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Magnificent Journey

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About the author:
F. Jay Deacon says an evolutionary impulse inexorably impelled him from fundamentalist Christianity, through a Pentecostal college and evangelical seminary, into a jolting confrontation with a deeper truth than he'd found in the scriptures of a premodern time and universe remote from the world that confronts us now. Coming out as a gay man forced fundamental questions he couldn't any longer afford the luxury of avoiding. He came to understand his own spiritual evolution as part and parcel of a magnificent forward journey of consciousness into uncharted territory where the future - whatever it is to be - is in our hands. In the story of the American Transcendentalists led by R. W. Emerson, he found a vivid embodiment of the kind of evolutionary spirituality that can give us access to the highest human possibility. Serving numerous Unitarian Universalist congregations in the U.S. and the U.K., he has struggled with the potentials of a spiritual community to become the context where a "higher We" can come into being. With the future of this human experiment in profound peril as our past and present folly degrades the climate and the natural world, he speaks with urgency: it is time to be done with the religion that binds us to a primitive, naive, and sometimes barbaric past - and to engage deeply in a spirituality that must be a powerful engine of the evolution of consciousness and human culture.
He served for a decade in the ministry of the Metropolitan Community Churches before receiving credentials as a Unitarian Universalist minister in 1982. He earned a Master of Divinity at the evangelical Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry at McCormick Theological Seminary. Currently he serves Channing Memorial Church (Unitarian Universalist) in Newport, Rhode Island.

Magnificent Journey

Religion as Lock on the Past, or Engine of Evolution

Authored by F. Jay Deacon, F. Jay Deacon

As a resurgence of religious fundamentalism drives-or shackles-the course of human events, the author insists that religion always functions as either a lock on an outmoded past or a creative engine of the evolution of human consciousness. Preferring-in dangerous times-a hopeful view of human possibility, he proposes an evolutionary spiritual vision for our time, and for an uncharted future.

The stakes are high. The fragile ecosphere of a rare life-friendly planet will not survive if its most powerful actor goes on applying its godlike powers to its greedy project of ecocide. But what kind of world would it be if we, the human presence, understood ourselves differently, and abandoned the pursuit of things that are calamitously unworthy of what he calls "this strange amalgam of god and dust"? What if we reckoned differently with our place in this evolving universe?

F. Jay Deacon describes himself as a refugee from Protestant fundamentalism who now finds himself inspired by the Transcendentalism of Emerson and the swelling company of those extending their vision into the leading-edge "integral spirituality" and "evolutionary enlightenment." In a career that transcended the limitations of his former faith, he served as Director of the Unitarian Universalist Office of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Concerns. He has served as parish minister of UU congregations including, for a decade, the historic Unity Temple in Oak Park, Illinois. Currently, he serves as minister of Channing Memorial Church, UU, in Newport, Rhode Island.

In Magnificent Journey, he examines fundamentalism, the idea of "God," human sexuality and marriage equality, the depths and heights of both our failings and our potentialities, the climate emergency that threatens our future; and he offers a serious spiritual alternative for postmodern people, and for our times. He suggests the creative power of communities organized around such a vision, now, just as the consequences of humanity's most destructive possibilities might seem inescapable.

Publication Date:
0983829721 / 9780983829720
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
6" x 9"
Black and White
Related Categories:
Religion / Spirituality / General

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