Dinosaurs have been described as the most successful animals that ever inhabited this planet. They were the dominant terrestrial vertebrates for over 160 million years until they were wiped out about 65 million years ago. We had to learn how to live with them, and survive in spite of them. Today we have invented our own dinosaurs. Churches, banks and multinationals are some of the modern breeds of the dinosaurs. Small may be beautiful, but in the world in which we live, it is not very durable. Unless any organisation becomes a dinosaur it will not survive the vicissitudes of history.
This book describes a spirituality for the 21st century which requires that we recognise the dinosaur nature of all institutions, including the Catholic Church. We would do well to study the species in depth and in detail to learn how to dance with them without doing serious damage to ourselves.
Mark Patrick Hederman has been a monk of Glenstal Abbey in Limerick for over thirty years. Formerly headmaster of the school, and currently academic dean, he did his doctorate in the philosophy of education. He studied in Paris under Emmanual Levinas. He has lectured in philosophy and literature in America and Nigeria as well as Ireland and was a founding editor of the cultural journal The Crane Bag. His first book, Kissing the Dark (Veritas, 1999) was a bestseller.