Spiritual Leadership, A New Consciousness, and a World in Crisis
Study Group With Toni Nash, CSJ
Took Place in Spring 2019; New Group to Be Announced Soon!
The universe has been flooding us with revelatory information for eons and contemporary science helps us understand it. However, this is only part of the story; making meaning of these revelations is beyond the scope of science. The other part requires religious and spiritual interpretation to reveal the deepest meanings of this ongoing activity of the Divine.
What role can religious and spiritual leaders play in this meaning-making? Don’t we have to update our own understandings first? Most leaders today learned spirituality based on perceptions of the universe from at least 50 – 100 years ago, when there was still a sharp divide between the sacred and the profane.
What changes as we recognize the connections between the ongoing activity of creation – cosmogenesis – and the crises threatening our world? How might our public witness change if we lived our spiritual commitment, our religious vows, within an understanding of a sacred universe? How do new insights about the universe challenge our life and ministry?
Join Toni Nash, CSJ for this seven-session study group based on her PhD Dissertation Cosmological Commitment in a Time of Planetary Crisis. Sessions will be Zoom meetings in which participants meet and engage with each to apply our learnings to the challenges we face in today’s conflicted world.
Who is this for?
This course is designed for spiritual and religious leaders who want to frame their life and ministry within the new universe story. It particularly challenges those who make religious vows but will have significance for other leaders.
In This Study Group, You Will:
- Learn to analyze different aspects of our ecological, social and spiritual crisis through the lens of the cosmos-building principles of identity, difference, and interdependence
- Increase your familiarity with the ways the cosmogenetic principles manifest in the world around us
- Understand the consequences of ignoring these conditions
- Explore the potential of these operating principles to become practical ethical standards for decision making
- Examine what kind of internal transformation is needed for us to become vibrant contributing members of the Earth Community
- Explore how religious commitment and vows, influenced by cosmogenesis, would witness to right relationships between humans and the rest of the whole Earth community
Sessions and Recommended Readings
Session 1 (March 21): Aligning with the Flow of Energy: This session will explore the foundations for understanding the cosmos-building principles of identity, difference, and interdependence as essential to the process of evolution
Nash, T. (2015). Cosmological commitment in a time of planetary crisis: (Chapter 1: Introduction”
Berry, T. (1999). The great work. New York, NY: Bell Tower. (especially Chapters 1-6, 14, 16)
Macy, J. (2007). Coming back to life. Gabriola Island, BC, Canada: New Society Publishers. (Chapters 1, 2)
Session 2 (March 28): What Crisis Looks Like: We will examine some of our most pressing challenges to life and health on this planet through the lens of the cosmos-building principles of identity, difference, and interdependence
Nash, T. (2015). Cosmological commitment in a time of planetary crisis: (Chapter 2: “Theories of the crises and of an inadequate worldview”
Boff, L. (1997). Cry of the Earth, cry of the poor. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books. (Chapter 3: “The ecological crisis” In the first part of this chapter, Boff presents a Latin American perspective on the destructive thinking at the root of the ecological crisis: pp 63 – 75)
Session 3 (April 4): Deepening our understanding of Identity and Interdependence:We will examine how identity arises out of our interactions with the whole, and how the whole is changed by individuals
Nash, T. (2015). Cosmological commitment in a time of planetary crisis: (Chapter 3: “Cosmogenesis as Alternative Consciousness” pp.20 -34)
Session 4 (April 11): The Role Differentiation plays in Evolution: How to live with differences is one of our greatest challenges today. We will explore the essential contribution differentiation makes to our evolution
Nash, T. (2015). Cosmological commitment in a time of planetary crisis: (Chapter 3: “Cosmogenesis as Alternative Consciousness” pp. 35 – 47)
Session 5 (April 18): Spiritual Leadership in an Evolving Universe: This session challenges spiritual leaders to play a unique role in midwifing the profound transformation of consciousness we need to undergo to a align with Earth’s evolutionary processes
Nash, T. (2015). Cosmological commitment in a time of planetary crisis: (Chapter 4: “The role of religious leaders in societal change” pp.49 – 59)
Berry, T. (1999). The Christian future and the fate of the Earth. New York, NY: Bell Tower. (Chapter 4: Christian Cosmology pp. 26 – 34)
Boff, L. (1997). Cry of the Earth, cry of the poor. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books. (Chapter 3: “The ecological crisis” In the second part of this chapter, Boff gives a liberation theology critique of our destructive religious thinking: pp 75 – 85)
Session 6 (May 2): Foundations for Decision Making: This session will explore activities and decisions that will align with the optimal flow of energy in our daily decisions.
Nash, T. (2015). Cosmological commitment in a time of planetary crisis: (Chapter 5: “Living the values that we need to survive” pp.60 – 75)
Session 7 (May 9): Grounding in a Cosmos-Building Approach to our World: In this session will examine what kind of internal transformation that is needed for us to become vibrant contributing members of the Earth Community
Nash, T. (2015). Cosmological commitment in a time of planetary crisis: (Chapter 6: “Values for a vibrant earth community” pp.76 – 81)
Swimme, B. (2000). Cosmic directionality and the wisdom of science. In J. F. Haught (Ed.), Science and religion in search of cosmic purpose (pp. 91–104). Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.