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Confessions: The Making of a Postdenominational Priest Paperback – April, 1997


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 301 pages
  • Publisher: Harper San Francisco (April 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060629657
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060629656
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,976,073 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Matthew Fox, the excommunicated Catholic priest who is perhaps the foremost articulator of creation spirituality, offers a meditative, almost conversational autobiography. It's the story of a vital and iconoclastic man who still loves his former church and who desperately wanted, while he was still part of it, to revitalize it in order to better address the spiritual challenges of postmodernity. Fox feels strongly that both the planet and the Church stand at an epochal crossroads, that one culture is dying as another struggles to be born. As he describes his growing differences with Rome, he writes movingly of the community of like-minded or receptive people that surrounded and sustained him, exhibiting the best Christian tradition of discipleship and critical inquiry. Despite their efforts and his own struggle to maintain both his integrity of thought and his vows of obedience to his Dominican order, Fox was first silenced and then expelled. He has, since 1994, found an ecclesial home as an Episcopal priest. This highly charged autobiography of a priestly life will stand as a lasting memorial to the difficulty of maintaining certain articles of faith and dogma at a time of shifting cultural paradigms. Fox's portrait of himself as he realizes that the truth he is pursuing is incompatible with the truth that his church can allow him to believe is likely to become a classic.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Under pressure from the Vatican, the Dominican order expelled Fox, the director of the Institute in Culture and Creation Spirituality, in 1993 after years of escalating conflict. His theology, grounded in the ecstatic mysticism of Hildegard of Bingen and Meister Eckhart, includes a heady mix of Mariology-based goddess worship, cosmology, Native American vision quests and sweat lodges, Celtic myths, and multimedia rave masses. In this spiritual autobiography, Fox traces his unique journey from a traditional Midwestern boyhood to pariah of institutional Catholicism. He shakes the dust from his feet, to use Jesus' phrase, as a new Episcopal priest. This provocative work will surely add to an unbroken string of controversy surrounding Fox and his beliefs. For subject collections.?Richard S. Watts, San Bernardino Cty. Lib., Cal.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Dr.S.H. on March 4, 1999
Format: Paperback
Much of what Matt Fox has to offer is contained in the first and last chapters. His thought and theology and philosophy are peppered throughtout the entire book and it is not hard to read. But the seemingly endless accounts of adulation get quite heavy. I find the title perhaps a bit off the mark. He has a great deal to offer in his personal story, the soaring heights and the times of disappointment and even despair. It would be more enlightening to read what HE felt and thought, and less of what his admirers said and wrote about him.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Steven Herrmann on April 4, 2010
Format: Paperback
By Steven B. Herrmann 4/4/10
Author of "William Everson: The Shaman's Call"
MC, The Birth of a Poet: The William Everson Centennial (UC Santa Cruz, October 20, 2012)

I was asked by Anglican Episcopal Priest, Matthew Fox, to write a review of his book which I am happy to do. Fox speaks of his "story about the coming of age spirituality in the latter half of the twentieth century" (2) in the form of a "cultural autobiography" (3). In reading this book, one gets a sense that Fox is contextualizing his life-story in the "larger story of our coming of age" (3). In a Journal entry from Fox's approach to his fifty-third year, he writes about his decision to become an Anglican priest in vocational terms; by narrowing the vocation-question down to how he might serve the younger generation, and young one's to come, given his remaining "powers" (6), Fox says his becoming an Episcopalian was his answer to a call to assist young people to "reinvent forms of religion/spirituality" and "help creation spirituality come alive again" (12). By creation spirituality he means amongst other things, the fourfold path he discovered in his reading of our biblical tradition and the Christian mystics: 1) Via Positiva, delight, awe, wonder, revelry, 2) Via Negativa, darkness, silence, suffering, letting go, 3) Via Creativa, birthing, creativity, and 4) Via Transformativia, compassion, justice, healing, celebration (283). The early chapters of the book tell his story of coming of age. But the story heats up after the writing of his book Original Blessing. He says had a dream of a dancing, musical, mystical bear, and he later learned that worship of the bear is one of the oldest forms of worship in North America; the bear is said by indigenous peoples to have redemptive and healing powers.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Diane on April 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
A great book on the effect big government in the church has on people that speak their mind. As far as the reviewer that said - that this work was "too self involved"..... It's a memoir! Read the book.. It's worth it.
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22 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
Of course anyone claiming to be a "devout Catholic" will not like Matthew Fox and his view of the Vatican! Fox is an amazing theologian who thoughtfully and decisively rips Christianity free of patriarchy. Of course he would be ex-communicated, he was too threatening to the mysogonistic powers that be in the Roman church. People who understand and appreciate Fox's liberating theology will enjoy this insight into his life as a priest. Status quo Roman Catholics shouldn't bother.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Steven H Propp TOP 100 REVIEWER on December 21, 2012
Format: Paperback
Matthew Fox (born 1940) is a theologian and bestselling advocate of "Creation Spirituality." He became a Catholic priest of the Dominican order, but was removed in 1992, and has subsequently become an Episcopalian priest. He has written many other books, including Creation Spirituality: Liberating Gifts for the Peoples of the Earth.

He wrote in the Introduction to this 1996 book, "over these fifty-five years that constitute my story, some telling events have occurred culturally, religiously, perhaps even spiritually. I write this book as a witness to those events... the test I have survived may assist others today who find themselves either passing from religion to spirituality back into religion... I was asked to write an 'intellectual autobiography.' While my life and my passion have surely been about ideas... I prefer the term 'cultural autobiography.' To me this means that all ideas are culturally based and that in writing my story, I am contextualizing it in the larger story of our cultural coming of age." (Pg. 1-3)

He says, "I was high a lot of the time. The liturgy, the chanting of the office, friendships, the outdoors, studying theology, meditation---the silence and beauty of things and ideas all got me high. As my mystical experiences continued, I went looking among the priest-theologians at the priory for a spiritual director who could help me understand them. None of them could help me." (Pg. 39) He did ultimately hear a course by Louis Cognet, who said that "God becomes engaged by CREATION---not just by the incarnation. This would prove a dominant theme in my development of a creation spirituality." (Pg.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jacques Gosselin on May 21, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The following is more a suggestion to the author and to the publisher, should they consider a new edition, than a review of the first one (1996). Yet I trust that its content may motivate some undecided Catholics to dare to read this amazing book.
After living such a committed and dedicated life as a Dominican priest for 34 years, the author Matthew Fox could not but come through it more tempered, more mature, and more clear minded than he has proved himself to be in this revealing autobiography. I salute his rare courage and his generosity and honesty in allowing us, his readers, to share in not only his joyous moments but also in his most trying ones. Given the value to me of the genuine gift I have received from reading this book, I am moved to dare suggest that should the publisher ever consider reprinting it, the author should consider relocating to its chronological position the material of the first chapter having to do with his becoming an Episcopal priest. In my view, there are many undecided readers who in the end would be most thankful to the author for presenting the events leading to his heart-wrenching decision but that upon learning so early in the book that a former Catholic priest has in their view turned his back to the Church to join another Christian denomination, they would not be willing to proceed any further in order to discover why he came to do so. I can appreciate the genuine scruple the author might have had at the idea of `leading' readers that otherwise `would have never wanted to know' to the discovery that indeed "the Emperor has no cloths!". In this respect, the author should accept the fact that any Catholic reader picking up a book with that specific title will be expecting the author to deliver on his implied promise `to unravel the truth before God'.
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