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Way to God : Thomas Merton's Creation Spirituality Journey (Paperback) (Matthew Fox)
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In 2015 Matthew Fox was invited by the Thomas Merton Center in Louisville, KY, to give a lecture on "Thomas Merton and Myself" to honor the centennial year of the legendary Catholic monk and writer’s birth. Fox likes to say that all the trouble he got in being excommunicated from his Dominican Order by Cardinal Ratzinger (who later became Pope Benedict) in 1993 is due to Merton, since he is the one who sent Fox to Paris to study spirituality and eventually receive his Doctorate of Philosophy from the Institut Catholique de Paris.In preparing for the talk, Fox revisited his frequent intersections with Merton and immersed himself in Merton’s writings. He read through Merton’s journals, poetry, and religious writings, realizing that this exploration was inspiring more than a talk. The result is A Way to God, a powerful work about Merton’s deep interfaith and ecumenical philosophies; about his contemplation, mysticism, and warriorhood; and about how Meister Eckhart inspired in Merton a long journey toward a spiritual understanding similar to the creation spirituality that Fox has long espoused and written about. (In Merton’s final Asian journal, written as he neared the end of his life, he wrote "Eckhart is my lifeboat, Eckhart is my lifeboat.").A Way to God is personal and intellectual, semi-biographical and autobiographical. It presents Merton in a new light and with a direct link not only to Meister Eckhart but to the creation spirituality tradition that both Merton and Eckhart lived and taught. It creates a methodology for understanding the vast and deep contribution that Merton made to the history of spirituality: the hermeneutic of the Four Paths of Creation Spirituality, plus the Cosmic Christ (vs the Empire’s Christ), and other themes common in Merton, Eckhart, and Fox’s theologies. Readers will rediscover the beauty and depth of Merton’s thinking and his pioneering work in deep ecumenism, but will also discover a new dimension to Merton: his journey as a Creation Spirituality pilgrim.