Neil Douglas-Klotz, an internationally known scholar of religious studies and psychology, is author of Prayers of the Cosmos, Desert Wisdom, and The Hidden Gospel. Well-versed in the complex traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, he believes that "in the beginning, God" links these three religions that originated in the Middle East. They share a deep respect for the story of creation, the divine image, and the challenge of healing a broken world. Sadly, the creative and renewing possibilities of "Genesis Now!" have been overshadowed in the West by an obsession with the end-times and afterlife impulses of "Apocalypse Now!'
Douglas-Klotz points out that a literalized and materialized interpretation of the creation has eviscerated the mythic dimensions of this sacred story. Because our culture is end-dominated, this world is regarded as secondary to the next, so we trash and subdue the Earth with few regrets. The author salutes the contributions of process theologians and proponents of creation spirituality within Christendom, Jewish Renewal within Judaism, and Sufi mysticism within Islam; they all support a living, vital, and imaginative creation story -- for believers, a constant source of renewal and hope in their daily lives. Paying attention to the implications of this story becomes a spiritual practice, an "original meditation."
In chapters on The Caravan of Creation, The Great Dark, First Light, The Dance of Holy Wisdom, The Call of Abundance, First Human, Falling, Renewal and Return, Douglas-Klotz presents his retranslated sections from the Book of Genesis; the Gospels (particularly the Aramaic version of the Gospel of John and the Coptic version of Thomas); other Quranic, Kabbalistic and Sufic literature; and writings from Meister Eckhart and others. Sections from "the Storyteller" provide a progressive retelling of the creation story. Related meditations use imagery, repetition of sacred words, and body movements to give us an experiential connection to each part of the story.
Christianity, Judaism, and Islam share a common beginning, and spiritual practices that focus on that meeting point create understanding among the three traditions. After reading this very welcome resource, you will want to join Douglas-Klotz in exclaiming: "Genesis Now!"