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.

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Film journeys into the cosmos’ history

By Chase Brunton
The Maine Campus - The University of Maine student newspaper
January 19, 2015

Fourteen billion years ago, all of the energy in the universe was contained in a single point. Then the big bang happened, sending all of the energy in the universe scattering off in all directions.

Today, the force generated by the big bang is still causing the universe to expand outward.  Eventually, stars were created, and when those stars died millions of years later — or billions, depending on the size of the star, as smaller stars live longer — they exploded, releasing all of the elements in the universe and creating everything as we know it, from planets, to new stars, and eventually life.

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Yale conference continues 'Journey of the Universe'

By Jamie Manson
National Catholic Reporter
November 21, 2014

"What is the creativity that brought forth a trillion galaxies?"

It is a daunting question asked by evolutionary cosmologist Brian Swimme in the film "Journey of the Universe." His line echoed throughout the halls at Yale Divinity School, where hundreds gathered for the Nov. 7-9 conference "Living Cosmology: Christian Responses to 'Journey of the Universe.' "

The conference was a historic gathering of many of the finest theologians, ethicists and activists in North America, all of whom joined together to contemplate the ways in which the Christian tradition can open up more fully to a sense of the sacredness of the universe and the flourishing of the Earth community.

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Event in Brief: 'Journey of the Universe' Executive Producer Speaks, Film Screened

By Bill Cessato      
Georgetown University School of Nursing & Health Studies
October 29, 2014

An executive producer of the Emmy Award-winning documentary “Journey of the Universe” spoke at Georgetown today as part of a film screening hosted by the School of Nursing & Health Studies and the university’s Environment Initiative.

Mary Evelyn Tucker, PhD, a historian of religions who is a senior lecturer and research scholar at Yale University, says a purpose of the documentary and related book is to help identity a “flourishing future for all life on the planet.”

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Science and Religion talk for Science Week and beyond

St. Columbans Mission Society
August 25, 2014

How do the traditional 'creation stories' of the world’s great religions engage with the 21st century story of the evolution of the universe? This is a question that needs to be part of the conversation in all religious traditions. Fundamentalist responses just don’t work in this scientific age.

The Journey of the Universe is a film that helps this discussion along. On Thursday evening 7th August, 140 people from different faiths gathered in the Mitchell Theatre in Sydney to watch the film and address this question. The Emmy Award winning documentary sparked much discussion.

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Journeying into the Universe with Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim

Global Generation
July 11, 2014

This month Global Generation had the honour of hosting Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim in the Kings Cross Skip Garden. As well as being professors at Yale’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies they are co-producers, with Brian Swimme. of the film "Journey of the Universe" which has had a big influence on Global Generation’s work. writes Jane Riddiford.

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Peace with the Planet

By Gary Demuth
Salina Journal
December 26, 2013

Cultural historian and philosopher Thomas Berry often said there can be no peace among humans without making peace with the planet.

In books such as "The Universe Story," Berry developed a new "story" about the Earth that stresses the interconnectedness between human beings and their environment and how natural resources are being diminished in large part by modern industrial technology.

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Opinion: Fellow travelers on Earth depend on each other on 14-billion-year-old adventure

By Winslow Myers
Times of Trenton
December 15, 2013

Through the work of the eco-philosopher Thomas Berry and his protégés, a new way of looking at the universe and our human place in it has been established. While still not “mainstream,” this new story has given hope not only to hundreds of thousands of environmental activists around the world, but also to thoughtful people in many fields, including economics, theology, education, politics and science.

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Salina Art Center, The Land Institute, and the Resilience Group present Journey of the Universe

Salina Art Center Press Release
December 3, 2013

Salina, KS - The Salina Art Center, The Land Institute, and the Resilience Group will present four screenings of the film Journey of the Universe at the Art Center Cinema and a conversation with the film’s executive producers, Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim, in the Art Center’s Education Wing. All events are open and free to the public.

Click here to read Press Release.

Journey of the Universe

By Troy Anderson
December 3, 2013


Journey of the Universe is an epic documentary exploring the human connection to Earth and the cosmos, from producer-directors Patsy Northcutt and David Kennard director of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos and Hero’s Journey: The World of Joseph Campbell. Big science, big history, big story, this one-of-a-kind film was created by a renowned team of scientists, scholars, and award-winning filmmakers, led by co-writers Brian Thomas Swimme, the acclaimed author and evolutionary philosopher, and Yale University historian of religions Mary Evelyn Tucker. They weave a tapestry that draws together scientific discoveries in astronomy, geology, biology, ecology, and biodiversity with humanistic insights concerning the nature of the universe.

