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3.97  ·  Rating details ·  235 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Drawn from sermons and lectures that have electrified listeners, here is a concise, powerful meditation on the nature of creativity from Episcopal priest and radical theologian Matthew Fox.

Creativity is Fox at his most dynamic: It is immensely practical and leaves the reader with a message to take into action in life. Fox tantalizingly suggests that the most prayerful, m
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published September 30th 2002 by Tarcher (first published 2002)
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Average rating 3.97  · 
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Jul 31, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spirit, teaching
I already gave this book back to the library. It reads kind of like a secondary source re-analysis might, relying heavily on quotes from Meister Eckhart, St. Thomas Aquinas, Wendell Berry and others. A few thoughts I especially enjoyed from it went something to the effect of:
Creativity is the longest-standing habit of the Universe. Therefore it should be taught in school. And the Universe (Biology especially) doesn't just solve a problem once in one particular way and then stop. Kudos to school
I've had this book on my shelf for years, and even asked Fox to sign it when I saw him speak in 2016... the topic of creativity, and its intersection with the divine, is a really juicy one, and I was excited to read his thoughts on the matter! TL;DR version of this review: the author's approach distracts from the many valuable and resonant sections.

As other reviewers have mentioned, there is a rather low proportion of Fox's own thoughts in this book; the vast majority (halfway through at least)
David Jackson
Jul 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Not sure when I first read Original Blessing by Matthew Fox. I do remember that it didn't engage me. Years later, as a Catholic Priest, I found myself wrestling with what the Catholic Church had become under John Paul II and then Benedict XVI. I found a kindred spirit in Matthew Fox's two books: 1) Pope's Wars and 2) Letters to Pope Francis. Later I began daily reading and meditation of Matthew Fox's "Daily Meditations". This led me on a journey to re-read Original Blessing, with a completely di ...more
Oct 13, 2011 added it
Shelves: beyond, non-fiction
This won't be a real review so much as a 'lessons learned.' There were a lot of them - I like the crux of what Fox believes but he does go on and on at times. I won't be assigning a star rating, either. The book's genre is one I tend not to read, but it seems a good and very meaningful/powerful example of its kind.

"Gratitude is the ultimate enabler." ~ 24

"The work of the historical Jesus was empowerment." ~ 109

"The word 'compassion' comes from the word for 'womb' in both Hebrew and Arabic" (195)
Jerry Akin
Mar 13, 2015 rated it liked it
I am a pastor and a songwriter/poet, so I have mixed feelings about this book. The pastor part of me cringes at many of Fox's theological leanings. If you are even slightly orthodox in your faith, you will readily see that Fox doesn't just cross over into heresy, he takes long baths in a sea of it. However, the artist in me found several reasons to nod in wide-eyed agreement as I read many of his statements about human creativity and how it ties into our relationship with God. It's tragic that t ...more
Carolyn Francis
Sep 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I dabble in so many books on theology, spirituality and life-in-general these days. I consult them as I prepare articles-to-write and talks-to-give and tend to use them, possibly even egregiously, for my own purposes. The dirty truth, however, is that I rarely read them in their entirety in these hurried, pragmatic post-university days (my addiction to contemporary literary fiction doesn't help, neither does having a job... and 2 kids... ) But I read Matthew Fox's Creativity in big, hungry bites ...more
Dec 22, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 100books08
a couple of quotes i liked:

quoting walter brueggemann: "Every totalitarian regime is frightened of the artist. it is the vocation of the prophet to keep alive the ministry of imagination, to keep on conjuring and proposing alternative futures to the single one the king wants to urge as the only thinkable one." (page 102)

quoting pablo neruda: "all paths lead to the same goal: to convey to others what we are. And we must pass through solitude and difficulty, isolation and silence, in order to reac
Matthew Fox is an inspiration and cool breath of fresh air. An ousted Roman Catholic Priest for his "radical" beliefs of Creation Spirituality, now an author and Episcopal priest, reminds us all of what we were meant to be as humans-- co-creators with that ultimate creative being. I found myself hopeful about our spiritual futures because here for the first time, I read a religious leader's point of view that was open enough to include all spiritual traditions as well promote the divinity of wo ...more
David Waggoner
Sep 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A mix of "1 star", "2 star", "3 star", "4 star", and "5 star" material. Examines creativity from a place of deep-ecumenism/sycretism. It contains different degrees of creative "wisdom", with an overall compassion for life and living. All of this is explored in many other books, but this is a good prerequisite synthesis of it. It is both inspired and tired. Proceed with caution into these kinds of waters (aka be creatively critical when the similarities of various religious traditions are not bal ...more
Warren B
Oct 20, 2014 rated it it was ok
First off, this is not among Matthew Fox's best books for a number of reasons.

