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Beginning Religion with Cosmology instead of the Human

We have been meditating on the search for the ground of being and for the sacredness in creation found in all spiritual traditions.

It is not something new to begin with cosmology—Genesis One does that. Indigenous peoples do that. But it has been lost during the modern era, an era notorious for its anthropocentrism and war against nature, the price of which is the decimation of millions of species, climate change and other dire realities we face today.


The Sixth Extinction Official Trailer. Video by Rye Gunter

Finding God in nature is not a new thing for religion—it is an old truth that was discarded in great part when patriarchy, power trips and the Discovery doctrine took over western history at the very moment European ships set sail and encountered indigenous peoples in the “new worlds” and a century later seized people from Africa to make them slaves.

Creation spirituality is all about turning from anthropocentrism to begin spirituality (the experience of the divine) not with the part (humanity) but with the whole—creation. Geologian Thomas Berry challenges his Christian tradition to reset itself in the context of the whole, of the universe itself, when he says:

If Saint John and Saint Paul could think of the Christ form of the universe, if Aquinas could say that the whole universe together participates in the divine goodness more perfectly and represents it better than any single creature whatever, and if Teilhard could insist that the human gives to the entire cosmos its most sublime mode of being, then it should not be difficult to accept the universe itself as the primordial sacred community, the macrophase mode of every religious tradition, the context in which the divine reality is revealed to itself in that diversity which in a special manner is “the perfection of the universe.”

A deepened awareness of the earth and the cosmos can bring nations together — and can also bring religions together. For “the universe itself [is] the primordial sacred community.”

It is the context of every divine revelation.

Berry sees this thread of understanding in the entire Christian tradition from Paul and John in the New Testament to Aquinas in the Middle Ages and Teilhard de Chardin in the twentieth century.

The sacred cosmos does not just inspire the Christian tradition but all religious traditions.  As I pointed out in my book on The Coming of the Cosmic Christ, there is no such thing as a Buddhist ocean, a Catholic river, a Lutheran rainforest or a Baptist moon.  A creation-centered spirituality resets all our religions in the context of the cosmos.  And its child, the earth.

Can a renewed awareness of the sacred cosmos bring humanity together in a common task? It must if we are to survive.

Can all our “defense departments” turn from aiming nuclear bombs at each other and plotting new mad weapons to joining hands to pool all our resources of money, talent and technologies toward defending ourselves from climate change itself?

 

 

 

Is that not THE moral question of this generation?

 

Rev. Dr. Matthew Fox holds a doctorate in spirituality from the Institut Catholique de Paris and has authored 35 books on spirituality and contemporary culture that have been translated into 74 languages. Fox has devoted over 45 years to developing and teaching the tradition of Creation Spirituality and in doing so has reinvented forms of education and worship (called The Cosmic Mass).  Daily Meditations with Matthew Fox, a free daily meditation to support mystic/prophets or sacred activists.  Another project is Order of the Sacred Earth. Go to  Matthew Fox’ website.

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