D&R Greenway Offers Unique Bus Excursion to Regional Premier Performance of Sam Guarnaccia’s Emergent Universe Oratorio, Villanova University

New Jersey Stage
July 1, 2018

(PRINCETON, NJ) -- D&R Greenway Land Trust invites the public to a unique bus excursion to the regional premier performance of Sam Guarnaccia’s Emergent Universe Oratorio. Performed by the Main Line Symphony Orchestra, with choral singers from Pennsylvania and Vermont, it will take place at Villanova University Church, on Saturday, July 28 at 7:30pm. The bus will depart at 5:30pm from D&R Greenway Land Trust’s Johnson Education Center, returning by 11:30pm.  Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be provided....

Our regional premiere of the Emergent Universe Oratorio will be performed in the majestic setting of the Villanova University Church on July 28. D&R Greenway President Linda Mead attended the Ohio premiere in Cleveland, observing, “This oratorio soars, inspired by, and composed to inspire conservation of, the Earth. It is a beautiful melding of music, poetry and philosophies—some familiar, some eye-opening!” Both the artist and the composer drew significant influences from the 2011 Emmy-winning documentary Journey of the Universe, by Mary Evelyn Tucker and Brian Swimme of Yale.

Click to read more ...


A new map for a birthplace of stars

By Jim Shelton
Yale News
May 16, 2018

A Yale-led research group has created the most detailed maps yet of a vast seedbed of stars similar to Earth’s Sun.

The maps provide unprecedented detail of the structure of the Orion A molecular cloud, the closest star-forming region of high-mass stars. Orion A hosts a variety of star-forming environments, including dense star clusters similar to the one where Earth’s Sun is believed to have formed.

Click to read more ...


Collective Awakening | ‘Aliveness’ 

Kosmos Community News
May 8, 2018

How can we hasten our collective awakening and begin reversing the great harms done to our planet and its beings? Such an awakening requires transformation in ourselves, our communities, institutions and systems. This is the work of Kosmos, yet always begins with the Self. It begins when the superficial, material things that mattered before, start to lose their luster and when the habit energies that impelled us in the past no longer serve our evolution.

When we tune-in to the immeasurable, the sacred gifts in and around us; when we take each step with conscious awareness and lean into every beauty and sorrow we encounter; when we recognize our interconnection with all beings – we are awake – living in reciprocity with all Life.

A collective awakening such as this can save our planet, and ensure a future for our children’s children.

Click to read more ...


Gaia’s Map of 1.3 Billion Stars Makes for a Milky Way in a Bottle

By Dennis Overbye
New York Times
May 1, 2018

Call it a galaxy in a bottle.

Last Wednesday, astronomers in Europe released a three-dimensional map of the Milky Way. It is the most detailed survey ever produced of our home galaxy. It contains the vital statistics of some 1.3 billion stars — about one percent of the whole galaxy. Not to mention measurements of almost half a million quasars, asteroids and other flecks in the night.

Analyzing all these motions and distances, astronomers say, could provide clues to the nature of dark matter. The gravity of that mysterious substance is said to pervade space and sculpt the arrangements of visible matter. Gaia’s data could also reveal information about the history of other forces and influences on our neighborhood in the void. And it could lead to a more precise measurement of a historically troublesome parameter called the Hubble constant, which describes how fast the universe is expanding.

Click to read more ...


Q & A with Sr. Miriam MacGillis, co-founder of Genesis Farm

By Dan Stockman
Global Sisters Report
March 29, 2018

Sr. Miriam MacGillis of the Dominican Sisters of Caldwell, New Jersey, was a very happy art teacher in the 1960s. Then one of her students began to ask her questions about the Vietnam War, questions she had trouble answering. Questions that showed how naive MacGillis was on the issue.

Soon, MacGillis, now 77, had her own questions about the war and how the world works and her role in it.

Those questions would lead her on a path to a farm, of all places. And not just any farm: MacGillis in 1980 became the co-founder of Genesis Farm in Blairstown, New Jersey, which became a model for 50 similar ecological centers founded by women religious in North America.

Click to read more ...


Cosmology and Ecology

By Sam Mickey
In The Encyclopedia of the Anthropocene
Edited by Dominick A. DellaSala and Michael I. Goldstein
Oxford: Elsevier, 2018.
Volume 4, p. 151-157.
Read this article here.

Humans, throughout their evolution, have used stories, images, and symbols to understand themselves and the world around them. Different understandings have emerged with the ongoing development of arts, religions, philosophies, and sciences. The complex and uncertain dynamics of the Anthropocene are compelling humans to revisit and reconstruct those understandings, to rethink what it means to be human (anthropos) during an epoch in which the planetary scale of human impacts are inextricably entangling human history and natural history. Understanding the planetary presence of the human species requires an understanding of the relationships between the life, land, air, and water of Earth as well as an understanding of the cosmic context in which human-Earth relations are situated. In other words, understanding the dynamics of the Anthropocene requires an understanding of ecological and cosmological perspectives.


