedicated to the development of a missionary perspective on contemporary western culture. His interest in the work of Matthew Fox stems from his own doctoral research on the place of the natural world in Christian theology and subsequent research on the New Age movement. He is the author of several books, including Angels of Light? The Challenge of New Age Spirituality (London, 1992) and Guardians of Creation: Nature in theology and the Christian life (Leicester, 1993).