With a resurgence of religious fundamentalism driving — or shackling — the course of human events, the author insists that religion always functions as either a lock on an outmoded past or a creative engine of the evolution of human consciousness. Preferring — in dangerous times — a hopeful view of human possibility, he proposes an evolutionary spiritual vision for our time, and for an uncharted future.
The stakes are high. The fragile ecosphere of a rare life-friendly planet will not survive if its most powerful actor goes on applying its godlike powers to its greedy project of ecocide. But what kind of world would it be if we, the human presence, understood ourselves differently, and abandoned the pursuit of objects — material wealth, status, and the comfort of unquestioned dogma — that are calamitously unworthy of what he calls "this strange amalgam of god and dust"? What if we reckoned differently with our place in this evolving universe?
F. Jay Deacon describes himself as a refugee from Protestant fundamentalism who now finds himself inspired by the Transcendentalism of Emerson and the swelling company of those extending their vision into the leading-edge "integral spirituality" and "evolutionary enlightenment." In a career that transcended the limitations of his former faith, he served as Director of the Unitarian Universalist Office of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Concerns, leading the development of the denomination's successful "Welcoming Congregation" program of GLBT inclusion. He served as parish minister of seven different New England congregations and, for a decade, at the historic Unity Temple in Oak Park, Illinois. He currently serves Channing Memorial Church (Unitarian Universalist), Newport, Rhode Island.
In Magnificent Journey, he examines fundamentalism, the idea of "God," human sexuality and marriage equality, the depths and heights of both our failings and our potentialities, the climate emergency that threatens our future, and a serious spiritual alternative that might make sense to postmodern persons and make sense of us. He suggests the creative power of what communities organized around such a vision might discover in themselves, now, just as the consequences of humanity's most destructive possibilities seem inescapable.