World Renowned Scholar on Religion and Ecology Dr. Mary Evelyn Tucker to Visit Lawrence in Conjunction with “Journey of the Universe” Film Screening

Press Release
February 22, 2013

Lawrence, Kansas – In a collaborative project between Kansas University and community groups, Dr. Mary Evelyn Tucker will come to Lawrence this February for a series of talks and a screening of her film “Journey of the Universe.” This documentary exploring the human connection to Earth and the cosmos will be shown at Liberty Hall on February 27th at 6:30, followed by a panel discussion featuring Tucker.  Other panelists include Dr. Don Worster (professor emeritus at KU), Rev. Thad Holcombe (ECM), and Dr. Paul Outka (Associate Professor at KU).   

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Exploring the Intersection of Cosmology, Ecology, and Ethics

By Nick DiUlio
Princeton Environmental Institute
December 13, 2012

Environmental awareness comes in many forms. Often, it is shaped by an understanding of science or public policy, but it also can be informed by religion.  Rarely, however, do all three of these perspectives intersect at once—and that is the challenge two Yale University professors, Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim, have been addressing for the past three decades.

During this time, Tucker and Grim have been developing an approach to environmental studies that blends cosmology, ecology, and ethics into a new field of religion and ecology. Teaching at Yale since 2006, this husband and wife team has drawn students from a wide array of disciplines including the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, the Divinity School, the Department of Religious Studies, and Yale College.  In the mid 1990s they organized a series of ten conferences on World Religions and Ecology at Harvard University and then founded the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology.

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Earth community: Can knowledge of the universe make better environmentalists?

By Claire Thompson
Grist Magazine
August 11, 2012

We now know more than ever before about how the universe works and how our planet came to be. Could that knowledge inspire us to be better global citizens and work more effectively toward a sustainable future?

Brian Thomas Swimme and Mary Evelyn Tucker think so. That’s why they’ve launched their Journey of the Universe project — a book, documentary, and series of educational videos that tell the history of the universe and life on Earth, in the hopes that understanding our origins and our place as humans in this story will inspire us to “bring forth a vibrant Earth community.”

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New start for never-ending story

By Drew Monkman
The Peterborough Examiner
July 19, 2012

"Everything is the sum of the past… There is nothing, not even the human soul, the highest spiritual manifestation we know of, that does not come within this universal law."

--French philosopher Teilhard de Chardin

Earlier this month, the existence of an entirely new fundamental particle, the Higgs boson, was confirmed by science. This particle is the reason why matter has form and mass and why a refrigerator is so hard to push. The Higgs boson also explains why we have galaxies, stars, planets and life itself. It takes us back to the moment of creation 13.7 billion years ago and may even have been the “spark” that set off the Big Bang. This discovery even allows us to think of the time before the Big Bang and may lead science in a very real quest for things as strange as parallel universes that co-exist with ours.

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At retreat, cosmologist offers insight on how to help the planet

By Sharon Abercrombie
National Catholic Reporter
July 17, 2012

Waking up to the enormity of environmental devastation can take a very long time. Mathematical cosmologist Brian Swimme spent 17 years passing through the stages of shock, annoyance, sadness and numbness before the truth reached him at the levels of heart and gut.

"I was humiliated that it had taken me so long," he said.

His defining moment of illumination was learning that Earth is going through a mass extinction and human activity, "the activity of good people, according to Thomas Berry, is to blame," Swimme said at a weekend retreat June 29 at River's Edge, a Catholic environmental and wellness center operated by the Sisters of St. Joseph in Cleveland.

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Documentary ‘Journey of the Universe’ wins regional Emmy

Yale News
June 19, 2012

The film “Journey of the Universe,” produced by Yale faculty members Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim, received an Emmy® Award for Best Documentary from the Northern California Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences at a ceremony held in San Francisco on June 9.

