Living Earth Community: Multiple Ways of Being and Knowing
With Sam Mickey and John Grim
Open Book Publishers, 2020
Thomas Berry: A Biography
With John Grim and Andrew Angyal
Columbia University Press, 2019
Thomas Berry (1914–2009) was one of the twentieth century’s most prescient and profound thinkers. As a cultural historian, he sought a broader perspective on humanity’s relationship to the earth in order to respond to the ecological and social challenges of our times. This first biography of Berry illuminates his remarkable vision and its continuing relevance for achieving transformative social change and environmental renewal. Berry began his studies in Western history and religions and then expanded to include Asian and indigenous religions, which he taught at Fordham University, Barnard College, and Columbia University. Drawing on his explorations of history, he came to see the evolutionary process as a story that could help restore the continuity of humans with the natural world. Berry urged humans to recognize their place on a planet with complex ecosystems in a vast, evolving universe. He sought to replace the modern alienation from nature with a sense of intimacy and responsibility. Berry called for new forms of ecological education, law, and spirituality, as well as the creation of resilient agricultural systems, bioregions, and ecocities. At a time of growing environmental crisis, this biography shows the ongoing significance of Berry’s conception of human interdependence with the earth as part of the unfolding journey of the universe.
Routledge Handbook on Religion and Ecology
Co-edited with John Grim and Willis Jenkins
Routledge Books, 2017
The moral values and interpretive systems of religions are crucially involved in how people imagine the challenges of sustainability and how societies mobilize to enhance ecosystem resilience and human well-being. The Routledge Handbook of Religion and Ecology provides the most comprehensive and authoritative overview of the field. It encourages both appreciative and critical angles regarding religious traditions, communities, attitude, and practices. It presents contrasting ways of thinking about “religion” and about “ecology” and about ways of connecting the two terms. Written by a team of leading international experts, the Handbook discusses dynamics of change within religious traditions as well as their roles in responding to global challenges such as climate change, water, conservation, food and population. It explores the interpretations of indigenous traditions regarding modern environmental problems drawing on such concepts as lifeway and indigenous knowledge. This volume uniquely intersects the field of religion and ecology with new directions within the humanities and the sciences. This interdisciplinary volume is an essential reference for scholars and students across the social sciences and humanities and for all those looking to understand the significance of religion in environmental studies and policy.
Living Cosmology: Christian Responses to Journey of the Universe
Co-edited with John Grim
Orbis Books, 2016
WINNER 2017 CATHOLIC PRESS ASSOCIATION BOOK AWARD–
FIRST PLACE, SCIENCE AND RELIGION
Journey of the Universe is both a book, a film, and a conversation series by Mary Evelyn Tucker and Brian Swimme that offers a rich unfolding of “the universe story”—a moving narrative of cosmic evolution from the origins of the cosmos to the present. This volume explores the Christian responses to the Universe Story and its implications for the contemporary environmental crisis. Beginning with excerpts from recent statements by Pope Francis and the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the book draws on the contributions of leading theologians, ethicists, scientists, and activists, including John Haught, Ilia Delio, Catherine Keller, Larry Rasmussen, and more than twenty-five others.
Thomas Berry: Selected Writings on the Earth Community (Spiritual Masters Series)
Co-edited with John Grim
Orbis Books, 2014
Thomas Berry (1914-2009), was a priest, a “geologian,” and a historian of religions. He was an early and significant voice awakening religious sensibilities to the environmental crisis. He is particularly well-known for articulating a “universe story” that explores the world-changing implications of contemporary science. Berry pointed the way to an ecological spirituality attuned to our place in nature and giving rise to an ethic of responsibility and care for the Earth.
Ecology and Religion
With John Grim
Island Press, 2014
From the Psalms in the Bible to the sacred rivers in Hinduism, the natural world has been integral to the world’s religions. John Grim and Mary Evelyn Tucker contend that today’s growing environmental challenges make the relationship ever more vital. This primer explores the history of religious traditions and the environment, illustrating how religious teachings and practices both promoted and at times subverted sustainability. Subsequent chapters examine the emergence of religious ecology, as views of nature changed in religious traditions and the ecological sciences. Yet the authors argue that religion and ecology are not the province of institutions or disciplines alone. They describe four fundamental aspects of religious life: orienting, grounding, nurturing, and transforming. Readers then see how these phenomena are experienced in a Native American religion, Orthodox Christianity, Confucianism, and Hinduism. Ultimately, Grim and Tucker argue that the engagement of religious communities is necessary if humanity is to sustain itself and the planet. Students of environmental ethics, theology and ecology, world religions, and environmental studies will receive a solid grounding in the burgeoning field of religious ecology.
