Episode 1: 'The sublime and the turmoil' (22 min.)
"There has to be a way that the biblical story, the personal story and the cosmological story can converge and empower us into the future," Conlon tells interviewer Rich Heffern. "This is what engaged cosmology is all about. It's taking the commitment of our religious tradition, the energy of our own story that comes to us from the heart of our family life and the incidents that each of us have experienced and then the powers of the universe which draw us forward ... When all of that converges, a new world is possible."
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Engaged Wisdom: Strength for the work of seeking justice
height="100" width="67" James Conlon is director of Sophia Center in Culture and Spirituality, a wisdom school celebrating Earth, art and spirit, located at Holy Names University in Oakland, Calif. In these interviews Conlon talks about what he calls "engaged wisdom," saying that if we gain that zest for life, that enthusiasm and soul strength which are activated in us by the experience of wonder, beauty and belonging then we can do the strenuous and great work of seeking justice for all and of living in harmony with the Earth.
More about James Conlon
Conlon is author of many books. His most recent is From the Stars to the Streets: Engaged Wisdom for a Brokenhearted World, just published by Novalis. Other books include: At the Edge of Our Longing, The Sacred Impulse, and Geo-Justice. Conlon has been engaged in community organization and development, depth psychology and popular education in theology and culture and spirituality in both Canada and the United States for many years. Conlon calls Sophia Center a monastery for the new millennium "where we are called to take the vow of relationship with self, other, Earth and the Divine."
"Efforts worldwide to reverse the destruction of the Earth and bring justice to its people have been named by Fr. Thomas Berry as 'the Great Work,' " Conlon said. "Yet there's no infrastructure for this work. Sophia Center aims to be a school for the Great Work." It can be added that Conlon's life has been devoted to building this infrastructure.
The Sophia Center and its work are featured in the Sept. 7 issue of
NCR. To learn more read: 'A training camp for mystics', O'Murchu: We can't live without 'meaningful mysticism', Prejean focuses on the plight of an Earth on death row and A school for engaged wisdom.