Thursday, May 6, 2010

Defrocked Catholic Priest Leads Earth Worship Seminar

Virtue Online

Former Dominican Turned Episcopalian Praises Gaia, 'Goddess'

An Episcopal priest and theologian who popularized the rave-like "Techno Cosmic Mass" and advocated goddess worship recently led a seminar on mysticism and Earth spirituality to coincide with Earth Day.

Warning that environmental degradation caused by raging against "Gaia" had to cease, the Rev. Matthew Fox made frequent references to "the Goddess" and the divine feminine during his environmentally-themed lecture and workshop, "Earth Spirituality and the Mystical Tradition." The event was held in April at the Unitarian Universalist Church in the Washington suburb of Rockville, Maryland, and sponsored by the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation.

Episcopal Priest and Theologian Matthew Fox has authored 28 books, many addressing the mysticism and spirituality of Earth worship. (Image Courtesy of Friends of Creation Spirituality) Fox's seminar was a melding of Celtic spirituality, goddess worship, panentheism (which posits that God interpenetrates every part of nature, but also transcends nature), environmental activism, and a political rejection of American "empire," peppered sporadically with digs against the Vatican.

Making references to Christian mystics like Hildegard of Bingen alongside pagan deities and the animal world, Fox comfortably oscillated between threats to polar bears and the oppression patriarchy when expressing his views on the natural world.

The solution offered by the former Roman Catholic priest was an embrace of ancient spiritual practices, recast in modern language and setting.

"This is how you change consciousness the fastest - through rituals, not [academic] degrees," Fox said, explaining the various practices he has either rediscovered or pioneered in mapping out "creation spirituality."

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