Journey of the Universe
With Brian Thomas Swimme
Yale University Press, 2011 (paperback 2014)
Today we know what no previous generation knew: the history of the universe and of the unfolding of life on Earth. Through the astonishing combined achievements of natural scientists worldwide, we now have a detailed account of how galaxies and stars, planets and living organisms, human beings and human consciousness came to be. And yet … we thirst for answers to questions that have haunted humanity from the very beginning. What is our place in the 14-billion-year history of the universe? What roles do we play in Earth’s history? How do we connect with the intricate web of life on Earth? In Journey of the Universe Brian Thomas Swimme and Mary Evelyn Tucker tell the epic story of the universe from an inspired new perspective, weaving the findings of modern science together with enduring wisdom found in the humanistic traditions of the West, China, India, and indigenous peoples. The authors explore cosmic evolution as a profoundly wondrous process based on creativity, connection, and interdependence, and they envision an unprecedented opportunity for the world’s people to address the daunting ecological and social challenges of our times. Journey of the Universe transforms how we understand our origins and envision our future. Though a little book, it tells a big story—one that inspires hope for a way in which Earth and its human civilizations could flourish together.
The Sacred Universe: Earth, Spirituality, and Religion in the 21st Century
Essays by Thomas Berry, edited by Mary Evelyn Tucker
Columbia University Press, 2009
A leading scholar, cultural historian, and Catholic priest who spent more than fifty years writing about our engagement with the Earth, Thomas Berry possessed prophetic insight into the rampant destruction of ecosystems and the extinction of species. In this book he makes a persuasive case for an interreligious dialogue that can better confront the environmental problems of the twenty-first century. These erudite and keenly sympathetic essays represent Berry’s best work, covering such issues as human beings’ modern alienation from nature and the possibilities of future, regenerative forms of religious experience. Asking that we create a new story of the universe and the emergence of the Earth within it, Berry resituates the human spirit within a sacred totality.
Christian Future and the Fate of Earth
Essays by Thomas Berry, edited by Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim
Orbis Books, 2009
Like no other religious thinker, Thomas Berry has been a prophetic voice regarding Earth’s destruction and the urgent need for human response from the Christian community. This book collects Berry’s signature views on the interrelatedness of both Earth’s future and the Christian future. He ponders why Christians have been late in coming to the issue of the environment. He reflects insightfully on how the environment must be seen as a religious issue, not simply a scientific or economic problem. In powerful and poetic language Berry presents a compelling vision of the sacredness of the universe and the interrelatedness of the Earth community. Drawing on Thomas Aquinas and Teilhard de Chardin he brings the Christian tradition into a cosmology of care for the whole of creation.
The Philosophy of Qi: The Record of Great Doubts
Columbia University Press, 2007
The Record of Great Doubts emphasizes the role of qi in achieving a life of engagement with other humans, with the larger society, and with nature as a whole. Rather than encourage transcendental escapism or quietism, Ekken articulates a philosophy of material force as a basis of living a life of commitment to the world. In this spirit, moral cultivation is not an isolated or a self-centered preoccupation, but an activity that occurs within the dynamic forces of nature and amid the rigorous demands of society. In this context, a vitalism of qi is an emergent force, not only providing the philosophical grounding for this vibrant interaction but also giving a basis for an investigation of the natural world that plumbs the principle within things. Ekken thus aimed to articulate a creative and dynamic milieu for moral education, political harmony, social coherence, and agricultural sustainability. The Record of Great Doubts embodies Ekken’s profound commitment to Confucian ideas and practices as a method for establishing an integrative ethical vision, one he hoped would guide Japan through a new period of peace and stability. A major philosophical treatise in the Japanese Neo-Confucian tradition, The Record of Great Doubts illuminates a crucial chapter in East Asian intellectual history.
Evening Thoughts: Reflecting on Earth as Sacred Community
Essays by Thomas Berry, edited by Mary Evelyn Tucker
Sierra Club Books and University of California Press, 2006; Counterpoint Press, 2015
Among the contemporary voices for the Earth, none resonates like that of noted cultural historian Thomas Berry. His teaching and writings have inspired a generation’s thinking about humankind’s place in the Earth Community and the universe, engendering widespread critical acclaim and a documentary film on his life and work. This collection of essays, from various years and occasions, expands and deepens ideas articulated in his earlier writings and also breaks new ground. Berry opens our eyes to the full dimensions of the ecological crisis, framing it as a crisis of spiritual vision. Applying his formidable erudition in cultural history, science, and comparative religions, he forges a compelling narrative of creation and communion that reconciles modern evolutionary thinking and traditional religious insights concerning our integral role in Earth’s society. While sounding an urgent alarm at our current dilemma, Berry inspires us to reclaim our role as the consciousness of the universe and thereby begin to create a true partnership with the Earth Community. With Evening Thoughts, this wise elder has lit another beacon to lead us home.
Worldly Wonder: Religions Enter Their Ecological Phase
The Second Master Hsüan Hua Memorial Lecture
Open Court, 2003
The author calls upon the world’s religions to assist in combating the destructive trends of our time, mobilizing a virtual “alliance of religion and ecology” against unlimited economic growth, rampant consumption, and unrestrained globalization. World religions have begun to move from a preoccupation with God-human relations and human-human relations to encompass human-earth relations. They are now entering their planetary or (Gaian) phase. In its new alliance with ecology, religion should move from isolated orthodoxy to interrelated dialogue, revivify its rituals and symbols in light of environmental crisis, align its moral authority with liberation rather than oppression, favor a this-worldly rather that other-worldly soteriology, and advance from anthropocentric to anthropocosmic ethics.
