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This powerful book was prompted by an invitation Matthew Fox received to speak on the centennial of Thomas Merton’s birth. Fox says that much of the trouble he’s gotten into — such as being expelled from the Dominican Order in 1993, after thirty-four years, by Cardinal Ratzinger (who later became Pope Benedict) — was because of Merton, who prompted Fox to attend the Institut Catholique in Paris to undertake a doctoral program in spirituality.
Fox reimmersed himself in Merton’s journals, poetry, and religious writings, finding that Merton’s marriage of mysticism and prophecy, contemplation and action closely paralleled that of Meister Eckhart, the thirteenth-century mystic who inspired Fox’s own Creation Spirituality. In A Way to God, Fox explores Merton’s pioneering work in interfaith, his essential teachings on mixing contemplation and action, and how the vision of Meister Eckhart profoundly influenced Merton in what Fox calls his Creation Spirituality journey.
A Way to God creates a methodology for understanding the vast contributions that Merton made to the history of spirituality. Readers will rediscover the beauty and depth of Merton’s thinking and his pioneering work in bridging the religions, as well as discover a new dimension to Merton: his journey as a Creation Spirituality pilgrim.
“Matthew Fox might well be the most creative, the most comprehensive, surely the most challenging religious-spiritual teacher in America.”
— Thomas Berry, author of The Great Work
“We are lying down on the job when we leave others to investigate mysticism while we concentrate on more ‘practical’ things. What people want of us, after all, is the way to God.”
— Thomas Merton (1915–1968), in a letter to Matthew Fox, January 23, 1967
“Merton was above all a man of prayer, a thinker who challenged the certitudes of his time and opened new horizons for souls and for the church. He was also a man of dialogue, a promoter of peace between peoples and religions.”
— Pope Francis
Praise for A Way to God
“This wise and marvelous book will profoundly inspire all those who love Merton and want to know him more deeply.”
— Andrew Harvey, author of The Hope: A Guide to Sacred Activism
“A Way to God inscribes a profound intersection of lives — Merton, Fox, and more — in the history of Christianity, Catholicism, and the emerging Creation Spirituality so relevant to our globe’s current cultural evolution. Perhaps Merton’s lament on the ‘lost art of listening’ can be assuaged significantly by the profound potential impacts of this new book.”
— Kurt Johnson, PhD, coauthor of The Coming Interspiritual Age
“The future of Christianity itself will depend upon its ability to reinvent its forms and practices so that it might become a mutually enhancing presence within the dynamics of life. Among current spiritual theologians, no one has a more comprehensive vision of the necessary changes that must take place than Matthew Fox. In A Way to God he shows how Thomas Merton’s work can be understood as a powerful current within the Creation Spirituality tradition that is so essential for this reimagining of Western religion.”
— Brian Thomas Swimme, professor of cosmology, California Institute of Integral Studies
Praise for the work of Matthew Fox
“Fox is a prophet of our own times.... His writing really sparkles and is frequently reminiscent of the early works of Thomas Merton.”
— Alan Jose, The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly