Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Original Blessing: A Primer in Creation Spirituality Presented in Four Paths, Twenty-Six Themes, and Two Questions Paperback – October 9, 2000
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Just to live is holy.'
-- Abraham Heschel
I first discovered the book 'Original Blessing' by Matthew Fox about a dozen years ago; originally published in 1983, it has become a widely read and used spiritual guide for many. My first experience of this book (and I do consider it a genuine experience) coincided with my first trip to St. Gregory's Abbey, a benedictine monastery with which I've maintained a connexion over the years. This book was a wonderful accompaniment for that spiritual retreat, and has remained a favourite book to be packed for reference and review each time I go on another.
Fox has organised the book into four broad sections, or paths:
Path I: Befriending Creation--the Via Positiva
This path explores creation, activity, beauty and justice, panentheism (the idea of God in everything), a sense of realised eschatology (something akin to the saying that 'the kingdom of God is in you'), incarnation and personal freedom and worthiness.
Path II: Befriending Darkness, Letting Go and Letting Be--the Via Negativa
This path explores those things which sometimes get in the way, such as pain, emptiness, silence, negative things--however, new perspective is sought (for example, it is into the silence that God often speaks; without silence, the voice is not heard). This is perhaps the most beautiful part of the book for me at times, as it helps in times of trouble -- as Meister Eckhart states, 'Remember this: All suffering comes to an end. And whatever you suffer authentically, God has suffered from it first.'
Path III: Befriending Creativity, Befriending our Divinity--the Via Creativa
This path is perhaps the most fun part of the book, as it engages the creative flow of art, music, conversation and writing.Read more ›
Like all works of genius, the thesis is simple and elegant. Fox's central claim is that Christianity in the west (not so much in the orthodox east) has focused upon the nonscriptural notion of original sin at the expense of scripture's exuberant message of joyful original blessing. Original sin, which appears to be the fifth-century contribution of Augustine, generates a worldview centering around a primordial fall salvaged by a bloody sacrifice (Christ's). From this way of approaching reality, humans are depraved, the world is fallen, and experiences such as beauty or the erotic are immediately suspect as temptations. The original blessing model, which Fox claims can be traced back to the Genesis account of God's creation of a "good" universe, argues instead for a panentheism that sees God--and God's goodness, light, beauty, and love--in (but not exhausted by) the created order, thereby opening up the possibility that humans are good because made in God's image, and that the world and all of God's gifts should be celebrated rather than condemned.
Put slightly differently: the original sin model sees fallenness as the norm and goodness (which, given our depraved nature, is possibly only by grace, which in turn becomes a kind of magic bullet) the exception. The original blessing model sees goodness and continuous grace as the norms, and fallenness as the exception.
Fox isn't naive.Read more ›
I originally heard of this book while researching for myself alternate ways of approaching my Christianity. I had been raised in a very strict church upbringing and had long since lost any real enthusiasm for the denomination I had attended, as well as any I had attended since leaving home. With my upbringing as well as attending two separate Christian universities, it seemed to me that many people were missing at least one or two very important things ... perhaps more. ..when it came to how they viewed themselves in context to the rest of the world and even to God from within the shroud of Christianity. Eventually, I decided to go it alone, and tried to hammer out my own path: Hardly a new religion, but very much a new philosophy. One that worked, and inspired one to good works and a good life, and not just reward or bragging rights in a congregation's hierarchy of `most spirit filled people'. Certainly not one that lead to the sort of empty `righteousness' I was so used to seeing and hearing.
(I had spent some time out and about in the world and with many sorts of people, and by the time I returned to my nice safe Christian home, my viewpoint had been forever changed.)
When I first bought this book I had never heard of Fox, and I approached it with a level of polite skepticism; primarily because there are so many books out there in the genre of Christianity in general that finding a good one is almost a miracle in itself.
Behold one such miracle.
There is another review on this page (by FrKurt Messick-a top 100 reviewer, even!) that covers the sections of the book, so I won't go into that.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The book arrived on time and was as it was advertised. I am very stuiesfied with it and your serviciesPublished 6 days ago by Sandra Gintere
From now on ... I am not a Sinner, I am a Blessing, thank you. I make mistakes and have my flaws and yet, still have
the `beauty' of life. That is a Blessing. Read more
I have deep respect for Matthew Fox as a theologian, but I don't not like his writing style. I'm getting through the book because I love the topic, but I can only read a few pages... Read morePublished 8 months ago by J. L. Horn
This book had a huge impact on me when I first read it in the '90s. It is still delightful today.Published 9 months ago by John Greenhow
This remains a transformative book, highly recommended!Published 13 months ago by JP Mokgethi Heath