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Magnificent Journey: Religion as Lock on the Past, or Engine of Evolution Paperback – September 17, 2011
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About the Author
F. Jay Deacon says an evolutionary impulse inexorably impelled him from fundamentalist Christianity, through a Pentecostal college and evangelical seminary, into a jolting confrontation with a deeper truth than he’d found in the scriptures of a premodern time and universe remote from the world that confronts us now. Coming out as a gay man forced fundamental questions he couldn’t any longer afford the luxury of avoiding. He came to understand his own spiritual evolution as part and parcel of a magnificent forward journey of consciousness into uncharted territory where the future — whatever it is to be — is in our hands. In the story of the American Transcendentalists led by R. W. Emerson, he found a vivid embodiment of the kind of evolutionary spirituality that can give us access to the highest human possibility. Serving numerous Unitarian Universalist congregations in the U.S. and the U.K., he has struggled with the potentials of a spiritual community to become the context where a “higher We” can come into being. With the future of this human experiment in profound peril as our past and present folly degrades the climate and the natural world, he speaks with urgency: it is time to be done with the religion that binds us to a primitive, naive, and sometimes barbaric past — and to engage deeply in a spirituality that must be a powerful engine of the evolution of consciousness and human culture. He served for a decade in the ministry of the Metropolitan Community Churches before receiving credentials as a Unitarian Universalist minister in 1982. He earned a Master of Divinity at the evangelical Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry at McCormick Theological Seminary. Currently he serves Channing Memorial Church (Unitarian Universalist) in Newport, Rhode Island.