Historical Background for the Project(s)
For a few decades I've had an impulse and vision and budding passion to make a grand synthesis of all humankind's knowledge on Fear. After various fits and starts at different forms of research and writing, none ever published, I saw that I had not the resources or energy and time and space in my life to accomplish this. I sought out other's to help with this project and envisioned several volumes would be needed to cover the topic.
By the time I had finished my graduate school years (1998-2003), it struck me that I just had to publish a compendium of (at least) all the theories on Fear, and make some kind of classification of them, if not some critique. I began that research and building more forms for arranging this material but quickly, again, I realized it would be an exhaustive project to do alone and I even wondered at that point, with less enthusiasm than when I was younger, IF such a project would even been read or appreciated by the readers of the day. I concluded also that it would end up being quite a "negative" sounding set of volumes--as Fear is still perceived mostly negatively by humanity. So, I put the idea away and after several experiences working with a shawoman in Vancouver, doing healing work, a vision came to me. It would be better to research and write a compendium on what the world teachings are on FEARLESSNESS. Thus, a few years later, I published an ambitious (albeit, not exhaustive) volume, The World's Fearlessness Teachings .
That was 13 years ago. It's the best resource available for humanity on Fearlessness as a topic but also on my theorizing. I was less negative in outlook with addressing the Fear Problem humanity is facing and not well dealing with. The book title itself seemed more positive--fearlessness. All those things led to my great expectation for a great book to be recognized and utilized by humankind. This did not happen. No one has ever done a systematic in depth book review. And, the disappointments go on and on since it was published. I was not working in an academic institution, so as an independent scholar with no extra money to mass advertise this, and the publisher did little in distribution, I was left with a book that sold few copies and was 'dead in the water'. Which, didn't mean I was completely dispirited. Always, in the back of my mind, and I mention it in the Preface of The World's Fearlessness Teachings, that someday, I will write a companion two-set volumes on (a) The World's Fear Teachings -- a version of a kind of Summa Fearolgical (playing off the grand project of St. Thomas Aquinas in the 13th century with his Summa Theologica) and, (b) a friendly smaller popular version of both the essence findings of The World's Fearlessness Teachings and The World's Fear Teachings.
Books of World Great Ideas
The World's Fear Teachings, encyclopedic kind of enterprise I initiated, soon ended, re-started  ...and again ran out of 'gas' at several points over these years. And still it is not near able to hobble out of my old files and basement and see the light of day. I realized I would need several assistant researchers and secretaries to help with this project and preferrably some big publisher interested too, whom would provide the pre-publication funding and support to make this come about. Of course, I dream of some angel donor coming along and paying for such a massive project. I have not found any of these supports yet.
It was only this past month that I found a good book to read, which is an intellectual autobiography by Adler, entitled Mortimer J. Adler: Philosopher At Large, by Mortimer Adler (1902-1976) . Adler inspired me and he shared about St. Thomas Aquinas's massive project to summarize all the great knowledge on certain topics in the 13th century work, Summa Theologica. Adler had an encyclopedic mind for collecting and organizing, classifying and analyzing human knowledge. It made me think more vividly that I have in my own humble way being trying to construct a Summa Fearologica (a term that I just coined while thinking of writing this blog). The essence of Aquinas, and then the modern Adler, was to validate there are great ideas of universal interest and wisdom to pass on from generations, knowledge from grand scope and depth, and summarized for others to read and study and apply to their current times. I definitely have always wanted to do that with the Great Idea: Fear (and Fearlessness).
Back in 2004 when Corey Robin, a political historian at NYU, published his book Fear: The History of an Idea , this notion of "fear" being cast as an "idea" and not merely as an emotion, feeling (as psychology and philosophy and theology have done for centuries)--was very radical and I attempted to have conversations with Robin over emails but soon that was not mutually fruitful and my ambitions to be supported by someone in academia fell off again. I yet, knew that there was something there to continue to promote and re-think about. So, in the end, that is what I am putting forth to the world once again. Writing this blog to let you all know. The Summa Fearologica is real in my imaginary and I'd like to pass that on to others. Someday, maybe this will manifest, before I die or after.
In my current research/writing with Prof. Arie Kizel (Univ. of Haifa, Israel), we are going to attempt to write on the topic of "pedagogy of fear" as a concept (big idea) and analyze it. I have proposed to him, with his agreement to pursue it, that we include a section of that book on pedagothealogy. This large awkward sounding term is my formation of a pedagogy + theology perspective toward the nature and role of fear. Stayed tuned for more on that venture.
Do we need a 'Fear' Bible? [go to my article several years ago: https://fearlessnessmovement.ning.com/blog/big-d-discourse-do-we-need-a-fear-bible
1. Fisher, R. M. (2010). The world's fearlessness teachings: A critical integral approach to fear management/education for the 21st century. Lanham, MD: University Press of American/Rowman & Littlefied.
2. I have never, since late 1989 found any publisher in the wide-world interested in publishing my "fear" books until 2022. However, when I found a publisher for my book The Fear Problematique--a book specifically dedicated to philosophy of education in a culture of fear today, it was a first of such sincere interest.. Thanks to Information Age Publishing, this book ought to come out on the shelves in the end of 2023 if all goes well. As far as the world's fear teachings, the most I got done was the rudimentary beginning of what I was calling The 'Fear' Encyclopedia. And it stalled; but I did publish in 1998 very small version of a 'Fear' Encyclopedia, which I self-published just as photocopied text and a cheap spiral bound booklet. This latter book really should have been entitled a 'Fear' Vocabulary. It has a good amount of research on words modifying "fear" and words "analogous" to fear that exist in English language. And, I explain each of them as part of humanity better understanding the "Kinds of Fear" that exist and with the aim of establishing a "Fear Nomenclature" as part of "Establishing a Common Language" for humanity (at least in English language). It was my fascination with taxonomies that led this book to be of some value. Again, I could not promote this book well and it went no where in public circulation; albeit, I have 14 copies of it in my library at home. All these self-published efforts are published by the Canadian publishing house, In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute (owned by R. M. Fisher and B. Bickel, registered since c. 1991).
3. Adler, M. J. (1977/92). Mortimer J. Adler: Philosopher at large: An intellectual autobiography. NY: Collier Books.
4. Robin, C. (2004). Fear: The history of an idea. NY: Oxford University Press.