Today is an exclusive live video interview with Matthew Fox and Adam Bucko, for the interview series “Interviews with the Leading Edge.”
In this series of interviews, I engage with people who are on the leading edge of transformational change, doing work to further the consciousness revolution and how it is manifesting in culture, politics and spirituality, in order to help bring along a more enlightened society.
Matthew Fox and Adam Bucko are two such people. Matthew and Adam are the co-authors of the recent book, “Occupy Spirituality: A Radical Vision for a New Generation.” Matthew Fox is a modern day icon. He is an internationally acclaimed spiritual theologian, an Episcopal priest, and an activist who was a member of the Dominican Order for 34 years. He has written 30 books, many of them best-sellers, that have been translated into 48 languages and have received numerous awards. Among them are Original Blessing, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ, A Spirituality Named Compassion, The Reinvention of Work, The Hidden Spirituality of Men, and Christian Mystics.
Matthew has been renewing the ancient mystical tradition of Creation Spirituality that was named for him by his mentor, the late Father Marie Dominic Chenu, o.p., in his studies in Paris. This tradition is feminist, welcoming of the arts and artists, wisdom centered, prophetic and committed to eco-justice, social justice and gender justice. Creation Spirituality is also strongly aligned with ecological and environmental movements of the late 20th century and embraces numerous spiritual traditions around the world, including Buddhism, Judaism, Sufism and Native American spirituality, with a focus on “deep ecumenism.”
Matthew was originally a Catholic priest, until he was expelled under the direction of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who later became Pope Benedict, in 1993 for “disobedience.” In essence, Matthew Fox’s teachings ran afoul of accepted Church orthodoxy, and it became too much for the Church to bear.
The Church – with Cardinal Ratzinger as chief inquisitor – took issue and eventually expelled Matthew over the following: he called God “Mother”; preferred the concept of Original Blessing over Original Sin; worked too closely with Native American spiritual practices; did not condemn homosexuality; and taught the four paths of creation spirituality—the Via Positiva, Via Negativa, Via Creativa and Via Transformativa instead of the church’s classical three paths of purgation, illumination and union.
After being expelled, he became a priest in the Episcopal Church, and founded and led the University of Creation Spirituality. He led the university for nine years, before turning over the reins to someone else, and now directs a project for inner city teenagers in Oakland called YELLAWE: “Youth and Elder Learning Laboratory for Ancestral Wisdom Education.” The goal is to reinvent education from the inner city out and is based on a holistic approach to education and creativity.
In 2005, when Cardinal Ratzinger was made pope, Fox went to Martin Luther’s church in Wittenberg, Germany and pounded 95 contemporary theses at the door to call people to a New Reformation. Knowing Ratzinger well from his protracted battle with him over the years in his role as chief inquisitor of our day, Fox wanted to alert people to what the future held.
Six years later, after documenting the ongoing evolution of that future in The Pope’s War: Why Ratzinger’s Secret Crusade Has Imperiled The Church And How It Can Be Saved, Matthew repeated his protest, nailing his 95 Theses outside of Cardinal Law’s Basilica in Rome to call attention to the corruption in the Vatican. He has been interviewed in print and broadcast media, including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, Yoga Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, Oakland Tribune, New Age Journal, Utne Reader, Spirituality and Health, Tikkun, Science of Mind, Chicago Tribune, Toronto Star, Washington Post, National Catholic Reporter, The Independent (London), The Guardian, YES! Magazine, and Caduceus Journal, as well as The Today Show with Bryant Gumbel, BBC and Brazilian, Canadian and Italian television. Matthew Fox is currently visiting scholar at the Academy of Love of Learning in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and lives in Oakland, California.
Adam Bucko is an activist, karma yogi, spiritual director to many homeless youth, and an advocate for a contemplative approach to social change. In 2004, Bucko co-founded the Reciprocity Foundation, an award winning nonprofit that empowers homeless and at-risk youth to break the cycle of poverty. The Foundation offers programs that combine contemplative, therapeutic, and creative tools for personal transformation with business skills. Many of the graduates of the foundation have become Emmy nominated media professionals, designers, entrepreneurs and respected community leaders. In addition to his work with homeless youth, Adam established HAB, an ecumenical “new monastic” fellowship for young people that offers a foundation in radical spirituality and sacred activism. HAB’s goals are to provide spiritual direction and contemplative mentoring, connect young people with elders and mentors, and build a movement of small communities of young people who dedicate their lives to a contemplative life and to inspired, transformative action in the world. Adam’s work has been featured on ABC News, CBS, NBC, The New York Times, New York Daily News, Ode Magazine, Yoga+ Magazine, and Sojourner Magazine. He is a 2007 Echoing Green Fellow as well as the recipient of The Fred Foundation and Global Youth Action Network Rediscover Your Heart Award for direct and inspirational action for personal and global change, and the Diane Dunn and Chorister Lund award for pioneering inter-spiritual work at the “frontiers of the paradigm”. I had the honor of meeting with Matthew Fox and Adam Bucko at the One Spirit Alliance in New York City, where they took time out of their busy schedule to sit for an interview, right before giving a talk in support of their new book “Occupy Spirituality.” We had a meaningful conversation based on the ideas in their book, about a new spirituality and a new activism for our post-modern times. As they point out in their book, the great majority of people these days consider themselves “spiritual, but not religious.” In addition, they talked about the distinction between the God of Religion and the God of Life, and between the God of Life and the God of Wall Street; that the first sign of spirit is courage; the ideas of Walt Whitman; what democracy truly is; and much more. You will find this to be a thoroughly illuminating and inspiring conversation, and chances are it will motivate you to look at your own life with fresh eyes. For more information on the book Occupy Spirituality, here’s the link: http://www.amazon.com/Occupy-Spirituality-Radical-Generation-Activism/dp/1583946853 To learn more about the work of Matthew Fox, you can go to http://www.matthewfox.org/ To learn more about the work of Adam Bucko, you can go to http://adambucko.com/HAB/About_Us.html or http://www.reciprocityfoundation.org/