The Rev. Dr John Philip Newell is a poet, peacemaker, and scholar. In 2011 he received the Contemplative Voices Award from the Shalem Institute in Washington DC.
John Philip divides his time between Edinburgh with his family where he does most of his writing and the United States of America where he teaches and preaches across the nation.
Formerly Warden of Iona Abbey in the Western Isles of Scotland, he is now Companion Theologian for the American Spirituality Center of Casa del Sol at Ghost Ranch in the high desert of New Mexico where he and his wife spend their summers.
John Philip, the co-founder of Salva Terra: A Vision Towards Earth's Healing, is an ordained Church of Scotland minister with a passion for peace among the great wisdom traditions of humanity. His PhD is from the University of Edinburgh and he is internationally acclaimed for his work in the field of Celtic spirituality, having authored over 15 books, including Listening for the Heartbeat of God, Praying with the Earth, and his most recent visionary work A New Harmony: the Spirit, the Earth, & the Human Soul.
Today in many parts of the Christian household we celebrate the Feast of Epiphany and we hear this passage from Matthew's Gospel--the story of wise men from the East searching out and finding the Christ Child. The word 'epiphany' simply means 'showing' or 'shining forth.' Divine light shines forth from this Child. But it should not so much be understood as the appearance of God as the transparence of God. The divine light that shines in the Child is not a foreign light to the earth. It is the Light at the heart of all life. It is the Light from which all things come. If somehow this Light were extracted from the universe, everything would cease to exist. So this is a story about the Light at the heart of everything, the Light at the heart of you, the Light at the heart of me.Read full transcript...