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OP-ED: Nuclear Weapons and the Unfolding Universe

By Winslow Myers
November 19, 2013    

Through the work of the eco-philosopher Thomas Berry and his protégés, a new way of looking at the universe and our human place in it has been established. While still not “mainstream,” this new story has given hope not only to hundreds of thousands of environmental activists around the world, but as well to thoughtful people in many fields, including economics, theology, education, politics, and science.

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Nuns with a new creed: Environmentalism

By Angela Evancie
The Atlantic
October 16, 2013

While many of their aged peers are living out their days in quiet convents, these women are digging gardens and offsetting carbon.

Every woman in this story is confoundingly non-descript. Short hair, often grey. Conservative dress. Unmarried; soft-spoken. Most are well into their 70s, and all will tell you that their way of life is dying out. They will also tell you, with surprising conviction, that the world is in peril.

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GDR Student Matt Riley Pursues Religion and Ecology Beyond Drew

By Shelley Dennis, GDR Student Intern
Drew Graduate Division of Religion
September 2013

Doctoral candidate Matt Riley is testimony that one needn’t wait until after graduation to make a tangible contribution to scholarship in one’s field.  Riley is currently working as a Research Associate at the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale, the largest international and multi-religious project of its kind, and has been intimately involved with some of the groundbreaking and award-winning scholarly work produced by this innovative forum.

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Sam Guarnaccia Premieres Emergent Universe Oratorio

By Ethan De Seife
Seven Days
September 11, 2013

In his poem “Auguries of Innocence,” William Blake writes of holding “infinity in the palm of your hand / And eternity in an hour” — a meditation on humankind’s ability to comprehend the limitlessness that surrounds us.

Blake is but one of the influences on the Emergent Universe Oratorio, an ambitious, cosmos-spanning musical work by Vermont classical guitarist and composer Sam Guarnaccia. In fact, Blake – along with environmentalist/writer Wendell Berry, poets Rainer Maria Rilke and Gerard Manley Hopkins, and scholar/philosophers Brian Swimme and Mary Evelyn Tucker – is so strongly present in the oratorio that Guarnaccia credits them as “contributors.”

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The Story Doesn’t Have to Be Soulless

By Mary Evelyn Tucker
New York Times
August 16, 2013

As has been clear for some time, evolution and an aesthetic and spiritual sensibility about the beauty of nature need not be separated. Whether we start from a scientific or spiritual angle, if we arrive at a large-scale evolutionary perspective of deep time, it can only enhance our sense of wonder and awe at life’s complexity and value.

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Premiere of Emergent Universe Oratorio at Shelburne Farms

Press Release by Paula Guarnaccia
July 25, 2013

The Emergent Universe Oratorio, composed by Vermont composer and classical guitarist, Sam Guarnaccia, will premiere on September 15th at 3:00pm at the historic Shelburne Farms in Shelburne, Vermont. The Oratorio is based on the Emmy Award winning documentary film, Journey of the Universe, written by evolutionary philosopher Brian Swimme and Yale University scholar, Mary Evelyn Tucker, and is co-directed by David Kennard of the Carl Sagan Cosmos series. The film expands upon the work of geologian Thomas Berry (Dream of the Earth, Sierra Club Books) and scientist and philosopher Teilhard deChardin, among others.

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Reflections After Independence Day

By Miriam MacGillis
Genesis Farm
July 11, 2013

Somehow the spirit of the original Declaration of Independence carries an invitation to revisit it often. It is a living legacy whose potential is ever emerging in the unfolding of history. Like all visionary proclamations, it draws in its wake the unfinished aspirations of those early founders who shifted the human venture into new dimensions of possibility and choice.

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Three more views round out week exploring ‘Journey’

By Nikki Lanka
The Chautauquan Daily

June 28, 2013

The Chinese symbol xin, pronounced “sheen,” has two definitions: heart and mind.

“Isn’t that concept incredible?” Mary Evelyn Tucker asked in Monday’s Interfaith Lecture.

According to the teachings of Confucianism, the synthesis of heart and mind, or of feelings and rationale, need not be viewed as separate entities. Rather, what feels right in the heart should affect what is in the mind — a humanitarian principle that should inform one’s perspective of the universe.

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Scholars compare South Asian views on the ‘Journey’

By Nikki Lanka
The Chautauquan Daily

June 27, 2013

Some Buddhists use the metaphor that all life forms are like waves in the ocean; they aren’t separate, but rather distinct parts of a whole.

“That might be a beautiful 10-foot wave in Hawaii or a little dinky wave on Cape Cod,” said Christopher Ives, professor and chair of religious studies at Stonehill College.

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