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The Reinvention of Work: New Vision of Livelihood for Our Time, A Paperback – April 15, 1995


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The Reinvention of Work: New Vision of Livelihood for Our Time, A + Original Blessing: A Primer in Creation Spirituality Presented in Four Paths, Twenty-Six Themes, and Two Questions + Christian Mystics: 365 Readings and Meditations
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne (April 15, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060630620
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060630621
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 5.4 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #624,267 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

"To live well is to work well," wrote Thomas Aquinas in the 13th century, yet many people are reporting to jobs every day that provide little satisfaction. Fox, a former Catholic priest and widely published author (Creation Spirituality, LJ 5/1/91), asserts that life and livelihood are about spirit. He contrasts the machine era, when the universe was perceived as a machine, with the green ("sheen") era, when the universe is seen as a mystery and where God is in all things. Arguing that all work should have dignity, Fox envisions a work world in which intellect, heart, and health harmonize to celebrate the whole person. Though Fox achieves his aims of providing an essay in "deep ecumenism," his philosophy of work seems to have little practical relevance to the work world. Recommended for libraries with modern philosophy and creation spirituality collections.
Ravonne A. Green, Emmanuel Coll. Lib., Franklin Springs, Ga.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"A big step toward a new, promising age of human scale and sacred context." -- --Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul and Soul Mates

"A sweeping, enticing vision, pulsing with Fox's unrelenting passion." -- --San Francisco Chronicle

"Impassioned...life-affirming." -- --New Age Journal

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Diane Schirf on August 21, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In The Reinvention of Work, Matthew Fox brings together the work of Eastern and Western mystics, ancient, medieval, and modern, to propose a new paradigm for how we work and what we do. Citing Meister Eckhart, Thomas Aquinas, Hildegard von Bingen, the Bhagavad Gita, Tao Te Ching, Studs Terkel, Patch Adams, and progressive economists, Fox explores the concept of work and how it can be healthier physically, emotionally, and intellectually, but primarily socially, environmentally, and spiritually.

Fox believes that the Enlightenment and the industrial age have left us with a machine-centered, anthropocentric world that focuses on outer work and rewards at the cost of inner work and spirituality, and destroys rather than creates. Real wealth results from preserving the health of the planet, not in the artificiality of money or possessions. The result has been a world often at war, where the gaps between affluent and poor continue to spread, where the environmental health of non-industrialised nations is sacrificed for the comforts of the industrialised, and where the work that is available and that most people have serves machines and leaves the worker stressed, addicted to work, ill, angry and even violent, and unfulfilled intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually.

Fox cites mystics like Eckhart and Aquinas to show that they understood what is important and that they prophetically understood the traps that man is prone to fall into. He also recounts the stories of people who reinvent themselves through work, who are willing to sacrifice position and possessions to find an avocation that matters, like the man who gives up a high-paying position to become a fireman and who is ecstatic about the meaning it brings to his life.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 1, 2001
Format: Paperback
The Reinvention of Work changed the way I view work. As a Career Counselor I realized new ways to work with clients. The book helps one go deeper into understanding what we are really all about in relationship to work. It is not a self-help book and does not profess to be one. The book helps us step outside of ourselves and to consider what is important to each of us in our work beyond the paycheck. It truly creates a vision of what our work life can be if we take the time to listen to our inner wisdom.
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33 of 42 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 19, 1998
Format: Paperback
Like most of Fox's books, this one ranges from the sublime (the cosmic implications of "true work") to the ridiculous (there's nothing sillier than a celibate priest writing about sex). And Fox's ego is far too much in evidence at times. Still, I'd recommend this book to anyone who's trying to rethink their relationship to "work." I picked it up at a time when I was undergoing immense life and career changes. Although it wasn't much help in practical decision-making, it did give me a fresh perspective on how my values related to the jobs I'd had (they didn't), and got me thinking about how I could translate them into work I felt better about. Also, although I'm a former Catholic and hypersensitive to writers who try to force their doctrinal perspective on you, I felt that Fox generally managed to be spiritual without being sectarian (that's probably why he's no longer a Catholic!). In general, this book has a lot to recommend it, although keeping your tongue in your cheek at times is strongly advised.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Cecil Bothwell VINE VOICE on November 27, 2007
Format: Paperback
A wide ranging exploration of the meaning of work and a call for its resacralization from a creatively radical priest, this book offers both challenge and hope. Noting that hunter/gatherer societies had no unemployment whereas modern industrial society now forces more than one sixth of the planetary population into that state as a permanent condition, Fox pronounces the system a failure. We have created jobs without meaning and devastated the earth in the process. His call is for a redefinition of wealth and a return to the roots of "economy" which originally meant running a home. He suggests that there is no intrinsic reason to value scarce metals and gems, gold is only valuable because those who hold it claim it to be so. Fox suggests that real wealth is having our house in order, having a biosphere that supports life, having a sufficiency of material necessary for participation in the creative work of the Universe. His perspective is deeply spiritual, seeing humanity's role as inseparable from the work of God, all that is, the Tao, the Cosmic Christ ... his definition of our source is widely inclusive. In fact, his view is so inclusive that it begs me to ask, "Why include religiosity at all?" If we look around at what needs to be done, Fox suggests, our work is plain. There can be no unemployment in a society which values life as the highest goal. Notwithstanding his religious hang-up, the breadth of Fox's view is delightful and surprising. In conjunction with theorizing, he offers practical ways to renew ourselves and our perspective on work.Read more ›
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