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The Power of Evolutionary Spirituality with Ursula King — Live in London

EnlightenNext London has created a summer festival that is going to be a flat out celebration of philosophy, dance, music, and Spirit–a tantalizing and uplifting combination designed to make the spirit soar. It’s the Midsummer Renaissance Festival on July 30-31. Most of the EnlightenNext editorial team will be there to engage in dialogue and interviews with some extremely fascinating people. On July 30, I will be interviewed by Lee ChalmersLee is both a business consultant, a champion for women (check out her latest post in HuffPo UK), and is edging her way into politics. We’re calling the talk “Women Creating the Future.

On July 31, I’ll be in dialogue with University of Bristol theologian Dr. Ursula King. Ursula has an expertise in the work of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin–a Jesuit priest and paleontologist who was one of the 20th C.’s most authentic and powerful voices of a new, evolutionary spirituality. Ursula always transmits a palpable enthusiasm–which literally means divine inspiration–for humanity’s spiritual evolution. Our dialogue takes for its title a line echoing Teilhard: “Discovering Fire for the Second Time.” The “fire” that Tielhard refers to is a particular kind of love, or Eros, that burns from the Divine into Creation. In fact, in the audio below, Ursula recites Teilhard’s quote in an interview that I did with her in 2009 about her book, The Search for Spirituality where we speak together about the evolutionary fire that has brought us to where we are today.

Ursula King abrev. audio 5 min (click here)

What I particularly appreciate about Ursula is her impatience with retro ideas of spirituality–trying to take the deep wisdom from the past and stick it, unchanged, into the present. She’s not against the great religious traditions, but sees that they have to be updated for our times. And I completely agree with her about the need for a world-embracing spirituality that is not at all divorced from life and that calls us to evolve our humanity. I hope that our dialogue on July 31st points us in that direction!

Well, that’s just a taste of what’s to come. If you are in the UK at the end of July, please come and say hello, and check out this vibrant midsummer scene!

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Filed Under: ConsciousnessCultural EvolutionCultureDevelopmentEnlightenNext Editors’ BlogEvolutionary SpiritualityGenderSpirituality

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About the Author

Elizabeth Debold is a Senior Editor for EnlightenNext magazine. Follow her on Twitter @EvolveWomen.

Comments (3)

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  1. Frank Luke says:

    I so strongly concur with Ms King’s exasperation, if that’s the word, with religious and spiritual clinging to past beliefs that appear out of sync with our times and how seem so retro and out of step, if not insidious.

    So much of religious belief, graved in stone hundreds of centuries ago, are now causing so much contention (wars even) over purported but now outworn truths.

    What can you say to fundamentalists and believers mired in the past?

    Neurotic behavior as I understand is responding to the present inappropriately based on past ingrained beliefs and behavior.

    Neurotic religions and beliefs?

  2. Frank Luke says:

    The horrific murders in Norway by a xenophobic fanatic is the pushback to the collective and connective evolution of humanity now progressing. With mass migrations of populations invading safer nations, this dynamic will certainly cause consternation for those concerned about preserving national integrity.

    Evolutionary enlightenment can be viewed as inevitable but will not be accepted with equanimity by all and without expressions like that which occurred in Norway.

    We should not expect that Evolutionary Enlightenment will be just a piece of cake.

  3. This was a lovely audio excerpt with Ursula King. I’ve dabbled in her work before and enjoyed her thoughts on the importance of Teilhard de Chardin. I think that making this man’s work accessible, clear, and also clearly pertinent to our times is a worthy calling. She has done more than this of course, (I have a book of hers called Christian Mystics). Teilhard’s vision; one of seeing the unity of all of life, the zest for life, the sheer ecstasy and illumination that “matter” secretly holds, the true “spiritual power of matter.” This can be a powerful koan for awakening and illumination, a modern day mysticism that is not merely evolutionary, but equally transcendent in its vision of Christ’s return as Omega. It was inspiring to read his reflections on the universe as a “living Host,” and I can say it truly reconciled my upbringing in the Catholic faith with the more secular, and scientific perspectives.