emmett coyne (3)

I have just co-authored and published "Education, Theology and Fear: Two Priests and a Fearologist in Dialogue" (Technical Paper No. 61)... I highly recommend you check this out at Department of Integral and 'Fear' Studies (scroll down for a free pdf). 


You may be wondering what is Michael up to now with this "theology" kick? 

I have been asking this question really sincerely for the past six months, since I have met both Emmett Coyne and Terry Biddington, the two priests (American, British) who have taken up my work on fear and fearlessness like no others in my career so far. And, yes, more or less, the three of us are discussing what a "theology of fear" (healthy-side, and unhealthy-side) might look like in the 21st century. 

Today, while journaling, I came into a long series of rather spontaneous connections, going way back to my interest in "theodicy" (of Good vs. Evil)... now, and since the 1989 founding of the In Search of Fearlessness Project, Love vs. Fear has been one of the core foundations of me working through what a "metaphysics of fear" could look like. 

That's enough hints... for why you may want to read this dialogue in tech. paper no. 61 ... There will be a lot more coming on this, because it seems "pressing" (or "calling") upon my soul to articulate this better-- much better-- than I have to this point. And, to finally, wet your appetite, the ongoing study of fear ('fear') now 27 years in progress is by any other name a code-word for evil ('evil') -- and, this is big stuff ... it has eluded me, and then revealed itself, and then eluded me -- my forensic fearanalysis is getting better at seeing through what it is I am on about here on this planet... ha ha! 

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I just found this new book review of Philosophy of Fearism: A First East-West Dialogue (2016) posted on amazon books by Emmett Coyne, a Catholic priest who is the first person I know to have bought a copy of my book and read it through (note: he is also author of a fascinating book The Theology of Fear): 

By Emmett A. Coyne on February 29, 2016

FEAR is universally pervasive, not only geographically, but it penetrates all levels of human consciousness, unconsciousness, and endeavors. As has been noted, and many would accede the point, fear seems to be rooted in our DNA. DNA is certainly a modern category that seeks to identify the locus of what might be innate to humans. But, to say something is rooted in our DNA seems like it is a capitulation to a fatalistic acceptance of the ways things are. If our view, however, of the human person is dynamic, and not static, then fear need not be the bogey man in our human psyche that holds us prisoner.

 This work, The Philosophy of Fearism, seeks to bring to human consciousness how fear might be brought up from the basement to the living room., from the dark to the light, from an airless, stagnant place to fresh air space. When in the light it can lose some of its power to control, and cause us to wonder how we might better manage fear so that we are less the victim, more the agent.

 This work is a milestone in an east/west conscious consideration of fears many facets. By examining it together we can perhaps become more the subject than the object of fear. The West’s colonialization of ideas can create a blowback. We can be negatively impacted by our isolated analysis. An east/west dialogue allows us to consider how others perceive fear. This is a vital plus as it provokes us to think, reflect beyond the confines of our particular box, to view in a new light.


The authors provide us with a ‘new’ vocabulary relative to fear, all of which allows us to be less victimized by fear, to view fear as a force that can be managed. Until recently, fear has been like sex, omnipresent, but which too often the impulse seems to keep us dangling. Sex education has tamed the balky beast. If sex education has allowed persons to manage it for a more holistic life, ought not fear education which these author are promoting, integrate fear in the pantheon of our being? This work will cause one to have new thoughts, considerations about fear, and how its DNA need not necessarily be a negative, unmanageable beast. Again, knowledge liberates.

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I have recently come across a wonderful book by Emmett Coyne (2012), The Theology of Fear. Emmett is a priest who had lived a rather unconventional path and recently has taken great interest in the In Search of Fearlessness Project and the ways that I point to "Fear" as our main enemy along the journey of which, in Christ's words, we have to come to love (i.e., "love thy enemy")... no small calling. I wrote a book review of Emmett's book on Amazon.com which I suggest you check out. Here is the first paragraph from the book review I wrote there: 

on December 16, 2015

I for one, not a "Christian" per se, but one who admires and aspires to be what Coyne calls "other Christs," has long been contending that until Christianity (and all the Abrahamic Tradition religions) re-evaluate seriously their privileging of fear (e.g., "fear of God," "fear of sin," and "fear of the Devil," "fear of the Earth," for a start... oh, "fear of flesh"-- i.e., sexuality and females) there will be no Kingdom of Heaven on Earth or anywhere else. But then, what do I know? I know a lot about fear and fearlessness, as my professional study for the past 26 years. And when I pick up a book like Coyne's on the theology of fear, and see his critique with two outstanding chapters (in my eyes) on "The Empire in Drag: Reinforcing the Reign of Fear" (Chpt. 3) and "The Afterlife: Living in Fear of the Future" (Chpt 4), my heart opens to what I see as a fragile and wonderful confession--and, in this case from a career-long well-traveled priest of the RCC. Frankly, I don't care who or what or where one makes this transformation to admit that we have been living in and utilizing fear as power--and, mostly not for good. Christ certainly wouldn't have supported living life by the Rule of Fear.

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