A vibrant, sonorous, philosophically rich introduction to Fox’s teachings.



A leader of a spiritual movement emphasizing creativity, holism, ecology, and feminism sounds off in this wide-ranging digest.

Fox, a major contemporary theorist of progressive spirituality, began his career as a Dominican priest but was expelled from the priesthood by the Vatican for deviating from Catholic doctrine. He went on to become an Episcopal priest and founded the University of Creation Spirituality. Burack’s volume gathers excerpts from Fox’s many books and interviews in which he critiques traditional Christianity, which he views as excessively focused on original sin, the fall and redemption of man, private salvation, repression of passion, an “uber masculine and phallic” patriarchal perspective, and a separation of spirituality from nature and the body. Challenging this orthodoxy, Fox proffers a “creation spirituality” that posits creativity as the organizing principle of the universe, which he sees as inherently good and steeped in “original blessing.” His creation spirituality is feminist, revering God the Mother; full of ecstatic passion and sensuality; intent on furthering social justice; warmly accepting of the body; vigilant about protecting Mother Earth from ecological crises; and centered on “the Cosmic Christ,” who is immanent in all things. (Fox is known for his celebrations of “the Cosmic Mass,” a worship service that resembles a rave with dancing and light shows.) Fox grounds all of this in intellectually sophisticated but lucid and engaging discussions of medieval Catholic thinkers, like Thomas Aquinas and Hildegard of Bingen, Native American and Eastern religions, and quantum physics, which, he contends, provides a scientific rationale for the mystical oneness of all being. Traditionalists may sometimes wince at his revisions of Catholic verities—“Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us co-creators now and at the hour of our creativity” is his rendering of the Hail Mary prayer, which came to him during a vision quest—but his religious effusions have their own resonant grandeur. (“A new commandment has been given to us: thou shalt love your life with all your strength and energy, growing daily in appreciation of the joys of life; and you shall allow and aid where possible your neighbor to love his/hers and do the same, using common norms of justice to determine life’s priorities.”) Readers will find here a captivating introduction to Fox’s multifaceted ideas.

A vibrant, sonorous, philosophically rich introduction to Fox’s teachings.

Pub Date: March 23, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-62698-455-4

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Orbis

Review Posted Online: Aug. 3, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2022

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.


The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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A conversational, pleasurable look into McConaughey’s life and thought.

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All right, all right, all right: The affable, laconic actor delivers a combination of memoir and self-help book.

“This is an approach book,” writes McConaughey, adding that it contains “philosophies that can be objectively understood, and if you choose, subjectively adopted, by either changing your reality, or changing how you see it. This is a playbook, based on adventures in my life.” Some of those philosophies come in the form of apothegms: “When you can design your own weather, blow in the breeze”; “Simplify, focus, conserve to liberate.” Others come in the form of sometimes rambling stories that never take the shortest route from point A to point B, as when he recounts a dream-spurred, challenging visit to the Malian musician Ali Farka Touré, who offered a significant lesson in how disagreement can be expressed politely and without rancor. Fans of McConaughey will enjoy his memories—which line up squarely with other accounts in Melissa Maerz’s recent oral history, Alright, Alright, Alright—of his debut in Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused, to which he contributed not just that signature phrase, but also a kind of too-cool-for-school hipness that dissolves a bit upon realizing that he’s an older guy on the prowl for teenage girls. McConaughey’s prep to settle into the role of Wooderson involved inhabiting the mind of a dude who digs cars, rock ’n’ roll, and “chicks,” and he ran with it, reminding readers that the film originally had only three scripted scenes for his character. The lesson: “Do one thing well, then another. Once, then once more.” It’s clear that the author is a thoughtful man, even an intellectual of sorts, though without the earnestness of Ethan Hawke or James Franco. Though some of the sentiments are greeting card–ish, this book is entertaining and full of good lessons.

A conversational, pleasurable look into McConaughey’s life and thought.

Pub Date: Oct. 20, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-13913-4

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

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