Matthew Fox (b. 1940) is an internationally acclaimed theologian who was a member of the Dominican Order for 34 years. He holds a doctorate, summa cum laude, in the history and theology of spirituality from the Institut Catholique de Paris.
Seeking to establish a new pedagogy for learning spirituality that was grounded in an effort to reawaken the West to its own mystical traditions in such figures as Hildegard of Bingen, Meister Eckhart and the mysticism of Thomas Aquinas, as well as interacting with contemporary scientists who are also mystics, Fox founded the Institute in Culture and Creation Spirituality.
ICCS operated for seven years at Mundelein College in Chicago, and then for another twelve years at Holy Names College in Oakland, where his curriculum and teachings then became a chief target of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. Ratzinger, John Paul II’s newly appointed chief Inquisitor and head of the Congregation of Doctrine and Faith (called the Office of the Holy Inquisition until 1965), spent 12 years maneuvering to shut the program down. Eventually, in a series of moves widely covered by the world media, Ratzinger silenced Fox for one year in 1988 and ultimately forced him to step down as director of ICCS. Three years later he expelled Fox from the Order, resulting in the termination of the program at Holy Names College.
Fox was then welcomed into the Anglican communion by Bishop William Swing of the Episcopal Diocese of Northern California, where he has been a priest since 1993. Rather than disband his amazing and ecumenical faculty, Fox started his own University called the University of Creation Spirituality where it thrived until 2007. Fox has taught at Stanford University, Vancouver School of Theology, the Association for Transpersonal Psychology, California Institute of Integral Studies among other places. He is currently visiting scholar with the Academy for the Love of Learning headquartered in Santa Fe, New Mexico. For two years he has run a very successful educational pilot project for inner city teenagers in Oakland, California, called “YELLAWE” which is succeeding in reaching students who are most apt to drop out of school.
He is author of 28 books which have sold more than 1.5 million copies in 42 languages. His bestselling works in the U.S. include: Original Blessing (350,000 copies sold); A Spirituality Named Compassion (150,000 sold); The Coming of the Cosmic Christ 100,000+ sold) and Prayer: A Radical Response to Life (formerly, “On Becoming a Musical, Mystical Bear—160,000 copies sold). His books have received numerous awards and he is recipient of the Peace Abbey Courage of Conscience Award of which other recipients have included the Dalai Lama, Mother Theresa, Rosa Parks and Maya Angelou. He is also a recipient of the Ghandi-King-Ikeda Award from Morehouse College International Chapel that is awarded for dedication to peace, unity, non-violence and justice. He has led a renewal of liturgical forms with “The Cosmic Mass” that mixes dance, techno and live music, dj, vj, rap and contemporary art forms with the western liturgical tradition. Many people have been trained in celebrating these post-modern forms of worship. Canadian television filmed the Mass and ran it on prime time and 800,000 persons saw the presentation. Brazilian television also ran a segment on the Mass.
His media exposure includes the following: New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, Yoga Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, Oakland Tribune, Capitol Times, New Age Journal, Utne Reader, Spirituality and Health, Tikkun, Science of Mind, San Jose Mercury News, Chicago Tribune, Toronto Star, San Francisco Weekly, East Bay Times, Washington Post, National Catholic Reporter, Resurgence, The Tablet, The Independent (London), The Guardian, YES! Magazine, Caduceus Journal, The Advocate, the Today Show, BBC, Canadian television, Brazilian television. German Television covered his challenge to the Papacy of Benedict XVI in his nailing of 95 new theses for reformation on the Wittenburg door in the spring of 2005. He was part of the acclaimed series, “Saving Jesus,” produced by livingthequestions.com.
About Matthew Fox
“Traditionally, when big government in the church tries to silence a good soul, it indicates that that soul is often far ahead of the times. Matthew Fox is such a person. He writes simply, powerfully about his life as a visionary. He continues now, as before, to give out the 21st century keys to the kingdom.”
--Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D., Women Who Run with the Wolves
“Matthew Fox might well be the most creative, the most comprehensive, surely the most challenging religious-spiritual teacher in America. He has the scholarship, the imagination, the courage, the writing skill to fulfill this role at a time when the more official Christian theological traditions are having difficulty in establishing any vital contact with either the spiritual possibilities of the present or with their own most creative spiritual traditions of the past….He has, it seems, created a new mythic context for leading us out of our contemporary religious and spiritual confusion into a new clarity of mind and peace of soul, by affirming rather than abandoning any of our traditional beliefs.”
--Thomas Berry, author of The Great Work, The Dream of the Earth and The Universe Story
Listen to Tami Simon's interview with Matthew Fox: A Courageous Spirituality
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