Friday, October 31, 2008

Foreword focus is leaving fundamentalism

Earlier this year, Wilfrid Laurier University Press published a book called, Leaving Fundamentalism: Personal Stories, with a foreword by Thomas Moore.

Editor: G. Elijah Dann
Paperback: 246 pages
Publisher: Wilfrid Laurier University Press (May 26, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1554580269
ISBN-13: 978-1554580262
Foreword by Thomas Moore

A Barque post in 2006 quotes Moore’s definition of fundamentalism as:
"Fundamentalism in religion is a defensive move that comes from fear of the other. Those who believe that God is on their side, that whatever they say is divinely sanctioned and it’s their right to force it on the world, become violent and aggressive in defending their anxious beliefs. But rather than vilify fundamentalists, I think it would be more effective to admit we are all fundamentalists on some level. We all adhere to certain beliefs and language. Such fundamentalisms get in the way of an open and adventurous spiritual life..."
For this year’s book with Moore’s foreword, a description includes, "The stories in Leaving Fundamentalism provide a personal and intimate look behind sermons, religious services, and church life, and promote an understanding of those who have been deeply involved in the conservative Christian church. These autobiographies come from within the congregations and homes of religious fundamentalists, where their highly idealized faith, in all its complexities and problems, meets the reality of everyday life. Told from the perspective of distance gained by leaving fundamentalism, each story gives the reader a snapshot of what it is like to go through the experiences, thoughts, feelings, passions, and pains that, for many of the writers, are still raw."

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Moore blogs with Psychology Today today

Thomas Moore starts blogging with Psychology Today in his new Spirituality blog called Care of the Soul: Creating a richer life and a more beautiful world. In his first entry, "Lighten up with Gravitas" Moore talks about next Tuesday’s U.S. presidential election and the need for candidates to show intellectual heft and humour. Moore writes,
"I've heard some commentators say that [Sarah Palin] lacks gravitas. Yes, I thought, a degree of intellectual and emotional weight is necessary in a leader, and leadership is what these elections are about. Sometimes you have to remind yourself of that fact. I see gravitas in Barack Obama, and I've watched George W. Bush struggle with it for eight years. He reaches for it, but it slips away in his folksiness and in the lightness of his thought.

But our leaders are mirrors of ourselves, and so I wonder about the gravitas of the American people. I often spend time in Ireland and find the people there quite different from Americans. Their heart is more tender and present in public life. They respond as a country in a felt way to people in need, and yet they also have gravitas. You only have to read the national newspapers there and see the intelligence and weight of ideas and respect for thought and language. Our newspapers are becoming lighter and lighter. Soon they will only be a collection of headlines and an assortment of opinionated, inflamed positions and attacks."
. . .
"But gravitas is only one side of a whole picture. The other side is lightness and humor. I haven't seen much humor among the candidates for election and I wonder if that is not due to the lack of gravitas. Good gravitas and good humor go together."
Read Moore’s entire post and comment if you have want to share thoughts with Care of the Soul readers.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Soul recipes include insights to chew on

Following the "Feasting and Fasting" theme for the November-December issue (no.251) of Resurgence magazine, Thomas Moore writes, "Food for the Soul".

In his article about increasing food’s imaginal power, Moore includes, "Perhaps the greatest challenge in this time of rapid technological advance and the shrinking of the globe is to create a world community. But that important task can’t be done in the abstract. Food can play a role. Food as community, not as a commodity. Whatever power allows lunch to foster friendship, wedding cake a marriage, and bread and wine a religion could make a community of the world’s population. But we need first to restore soul to food."
"If growers, packagers and sellers would treat food as having great potential for meaning, we might think more about eating moderately and healthfully. We might discover the power of food to cultivate friendships and family. We might appreciate its capacity to foster the all-important virtue of conviviality. Possessed of that virtue, the joy in being cohabitants of the planet, we might understand our role in making sure that the children of the world never go hungry.

ANOTHER WAY FOOD contributes to conviviality is in its extraordinary power to make the pleasures of ethnic diversity concrete and sensual. Is it the physical organism or the soul that craves an Italian dinner one night and Indian the next? The taste and colour and texture of food evoke a people and a style of life, and everyone, at any place on the globe, can be enriched as a person by tasting foreign food.”
. . .
But unfortunately imagination is not high among our priorities. When we turn food into a mere object, we tend to abuse it and abuse ourselves with it. We substitute quantity for quality. We don’t have a sensual experience of food, and therefore we eat too much. Our imagination is ‘out to lunch’, and so we stuff our bodies. We don’t value the role of food in our friendships and families, and therefore we tolerate the fast, unconscious, ungraceful ingestion of solids and liquids that today passes for dining."
Throughout the piece, Moore draws on his practice of psychotherapy to show food’s role in cultivating soul.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, October 09, 2008

What do we need in corporate leadership now?

Last year, Thomas Moore contributed a chapter to a book described as "a primer for twenty-first century leadership," called Einstein's Business: Engaging Soul, Imagination, and Excellence in the Workplace, edited by Dawson Church. Moore’s chapter, "Joyful Ethics," starts on page 101, in "Part Two: Heart-Centered Leadership." Einstein’s Business won the Indie Excellence 2007 Book Award in the Business category. Other contributors are Peter Senge, Margaret Wheatley, Oprah Winfrey and Stephen Covey. Visit the Einstein’s Business site for more information about this book.

Einstein's Business
Hardcover: 483 pages
Publisher: Elite Books (January 31, 2007)
ISBN-10: 1600700152
ISBN-13: 978-1600700156

Labels: ,