I read Mr. Fox's books for some of the great insight and quotations that he can be counted on for. I don't however agree with much of what he has to say theologically; oftentimes I'm not even sure that he is sure of what he believes.

I understand that many people with a Christian worldview couldn't read Matthew Fox and take anything that he has to say seriously because of his self-defeating pluralistic views of spiritua
Roberta Morris
Jul 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Matthew Fox is never clearer than in this accessible book celebrating our nature as creative beings, in the image of the ground of our being, however you might conceive that. This isn't a romantic notion. In fact, he's clearest when he shines a light on the darker aspects of creative life.

So what happened to the University of Creativity Spirituality he founded? Can it be resurrected as an online project with roving conferences, similar to Ted Talks? Count me in and my board I'm sure would sign
Lori Gerig mallams
Sep 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
It basically was a very good book. I liked the way he took things from every religion to make sense out of a very complex idea. It also made it identifiable to almost everyone from any religion. It was also so broad on the spectrum that it didn't really hit to the core. Only a little disappointed. ...more
Apr 09, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: school
I think the introduction of the this book is the best part. It has a lot of interesting cosmology which I found fascinating. However, the writing is very circular and repetitive so I struggled to keep my focus while reading it.
Sep 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Super optimistic, hopeful and eye opening. "Awakening imagination can arouse our creativity to solve problems and move our species to its next level of evolutionary development." "Creativity is the key to our survival and sustainability as a species." ...more
Jan 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent book on creativity, how to and why. One
of the best I've read, very inspiring. Well worth a second and third reading. an instant classic in this genre. For anyone working in the arts
or even cooking a meal. Useful in all endeavors of life, to see life as the great adventure it is.
Christine Nolfi
Sep 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
If you're looking for motivation to spark your creativity, this book is chock full of inspiring thoughts. Recommended for anyone wishing to live a more creative life. ...more
Edward Sullivan
Jan 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: religion
A fascinating, insightful meditation on the spiritual dimensions of creativity and a practical discussion on ways to live a more creative life.
Aug 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
A new way to see spirituality.
Lori Archer- burnham
I like his perspective and easy style.
Suzan Alteri
Apr 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: related-books
So far, so brilliant.

Stayed brilliant.
Joan Huenemann Michie
One of the best books on creativity that I have ever read.
John A.
Sep 17, 2012 rated it it was ok
Many words were written in the production of this book. A few of them actually said something, too.
Feb 27, 2015 rated it liked it
There are lot of thought-provoking ideas here. It's a little bit floaty in places for my taste but that's just me. Each to their own. ...more
Apr 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The essence of creativity and the creator. Spirituality, creativity, and the meaning of life all wrapped up in one beautiful read.
Susie Bm
Dec 01, 2007 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Waiting for it to arrive.
Anthony Oliva
Oct 03, 2014 rated it did not like it
Not my style. I didn't enjoy reading this at all. ...more
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Matthew Fox (born 1940) is an American Episcopal priest and theologian. He is an exponent of Creation Spirituality, a movement grounded in the mystical philosophies of medieval visionaries Hildegard of Bingen, Thomas Aquinas, Meister Eckhart and Nicholas of Cusa. His books have sold millions of copies and by the mid 1990s had a "huge and diverse following". ...more

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“Where the Divine and the Human Meet" shows how important it is to meet the world with the creativity of an artist, particularly in these uncertain times:

"What do we do with chaos?

Creativity has an answer. We are told by those who have studied the processes of nature that creativity happens at the border between chaos and order. Chaos is a prelude to creativity. We need to learn, as every artist needs to learn, to live with chaos and indeed to dance with it as we listen to it and attempt some ordering. Artists wrestle with chaos, take it apart, deconstruct and reconstruct from it. Accept the challenge to convert chaos into some kind of order, respecting the timing of it all, not pushing beyond what is possible—combining holy patience with holy impatience--that is the role of the artist. It is each of our roles as we launch the twenty-first century because we are all called to be artists in our own way. We were all artists as children. We need to study the chaos around us in order to turn it into something beautiful. Something sustainable. Something that remains".”
“We are not consumers. For most of humanity’s existence, we were makers, not consumers: we made our clothes, shelter, and education, we hunted and gathered our food.

We are not addicts. “I propose that most addictions come from our surrendering our real powers, that is, our powers of creativity.” We are not passive couch potatoes either. “It is not the essence of humans to be passive. We are players. We are actors on many stages…. We are curious, we are yearning to wonder, we are longing to be amazed… to be excited, to be enthusiastic, to be expressive. In short to be alive.” We are also not cogs in a machine. To be so would be to give up our personal freedoms so as to not upset The Machine, whatever that machine is. Creativity keeps us creating the life we wish to live and advancing humanity’s purpose as well.”
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