Catholicism for the New Age
From Mitchell Pacwa's article on Creation Spirituality founder, Father Matthew Fox --
"Is Fox a danger to the Christian church? These are questions we shall seek to answer in this article."
FOX’S WORLD VIEW
Two questions in the introduction to Fox’s book Original Blessing provide an important insight into his world view:
- In our quest for wisdom and survival, does the human race requite a new religious paradigm [model]?
- Does the creation-centered spiritual tradition offer such a paradigm? As the reader may guess, my answer to both these questions is: yes.
A New Paradigm
Like many New Agers, Fox borrows the idea of a “paradigm shift” from Dr. Thomas Kuhn, a historian of science. Kuhn describes how people make models or paradigms of the universe to direct their interpretation of its events. Science often sh apes the basic paradigms by which people view reality. Sometimes scientific discoveries so severely affect the old paradigms that they are abandoned for new and more useful ones.
Such a paradigm shift occurred when science changed from the mechanistic ide a of the universe, which is associated with Sir Isaac Newton, to Albert Einstein’s world of relativity. Newton interpreted the universe as a huge mechanical system that operates according to predictable, immutable laws (such as the law of gravity). His paradigm compartmentalized the world into discrete entities — distinct constituent parts of the larger mechanism.
Buckminster Fuller, Matthew Fox, and many others claim that the new Einsteinian paradigm has not yet been accepted in place of the Newtonian paradigm. Once it is, they say, a completely new way of viewing the world will dominate. This new paradigm is one that will link humanity with all creation, and will emphasize the interconnectedness of all things. In other words, a “wholeness” paradigm will replace Newton’s mechanistic paradigm.
Fox is an evangelist of the inevitable new scientific, religious, and philosophical paradigm. Evidently, he wants to incorporate Christian theology and spiritual traditions into this new paradigm. For Fox, it is impor tant to note, Christian ideas do not have priority over the new paradigm. Rather, Christianity must change to fit the new ideas. If the church does not adapt and lead the new way of thinking, “Mother Earth” will die, taking everyone down with her. How, the n, must the church change, according to Fox?
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