Cover image for Prayers to an evolutionary God
Prayers to an evolutionary God
Cleary, William.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Woodstock, Vt. : SkyLight Paths Pub., [2004]

Physical Description:
xiii, 182 pages ; 24 cm
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BL560 .C54 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Your image of God has evolved from a distant, all-knowing father to a creative force of the universe. Now it's time to update your prayer, too.

An evolutionary God is the one whose fingerprints and embraces and music we find in the evolutionary patterns in the unfinished world around us, the elusive mother and inventor of this ever-changing milieu. It is a God who pretends--for some purpose we do not comprehend--not even to exist, but whom we can reach out for and give thanks to, if we wish--as most of our race has done throughout its history.
--from the Introduction

In this unique collection of eighty prose prayers and related commentary, William Cleary invites you to consider new ways of thinking about God and about the world around you. Inspired by the spiritual and scientific teachings of Diarmuid O'Murchu and Teilhard de Chardin, Cleary reveals that religion and science can be combined to create an expanding view of the universe--an evolutionary faith.

Prayers to an Evolutionary God inspires you to discover your own place in the story of the universe, challenges you to rethink life in new ways, and enables you to express yourself in words that make sense--to an evolutionary God.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Cleary, a former Jesuit priest, offers a prayer-book and catechism of sorts, rooted in process theology and the evolutionary mysticism of Jesuit paleontologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Chardin's poetic and scientific artistry, however, is sadly lacking in this volume of lyrically flat-footed prayers interspersed with pedantic metaphysical commentary. Cleary struggles to articulate a role for verbal prayer in post-traditional spirituality: "you know in advance that talking to God is like talking to your dog"-perhaps not pointless, but not essentially concerned with what is being said. Accordingly the book's prayers tend to equivocate between disclaiming God's personal involvement in the world ("You really have no divine face that smiles on us, no hands that distribute blessings or hold us safe") and recognizing it ("We bless you for your caringness through all the eons of evolutionary unfolding"). Evolution is, as expected, a dominant theme for many of the prayers. But Cleary's concept of evolution is hard to untangle, especially when the possibility of divine guidance makes evolution almost like creation, albeit without the accountability that a traditional Creator bears towards creation: "Holy Mystery, our relational spirit-creator, allow us to feel nonplussed by your evolutionary strategies." Reflections like these put humanity in its place, but confronted with such profound ambiguities about who is being addressed in prayer and what its relationship to us might be, meditation or silent contemplation probably come more easily than verbal or written prayers. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved