Ex-priest and "visionary theologian" Matthew Fox is nothing if not an aficionado of pastiche. His ecumenism blends Hinduism and Christianity with a healthy wallop of feel-good therapeutic rigamarole and knee-jerk leftist philosophy. The basic problem with modern society, Fox believes, is that it downplays the search for meaning. "We are a species made for cosmology, yet our culture has rendered us passive couch potatoes and shopping and entertainment addicts. In short, we have been cut off from the big universe, and consequently we are bored, boring, and violent."

The most important part of this separation from the "big universe" is the association of flesh with sin. Fox's mission is to reclaim flesh and the human body as sites of meaning, even of divinity. "Instead of fear from flesh and flight from flesh and dogmas against flesh, it is time for the awe of flesh." In this service, he enlists sources as diverse as Walt Whitman, mystic philosopher Rumi, management consultants, biologists, and--oh yes--Jesus. It's hard to know what to make of this book, except to sit back and wonder at the odd thoughts which flash through Fox's mind.

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