Mary Evelyn Tucker to speak at Gunston Oct. 27

The Star
October 24, 2017

CENTREVILLE — On Friday, Oct. 27, Dr. Mary Evelyn Tucker, co-author with Brian Swimme of “Journey of the Universe,” will be visiting Gunston for the fall installment of the school’s In Celebration of Books program.

“Journey of the Universe” was the 2017 Gunston community summer read and focuses on the story of the universe as seen through the multiple lenses of scientific discovery and human insight.

The book already has been incorporated into Gunston’s 10th-grade curriculum as part of its History of Ideas course.

Click to read more ...


Faculty members reflect on their experiences with digital teaching

By Patrick C. O'Brien
Yale News
September 25, 2017

Just as the composition of our faculty and the diversity of our student body have changed, our approach to teaching must continue to evolve as well,” said President Peter Salovey during his 2013 inaugural address.

Over the last 18 months, four female faculty members have worked with Yale’s Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) to disseminate their knowledge more broadly via massive open online courses (MOOCs) and to experiment with collaborative, digital education initiatives such as a companion mobile application related to a new MOOC and experiential learning opportunities for alumni.

Click to read more ...


Taking a Walk Through Deep Time

New App Offers a Lesson on the Earth's Long History
By Sam Mowe
Garrison Institute
August 24, 2017

Given the short-term concerns and speed that characterize our busy modern lives, it’s easy to forget that our original ancestors were bacteria. A new app called Deep Time Walk attempts to remind us of our common evolutionary history with all life—including single-celled prokaryotes such as bacteria that formed about 4,000 million years ago—through the combination of an audio book and physical walk.

Click to read more ...


Universe's unfolding story set to music in composer’s new oratorio

By Sharon Abercrombie
National Catholic Reporter
June 30, 2017

Passionist Fr. Thomas Berry, the cultural historian and early prophet of the current environmental crisis, encouraged artists and musicians throughout his lifetime (1914-2009) to tell the magnificent 13.8 billion-year history of the universe through music, poetry and dance.

As direct ancestors of the stars, humans collectively share a unique role as compassionate beings, to protect and to heal the earth, Berry said. Creative artists, he argued, can bring us to this point of conversion quickest of all.

The latest evidence that they have been listening is Sam Guarnaccia, a composer, classical guitarist and environmentalist who will debut a major musical ritual based on an intimate look into the universe Friday night in Cleveland.

Click to read more ...


Review of Living Cosmology, by Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim

Ecology & Justice Series. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, April 2016.
368 pages. $30.00. Paperback. ISBN 9781626981782.
For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.

Review by Jay D. O. Potter
Reading Religion: A Publication of the American Academy of Religion
February 3, 2017

Living Cosmology: Christian Responses to ‘Journey of the Universe’ is a diverse and hopeful reflection on the work Thomas Berry and his call towards the “Great Work” for an ecologically sustainable future. Living Cosmology combines many of the great ecological thinkers within a comprehensive range of Christianity.

Click to read more ...


The Elements of Life Mapped Across the Milky Way by SDSS/APOGEE

Sloan Digital Sky Survey
January 5, 2017

 The six most common elements of life on Earth (including more than 97% of the mass of a human body) are carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, sulphur and phosphorus.The colors in the spectra show dips, the size of which reveal the amount of these elements in the atmosphere of a star. The human body on the left uses the same color coding to evoke the important role these elements play in different parts of our bodies, from oxygen in our lungs to phosphorous in our bones (although in reality all elements are found all across the body).

Click to read more ...


Online courses awaken beginners to unfolding universe story

By Sharon Abercrombie
National Catholic Reporter
September 20, 2016

A set of online courses set to debut this week will offer students an introductory dive into cosmological thought and the epic story of the unfolding of the universe and life itself.

“Journey of the Universe: A Story for Our Times” is a course series created by Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim, both research scholars in Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and co-founders of its Forum on Religion and Ecology.

The three-class program explores the universe’s formation through a multidisciplinary lens, along with the evolutionary implications for humans and their ecological future. It builds off the worldview of Passionist Fr. Thomas Berry, with one of the classes dedicated to his life and insights.

Click to read more ...


The Unfolding Story of the Universe: A Conversation with Mary Evelyn Tucker and Julianne Warren

By Sam Mowe
Garrison Institute
July 20, 2016

In their Journey of the Universe project—which includes a film, book, and website—philosopher Brian Thomas Swimme and historian of religions Mary Evelyn Tucker attempt to tell the biggest story ever told: the history of the universe. Through a compelling blend of scientific facts and humanistic inquiry, they move from exploring the formation of the galaxies, stars, planets, and evolution of life on Earth to reflecting on the role of humanity during our current moment of social and ecological challenges.

