What is Creation Spirituality?
1) The universe is fundamentally a blessing.
Our relationship with the Universe fills us with awe.
2) In Creation, God is both immanent and transcendent. This is panentheism which is not theism (God out there) and not atheism (no God anywhere).
We experience that the Divine is in all things & all things are in the Divine.
3) God is as much Mother as Father, as much Child as Parent, as much God in mystery as the God in history, as much beyond all words and images as in all forms and beings.
We are liberated from the need to cling to God in one form or one literal name.
4) In our lives, it is through the work of spiritual practice that we find our deep and true selves.
Through the arts of meditation and silence we cultivate a clarity of mind and move beyond fear into compassion and community.
5) Our inner work can be understood as a four-fold journey involving:
- awe, delight, amazement (known as the Via Positiva)
- uncertainty, darkness, suffering, letting go (Via Negativa)
- birthing, creativity, passion (Via Creativa)
- justice, healing, celebration (Via Transformativa)
6) Every one of us is a mystic.
We can enter the mystical as much through beauty (Via Positiva) as through contemplation and suffering (Via Negativa). We are born full of wonder and can recover it at any age.
7) Every one of us is an artist.
Whatever the expression of our creativity, it is our prayer and praise (Via Creativa).
8) Every one of us is a prophet.
Our prophetic work is to interfere with all forms of injustice and that which interrupts authentic life (Via Transformativa).
9) Diversity is the nature of the Universe.
We rejoice in and courageously honor the rich diversity within the Cosmos and expressed among individuals and across multiple cultures, religions and ancestral traditions.
10) The basic work of God is compassion and we, who are all original blessings and sons and daughters of the Divine, are called to compassion.
We acknowledge our shared interdependence; we rejoice at one another’s joys and grieve at one another’s sorrows and labor to heal the causes of those sorrows.
11) There are many wells of faith and knowledge drawing from one underground river of Divine wisdom. The practice of honoring, learning and celebrating the wisdom collected from these wells is Deep Ecumenism.
We respect and embrace the wisdom and oneness that arises from the diverse wells of all the sacred traditions of the world.
12) Ecological justice is essential for the sustainability of life on Earth.
Ecology is the local expression of cosmology and so we commit to live in light of this value: to pass on the beauty and health of Creation to future generations.
Creation Spirituality is an ancient tradition, named and articulated most emphatically beginning in the 1970s by spiritual theologian Matthew Fox.
Drawing on the experiences, writings and rituals of all wisdom traditions, including indigenous cultures, eastern and western spiritualities and contemporary science, Creation Spirituality runs too deeply and broadly to be considered as ‘founded’ or invented’ by one person, or indeed, one tradition.
From his own perspective as a former Dominican priest, Fox writes: “Creation Spirituality is not a newly invented path, but for twentieth century Westerners it is a newly discovered path.”
He further suggests, “Creation Spirituality is a tradition: it has a past; it has historical and biblical roots; it boasts a communion of saints.”
In further works, Fox develops the conversation between western spirituality and other traditions (see One River, Many Wells, ISBN-13: 978-1585423262); and with science (see Natural Grace, by Matthew Fox and Rupert Sheldrake ISBN-13: 978-0385483599); and with the passionate creativity of art (see Creativity, ISBN 1-58542-178-2).
The term “Creation Spirituality” was named for Fox in 1967 by the French Theologian MD Chenu, with whom he studied at L’Institute Catholique in Paris. Fox’s teaching and writing career led him to discover more deeply the common threads in countless traditions, and the principles of Creation Spirituality came to be named as Fox further explored and articulated the tradition. “As a movement, Creation Spirituality becomes an amazing gathering place, a kind of watering hole for person whose passion has been touched by the issues of our day – deep ecologists, ecumenists, artists, native peoples, justice activists, feminists, male liberationists, gay and lesbian peoples, animal liberationists, scientists seeking to reconnect science and wisdom, people of prophetic faith traditions – all these find in the Creation Spirituality movement a common language and a common ground on which to stand.”
Creation Spirituality derives from the oldest tradition in the Bible (the J source) and it is the Wisdom Tradition in the Hebrew Bible–the tradition that scholars agree was the tradition of the historical Jesus. Thus creation spirituality brings together the root sources of Christian spirituality (along with other world traditions), those being 1) the historical Jesus and 2) the Cosmic Christ. These represent the prophetic and the mystical roots of Christianity.
References: Matthew Fox, Original Blessing: A Primer in Creation Spirituality (Santa Fe: Bear and Company, 1983), 12-16.