The second anniversary of the occupation of Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan occurs Tuesday, September 17. In commemoration of this anniversary, North Atlantic Books has just released a new book written by the intergenerational duo of Rev. Dr. Matthew Fox and Adam Bucko, Occupy Spirituality: A Radical Vision for a New Generation.
Especially relevant in light of this past summer of protests in places as far-reaching as Brazil, Bulgaria, Turkey, and the ongoing political struggle in Egypt and the Middle East, Occupy Spirituality is a manifesto that aims to re-direct the global youth movement fighting for democracy. It reframes the struggle by calling for an all-encompassing spiritual revolution. Moving beyond politics and religion, it emphasizes the values of solidarity and justice while presenting a universal spiritual vision for a nonviolent revolution.
Connecting the deep aspirations and energy of the Occupy Movement and the Arab Spring with the methodologies of spiritual giants like Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Occupy Spirituality in the words of Lama Surya Das, calls all of us “to radical habit change and life- giving compassion in action.”
Endorsed by many luminaries and social justice activists including legendary 97 year-old civil rights activist Grace Lee Boggs and grandson and heir of Mahatma Gandhi, Arun Gandhi, the book opens with a provocative foreword by Egyptian activist and journalist Mona Eltahawy.
The writers of Occupy Spirituality, Dr. Rev. Matthew Fox and Adam Bucko, are no strangers to revolution. Fox has been described as “a statesman for alternative solutions.” He has worked for the last 40 years connecting spirituality to eco-justice, feminism, and liberation theology, preparing ground for what could be called a new 21st century spirituality. Having been expelled from the Dominican Order after 34 years by former Pope Benedict, he is now an American Episcopal priest and one of the world’s most influential theologians.
Adam Bucko familiarized himself with revolution growing up in Solidarity-era Poland. Later as a young man searching for God in Indian monasteries, he instead found Her in the broken lives of homeless teenagers. The realization that “my God lives in the streets” led him to cofound the Reciprocity Foundation, an organization in NYC that seeks to offer hope, healing, and skills training to homeless youth, many of whom are now successful media makers, professionals, and change makers in their communities.
Speaking of the book and the global movement Matthew Fox and Adam Bucko write: “People argue whether Occupy was successful and whether it is still around. To us, Occupy is not over. It is just beginning. Occupy is about intuition for justice that this new generation is sensing and giving birth to through their courage. Revolutions will come and go. Movements will change names and forms. But what is emerging in people ’s hearts will continue. Most likely it will continue quietly, in small communities, among friends, mostly unacknowledged by the dominant media. It will continue quietly creating a counterpoint to all the institutions and power structures, eventually moving the center of life from values that no longer serve life to relationships that nourish and celebrate life. The skeptics will be surprised. We can promise you that!”