November 15, 2008

Book review: The Hidden Spirituality of Men: Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine (Matthew Fox)

The Hidden Spirituality of Men is a book that attempts to define/re-define masculinity and what it means to be a man through the use of nature-based metaphor.  The author is a rather controversial person within the realm of spirituality, having been kicked out of the Catholic Church for a variety of reasons, including his view of life as Original Blessing vs. Original Sin, a view considered heretical by the (now) Pope.  Fox goes beyond the traditional definition of spirituality and favors a more integrative approach.  He doesn’t limit himself to any particular spiritual/religious point of view, instead recognizing the common themes held by virtually all cultures when it comes becoming a spiritual male and fully understanding what that means, which is a definite strength of the book. The Hidden Spirituality of Men attempts to integrate all aspects of masculinity, going beyond traditional perceptions of what it means to be male, including what and how we eat, the male body, and sex and sexuality, building towards a reverence for the self and the planet as a means to connect with the divine within and without.  In the tradition of Robert Bly, Fox accepts that men can and do have sides to them that are largely ignored and even mocked by popular media and mainstream culture and religion, and encourages men to explore those sides without emasculating themselves or others.  Highly recommended for anyone (male or female) interested in more fully understanding the masculine side of spirituality and wishing to further develop those energies within themselves.  Printed in Canada on 100% post-consumer-waste recycled paper, the publisher, New World Library is a member of the Green Press Initiative.  Available from your local, independent bookseller.

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