One of the most important works on Confucian religion, ethics, and spirituality. The vibrant nature of the 2500-year-old Confucian tradition is celebrated here. Insights into this spiritual richness regarding topics such as self-cultivation, education, family relationships, social commitment, and political engagement are now available for the first time in English.
When Worlds Converge: What Science and Religion Tell Us about the Story of the Universe and Our Place in It
ed. with Cliff Matthews and Philip Hefner
Open Court, 2002
Selected as a Templeton Book of Distinction, 2004
This collection of essays by prominent scientists, theologians, philosophers, and other academics explores the important dialogue between science and religion. Contributors address current ideas on the evolution of matter, life, and mind; language and the brain; consciousness and creativity;
and other relevant topics.
Religion and Ecology: Can the Climate Change?
Co-edited with John Grim
Daedalus. Vol. 130, No. 4,
American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2001
The fall 2001 issue of the journal Daedalus focuses on interdisciplinary issues regarding religion and ecology that specifically relate to issues raised by global climate change. For more information about the issue and to read the full text of all of the articles contained therein, go to the issue page on the American Academy of Arts and Sciences site.
Hinduism and Ecology: The Intersection of Earth, Sky, and Water
Co-edited with Christopher Chapple.
Center for the Study of World Religions and Harvard University Press, 2000
This fourth volume in the series exploring religions and the environment investigates the role of the multifaceted Hindu tradition in the development of greater ecological awareness in India. The twenty-two contributors ask how traditional concepts of nature in the classical texts might inspire or impede an eco-friendly attitude among modern Hindus, and they describe some grassroots approaches to environmental protection. They look to Gandhian principles of minimal consumption, self-reliance, simplicity, and sustainability. And they explore forests and sacred groves in text and tradition and review the political and religious controversies surrounding India’s sacred river systems.
Confucianism and Ecology: The Interrelation of Heaven, Earth, and Humans
Co-edited with John Berthrong
Center for the Study of World Religions and Harvard University Press, 1998
Confucianism demonstrates a remarkable wealth of resources for rethinking human–earth relations. This second volume in the series on religions of the world and the environment includes 16 essays that address the ecological crisis and the question of Confucianism from three perspectives: the historical describes this East Asian tradition’s views of nature, social ethics, and cosmology, which may shed light on contemporary problems; a dialogical approach links Confucianism to other philosophic and religious traditions; an examination of engaged Confucianism looks at its involvement in concrete ecological issues.
Buddhism and Ecology: The Interconnection of Dharma and Deeds
Co-edited with Duncan Williams
Center for the Study of World Religions and Harvard University Press, 1997
Given the challenges of the environmental crisis, Buddhism’s teaching of the interrelatedness of all life forms may be critical to the recovery of human reciprocity with nature. In this new work, twenty religionists and environmentalists examine Buddhism’s understanding of the intricate web of life. In noting the cultural diversity of Buddhism, they highlight aspects of the tradition which may help formulate an effective environmental ethics, citing examples from both Asia and the United States of socially engaged Buddhist projects to protect the environment. The authors explore theoretical and methodological issues and analyze the prospects and problems of using Buddhism as an environmental resource in both theory and practice. This groundbreaking volume inaugurates a larger series examining the religions of the world and their ecological implications which will shape a new field of study involving religious issues, contemporary environmental ethics, and public policy concerns.
Worldviews and Ecology: Religion, Philosophy and the Environment
Co-edited with John Grim
Bucknell University Press, 1993
Paperback edition: Orbis Books, 1994 (Eighth printing 2003)
Translated into Indonesian
Amidst the many voices clamoring to interpret the environmental crisis, some of the most important are the voices of religious traditions. Long before modernity’s industrialism began the rape of Earth, premodern religious and philosophical traditions mediated to untold generations the wisdom of living as a part of nature. These traditions can illuminate and empower wiser ways of postmodern living. The original writings included in Worldviews and Ecology creatively present and interpret worldviews of major religious and philosophical traditions on how humans can live more sustainably on a fragile planet. Insights from traditions as diverse as Jain, Jewish, ecofeminist, deep ecology, Christian, Hindu, Bahai, and Whiteheadian will interest all who seek an honest analysis of what religious and philosophical traditions have to say to a modernity whose consciousness and conscience seems tragically narrow, the source of attitudes that imperil the biosphere.
Moral and Spiritual Cultivation in Japanese Neo-Confucianism: The Life and Thought of Kaibara Ekken (1630-1714)
SUNY Press, 1989
Selected as an Outstanding Academic Book by CHOICE magazine
Kaibara Ekken (1630–1714) was the focal Neo-Confucian thinker of the early Tokagawa period. He established the importance of Neo-Confucianism in Japan at a time when Buddhism had long been the dominant religious philosophy. This is the first book-length presentation of his thought. It contains a lengthy introduction to Ekken’s life, time, and thought, and a careful translation into readable English of Ekken’s book, Precepts for Daily Life in Japan (Yamanto Zokkun).