The Office of Religious and Spiritual Life coordinates the annual Multifaith Baccalaureate Ceremony and is committed to reflecting religious, racial, cultural, and practice diversities in its choices of baccalaureate speakers.
This year’s Multifaith Baccalaureate Ceremony speaker is Matthew Fox, a spiritual theologian, an Episcopal priest, and an activist for gender justice and eco-justice. He will speak on the topic, “12 Years, What Now?” regarding the 2019 United Nations Climate report, which will serve as an urgent call to action to the Class of 2019.
The multifaith service took place Sunday, May 26 in Finney Chapel with an opening performance by Conservatory of Music students. The event was open to the public and is part of Commencement/Reunion Weekend.
Fox joins a list of religiously diverse speakers to keynote the annual service. In earlier years, Rabbi Jill Jacobs spoke of the need for a firm moral compass in a shaky world. Another service featured the Rev. Frank Chikane, a living testament to the effectiveness of the Black Consciousness movement.
In choosing among social justice-minded, thoughtful scholars who would appeal to a broad audience of students, faculty, staff, and community members, Fox adds to the distinct voices of our day.
About the Baccalaureate Speaker
Spiritual theologian, Episcopal priest, and activist, Matthew Fox has devoted 45 years to developing and teaching the tradition of Creation Spirituality. It is rooted in ancient Judeo-Christian teaching, inclusive of today’s science and world spiritual traditions; welcoming of the arts and artists; prophetic, and committed to eco-justice, social justice, and gender justice.
He established and led the University of Creation Spirituality in Oakland, California, until it closed in 2007. He has taught at Holy Names College (now University), Stanford University, Vancouver School of Theology, Association for Transpersonal Psychology, the California Institute of Integral Studies, Schumacher College, the Findhorn Foundation, and the Omega Institute, among other places.
Fox has written more than 35 books that have been translated into 73 languages. Among them are Original Blessing, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ, A Spirituality Named Compassion, The Reinvention of Work, and Meister Eckhart: A Mystic-Warrior for Our Times. He has reinvented forms of education and worship and has contributed much to the rediscovery of Hildegard of Bingen, Meister Eckhart, and Thomas Aquinas as premodern and postmodern spiritual pioneers.
Fox, who joined the Episcopal church more than 20 years ago, has been working with young people to reinvent forms of worship by bringing elements of rave such as dance, dj, vj, and more into the Western Liturgy. Referred to as the Cosmic Mass , it has been celebrated more than 100 times and in dozens of cities in North America, including in 2018 at the Washington National Cathedral with the theme, healing racism.
He is the recipient of the Abbey Courage of Conscience Peace Award, the Ghandi King Ikeda Award, the Tikkun National Ethics Award, among others. He holds a doctorate, summa cum laude, in the history and theology of spirituality at the Institut Catholique de Paris.
He is currently a visiting scholar at the Academy for the Love of Learning in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and resides in Vallejo, California.