One person whose work has been deeply influenced by the Journey of the Universe project is writer and ecological thinker Julianne Warren. In her different projects exploring the Anthropocene, Warren has used Journey of the Universe as a touchstone while she asks questions about hope and human responsibility.

I recently spoke with Tucker and Warren by phone to discuss some of the big ideas explored in Journey of the Universe, such as the transformative power of story, the relationship between science and the humanities, and how we can create meaning in the space between knowledge and mystery.

Click to read more ...


From Independence to Interdependence

May 19, 2016
By Cassandra Farrin
Westar Institute

When you trek up a mountainside and pass over a ridge into a gorgeous vista of peaks bathed in the colors of sunset, and when later that night the stars spangle out over your tent and an alpine lake, reflecting back their own infinite mass, don’t the words that come to mind feel strangely religious? Awe. Wonder. Beauty. Surely this, if nothing else, reassures us that the chasm between science and religion is not as wide as it all-too-often feels. We welcomed with delight Mary Evelyn Tucker’s comments on this subject as part of the Westar Institute’s Spring 2016 national meeting in Santa Rosa, California.

Click to read more ...


An Integrating Story for a Sustainable Future: A Way toward New Human-Earth Relations

By Brian Swimme and Mary Evelyn Tucker
Center for Humans and Nature
March 2016

We know that the obstacles to the sustainable development and flourishing of life’s ecosystems are considerable. To meet these challenges, the next stage of evolutionary history will require an expansion of our worldview and ethics. The human community has now for the first time a scientific story of the evolution of the universe and our planet that shows us our profound connection to the evolutionary process. We are only discovering its larger meaning as evolution continues to unfold. This is why we created the Journey of the Universe, namely a film, book and educational series to tell the story of cosmic, Earth, and human as an evolutionary epic.

Click to read more ...


Earth Charter Netherlands organizes Journey of the Universe youth event

Earth Charter
December 15, 2015

At the end of 2015, the Earth Charter Netherlands network organized a youth event entitled “Journey of the Universe Cinema” to showcase the Journey of the Universe film and guide participants in interactive workshop exercises and discussion. The project received financial support from The Valley Foundation and the Thomas Berry Foundation. A special Journey of the Universe Cinema was organized in A Lab in Amsterdam and welcomed 55 participants plus another several organizers and special guests.

Click to read more ...


Cosmological Wisdom & Planetary Madness

By Sean Kelly
November 11, 2015

Editor’s Note: Sean Kelly presents a brief overview of the evolution of the consciousness of the universe and its current crisis as humanity continues to destroy the life-support system of Earth. It is a deep and profound article worthy of reading fully to the end. –Rabbi Michael Lerner


It is a bitter irony of our times that, just as the collaborative effort of natural scientists and other researchers have revealed the outlines, at least, of a comprehensive cosmology,[i] we should find ourselves plunged into a maelstrom of unparalleled planetary madness. The madness: runaway catastrophic climate change, an accelerating mass extinction of species and generalized ecological deterioration, and a brutal, empire-driven regime of planetary apartheid. The wisdom: among the proposals for “Big History” type grand narratives[ii], Swimme and Berry’s The Universe Story (1992) that I will draw from in these pages. It is a story that encompasses the mysterious origin in a “primal flaring forth” (popularly referred to as the Big Bang), a growing, if perhaps never complete, understanding of the main stages of cosmic evolution, the complexities of embodied intelligence, the main thresholds of human history and the varieties of cultural expression, a sense of the lure or telos of the evolutionary adventure, and a prescient sense of growing planetary crisis.

Click to read more ...


A Roaring Force from One Unknowable Moment

Mary Evelyn Tucker in conversation with Kathleen Dean Moore
Orion Magazine
May | June 2015

The story of the universe has the power to change history

The world has arrived at a pivot point in history. You could drive a nail through this decade, and the future of the planet would swing in the balance. What can be done to tip the scales toward a resilient, and flourishing, future? Three things, we’re told, all of them essential. First, stop damaging the planet’s life-supporting systems. Second, imagine new and better ways to live on Earth. Third, and most important, change the story about who we are, we humans—not the lords of all creation, but lives woven into the complex interdependencies of a beautiful, unfolding planetary system. Many people are pursuing the first two goals. But Mary Evelyn Tucker has taken up the third, making it her life’s work.

Read the full article.



Bigger Than Science, Bigger Than Religion

By Richard Schiffman
Yes! Magazine
February 18, 2015

We’re closer to environmental disaster than ever before. We need a new story for our relationship with the Earth, one that goes beyond science and religion.

The world as we know it is slipping away. At the current rate of destruction, tropical rainforest could be gone within as little as 40 years. The seas are being overfished to the point of exhaustion, and coral reefs are dying from ocean acidification. Biologists say that we are currently at the start of the largest mass extinction event since the disappearance of the dinosaurs. As greenhouse gases increasingly accumulate in the atmosphere, temperatures are likely to rise faster than our current ecological and agricultural systems can adapt.

Click to read more ...