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About Creation Spirituality

The Four Paths

About Matthew Fox

Ten Principles



Creation Spirituality (CS) honors all of creation as an original blessing. Creation Spirituality integrates the wisdom of Western spirituality and global indigenous cultures with the emerging post-modern scientific understanding of the universe and the awakening artistic passion for creativity which reveals the inter-relatedness of all beings. The Creation Spirituality movement seeks to integrate the wisdom of western spirituality and global indigenous cultures with the emerging scientific understanding of the universe and the passionate creativity of art.

All of nature has something to tell us about God.

Matthew Fox

Creation Spirituality is the oldest tradition in the Bible, and the way of indigenous peoples. It was celebrated by the mystics of medieval Europe. It has its own flavor in Judaism, Christianity, Taoism, and Buddhism. Creation Spirituality provides a solid foundation and holistic perspective from which to address the critical issues of our times, including the revitalization of religion and culture, the honoring of women's wisdom, the celebration of hope in today's youth, and the promotion of social and ecological justice. Creation Spirituality, therefore, is not a new religion but is concerned with renewing theologies and practices within religion and culture that promote personal wholeness, planetary survival, and universal interdependence.

The Four Paths

Creation Spirituality is illuminated by the four paths: the "Via Positiva" ö befriending awe and wonder; the "Via Negativa" ö befriending loss and letting go; the "Via Creativa" ö celebrating the artist and artisan in us all; and the "Via Transformativa" ö compassion that transforms and brings about justice in the world.

About Matthew Fox

Matthew Fox is a spiritual theologian who has been an ordained priest since 1967. He holds Masters degrees in philosophy and theology from Aquinas Institute and a Doctorate in spirituality, summa cum laude, from the Institut Catholiques de Paris. A liberation theologian and progressive visionary, he was silenced by the Vatican and later dismissed from the Dominican order. After dismissal he was received as an Episcopal priest by Bishop William Swing of the Diocese of California.

Fox is the founder and president of the University Creation Spirituality (UCS) located in downtown Oakland, California. UCS is unique in its commitment to bring spirit to education and our professions. UCS is deliberately located in the heart of the community as a model of hope and revitalization to the downtown area, as well as diversity and racial harmony. In addition to his work as founder of UCS, writer, and teacher in the San Francisco Bay area, Fox lectures throughout North America, Central America, Europe, and Australia. Much of the inspiration behind UCS stems from the strong responses to Fox's book, The Reinvention of Work, printed in 1996.

Fox is author of 24 books, including the best selling Original Blessing; A Spirituality Named Compassion; Breakthrough: Meister Eckhart's Creation Spirituality in New Translation; Natural Grace (with scientist Rupert Sheldrake), and his most recent, Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh. A great deal of credit goes to Dr. Fox for the recent awakening interest in the works of medieval mystic Hildegard of Bingen. He was the first to translate her work into English in Illuminations of Hildegard of Bingen, 1985, and Hildegard of Bingen's Book of Divine Works with Letters and Songs, 1987.

Fox received the 1994 New York Open Center Tenth Anniversary Award for Achievement in Creative Spirituality. In 1995 he was presented the Courage of Conscience Award by the Peace Abbey of Sherborn, Mass. Other recipients of this award include the Dalai Lama, Mother Theresa, Ernesto Cardenal, and Rosa Parks. In 1996 he received the Tikkun National Ethics Award in recognition of contributions made to the spiritual life of our society. Fox has twice received the Body Mind Spirit Award of Excellence for outstanding books in print: in 1996 for The Reinvention of Work and in 1997 for Confessions: The Making of a Post-Denominational Priest.

Ten Principles of Creation Spirituality

  1. The universe is basically a blessing, that is, something we experience as good.
  2. We can and do relate to the universe as a whole since we are a microcosm of that macrocosm and that this relationship "intoxicates" us. (Aquinas)
  3. Everyone is a mystic (i.e., born full of wonder and capable of recovering it at any age ö of not taking the awe and wonder of existence for granted.)
  4. Everyone is a prophet, I.e., a "mystic in action" (Hocking) who is called to "interfere" (Heschel) with what interrupts authentic life.
  5. That humans have to dig and work at finding their deep self, their true self, their spirit self ö thus the role of spiritual praxis and meditation and community confrontation which can itself be a yoga. If we do not undergo such a praxis we live superficially out of fear or greed or addiction or someone else's expectations of us. That salvation is best understood as "preserving the good." (Aquinas).
  6. That the journey that marks that digging can be named as a four-fold journey:
    Via Positiva: delight, awe, wonder, revelry
    Via Negativa: darkness, silence, suffering, letting go
    Via Creativa: Birthing, creativity
    Via Transformativa: compassion, justice healing, celebration
  7. Everyone is an artist in some way and art as meditation is a primary form of prayer for releasing our images and empowering us and the community. Art finds its fulfillment in ritual, the community's art.
  8. We are all sons and daughters of God; therefore, we have divine blood our vein, the divine breath in our lungs; and the basic work of God is: Compassion.
  9. Divinity is as much Mother as Father, as much Child as Parent, as much Godhead (mystery) as God (history) as much beyond all beings as in all beings.
  10. That we experience that the Divine is in all things and all things are in the Divine (Panentheism) and that this mystical intuition supplants theism (and its child, atheism) as an appropriate way to name our relation to the Divine and experience the Sacred.


At the University of Creation Spirituality, studies are immersed in the Creation Spirituality (CS) tradition through the new cosmology, art-as-meditation, community-building, ritual, and ways to transform culture. For the individual, CS recognizes the artist, mystic, and prophet in each of us. At the level of community, CS provides a solid foundation and a holistic hermeneutic to dialogue about the critical issues of our times ö the reinvention of education, religion, work and culture; the honoring of women's wisdom and the feminist perspective; the restoration of and celebration of hope in today's youth; and the promotion of social and ecological justice. As a cosmology, CS celebrates the ongoing and evolutionary universe story, from the infinitesimally small singularity that birthed the original fireball, to the super-novas spewing out the very atoms of our being. This radical inter-connectivity inspires and informs our active participation in that story.

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