Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh: Lessons for Transforming Evil in Soul and Society
1 Jan 1999
Three Rivers Press
In Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh, visionary theologian and best-selling author Matthew Fox offers a new theology that fundamentally changes the traditional perception of good and evil and points the way to a more enlightened treatment of ourselves, one another, and all of nature. Through its marriage of spirit and flesh, Fox's Theology of Spirit sets forth a visionary but practical mysticism that lays out a blueprint for social transformation. In this book, Matthew Fox dissects the roots of our culture's spiritual malaise and offers Creation Spirituality and a Theology of Spirit as the "medicine" for our society's deep spiritual "wounds." He shows how, contrary to mainstream church teachings, flesh is the grounding of spirit, and how spirit and flesh are entwined with each other in a felicitous and spiritually nourishing bond. He outlines a Theology of Spirit, an approach to the fusing of spirit and flesh which has been underdeveloped in Western thought. His cosmology stresses the need for diversity, the revelatory power of Nature, and the imperative of cooperation. Fox draws together the wisdom of East and West on the subject of human destructiveness by taking Thomas Aquinas's definition of sin as "misdirected love" and ushering us through parallels between the Eastern teachings of the seven chakras and the Western teachings of the seven capital sins. In doing so, he responds to Martin Buber's call to "deprive evil of its power" not by "extirpating the evil urge, but by reuniting it to the good." Psychologist M. Scott Peck has said that humanity's naming of evil "is still in the primitive stage." With this book, Fox ushers us beyond rudimentary naming and places our capacity for evil in the fuller context of our touching the natural beauty of our physical world, the complex texture of our emotional lives, and the splendid depths of our spiritual center. In Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh Matthew Fox has created his most ambitious and profound book. The text crackles with his intelligence and wit, deftly moving the reader into an examination of our world and our perceptions about it and ourselves, expanding our minds and showing us paths of thought that you would swear were not there before you turned the page.