Invisible Excursions (Wyndham Hall 2012) draws on a lifetime of study, including more than 25 years mentoring students in creation spirituality, Conlon divides the evolution of culture and theology over the past decades into seven epochs. As each epoch unfolds, Conlon traces what he coins “invisible excursions” —experiences that touch all of us at a deep level, and that over time allow new understandings to germinate within us and lead us into uncharted territory.
Jim Conlon discusses the evolution of culture and theology over the past decades, which he has organized into a series of seven epochs. Simultaneously, he traces what he terms invisible excursions that is, experiences that touch all of us at a deep level, and that over time allow new understandings to germinate within us and lead us into uncharted territory. Invisible Excursions is part memoir and part cosmological commentary. In it, Conlon interweaves the following stories and themes. (1) He recounts elements of his own personal narrative, beginning with his childhood in a village on the shores of the St. Clair River in Southwestern Ontario, through his years in seminary, and into the present. (2) He traces how critical events (e.g., Vatican Council II, war, politics and social unrest, arts and the popular culture) have shaped the times and can be seen to define specific epochs that both influence and reflect the spiritual journey of the people at that juncture in history. (3) He discusses the contributions of those who provide the basis for a rich and viable alternative to traditional theology, including three great figures whom he counts among his most significant mentors: Teilhard de Chardin, Thomas Berry, and Matthew Fox. He explains the principles of creation spirituality, the universe story, and the great work of our times, and in so doing, merges the perspectives of theology, social justice, ecology, and community organization. (4) Finally, last but not least, he narrates the story of the Sophia Center, including its genesis and how it can serve as a model and inspiration for those emerging as a counter force, giving life to a holistic spirituality not based on reactionary, fundamentalist conformity, but rather on the vision of a new global civilization that both fulfills our human destiny and responds to the needs of the earth.