Honoring Thomas Berry


UPDATE: Thomas Berry died on June 1, 2009: See here for details, including some of our favorite quotes of his and audio clips of Thomas reading from his book, The Great Work.

I have been inspired by the work of countless scientists, theologians, and scholars over the years, but none has had a greater influence on my thinking and my life than Fr. Thomas Berry, a 94-year-old retired Passionist priest, cultural historian, and self-described "geologian". He is one of the most precious people in the world to me.

Connie and I visited Thomas in Greensboro, North Carolina a few days ago (on Nov 17, 2008), where he and his sister Margaret both live in a residential care community. Thomas has been a friend and mentor since 1988. He is truly one of the great hearts and minds of our time.

Thomas's writings have inspired a generation of thinkers and activists in disciplines as diverse as cosmology, cultural anthropology, big history, religious studies, sustainability, bioregionalism, permaculture, evolutionary spirituality, eco-theology, creation spirituality, deep ecology, and eco-feminism, among others. His books, The Dream of the Earth, The Great Work, Evening Thoughts, and The Universe Story (co-authored with Brian Swimme) are gems of deep thinking and inspired insight. In my opinion, no one writes more brilliantly about the role of humanity in the ever-emerging sacred story of the Universe than does Thomas.

Noted religious scholar Mary Evelyn Tucker has written an excellent short biography and introduction to Thomas' work. In addition, I highly recommend the following two websites for links to articles, pictures, audios, videos, and more: Earth Community and Thomas Berry. And don't miss hearing Thomas read our favorite passages from his book, The Great Work, on our Great Story website. I promise, the time you spend getting inside the mind of this great man will be one of the best and wisest investments you ever make.