Created and written by Tucker and evolutionary philosopher Brian Thomas Swimme, the one hour documentary is an epic story of cosmic, Earth, and human transformation. It has been broadcast on national PBS and screened in a variety of venues across the country including universities, schools, libraries, and churches, as well as at the United Nations for World Environment Day. It will be rebroadcast nationwide this summer (check local PBS listings).

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The Pinchot Lecture by Mary Evelyn Tucker: "An Integrated Story for an Ecological Civilization"

The Pinchot Letter, by the Pinchot Institute for Conservation
Vol. 16, No. 3, Spring 2012

To read the transcript of the Pinchot Lecture by Mary Evelyn Tucker, along with the full Pinchot Letter, visit:

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Journey of the Universe Book Review

Reviewed by Bruce McCabe
Glastonbury Abbey e-Newsletter
May 17, 2012

This astonishing and remarkable book of knowledge, history and wisdom about the origins of the universe makes our own particular world appear to be little more than a mite. Epochs and eras are cited with quick but telling dispatch. The times, evolutions and revolutions covered here range from the beginning of our observable universe billions of years ago to the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Nature and the Earth Charter +10 conference in Ahmedabad, India in 20l0.

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Degrowth in the Americas: Understanding and Changing Our Worldview

By Suzanne York,
The Bay Citizen
May 16, 2012

A full agenda was on tap here at the first main day of the Degrowth in the Americas conference. Below is some of what was discussed at the morning session, which set the stage for this week-long event.

It kicked off with a showing of the film Journey of the Universe, a thought-provoking piece on how the universe and humans came to be, and how a new narrative can be created from our connection to the world. Produced by Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim, both with the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and authors of numerous publications ranging from indigenous wisdom to religion to ecology, it fuses science and the humanities to define a new sense of meaning in our world. It is much more than simply a primer on how Earth came to exist; it provides an enhanced understanding that humans, nature and the universe are one.

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Whose Earth is it anyway? Maui series to explore “rights of Nature”

By Jeanne Cooper
San Francisco Chronicle
May 14, 2012

The relationship of humans to the natural world — from understanding our origins to dealing with contemporary issues of food security and property rights — will be explored in an intriguing four-part conversation series with Hawaiian and Western scholars and activists, starting tomorrow at Maui Arts & Cultural Center.

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JOURNEY OF THE UNIVERSE Trilogy Film, Book, & Educational Series

The Springfield Paper
May 11, 2012

Many of the world’s greatest religious and scientific stories begin with a journey into wonder. An exploration into the very nature of life’s most intimate questions: Where do we come from? Why are we here?

In the groundbreaking trilogy Journey of the Universe, evolutionary philosopher Brian Thomas Swimme, and Yale historian of religions Mary Evelyn Tucker tell the epic story of the universe from an inspired new perspective, weaving the findings of modern science together with the enduring wisdom found in the humanistic traditions of the West, China, India, and indigenous people worldwide.

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KQED Honored with 17 Northern California Emmy® Award Nominations

KQED Pressroom
May 9, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – KQED, the public media organization that serves Northern California, is pleased to announce 17 nominations for the 2012 Northern California Emmy® Awards for its public television stations KQED and KQED Plus. The programs recognized include QUEST, a local series concentrating on science, nature, and the environment; This is Us, a series profiling the remarkable people of the South Bay; as well as numerous documentaries and specials.

KQED is nominated for the following Northern California Emmy® awards:


  • Journey of the Universe, KQED 9/Northcutt Productions
    Patsy Northcutt and David Kennard, Producer/Directors; Catherine Lynn Butler, Co-Producer

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Book Review of Journey of the Universe

Brian Swimme and Mary Evelyn Tucker: Journey of the Universe
New Haven: Yale University Press, 2011
Review by Julianne Lutz Warren
Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences
2:1 (2012): 106-109

Perhaps you have felt it, too. Consider the consequences of Enlightenment philosopher René Descartes’s well-known formulation—not God, but “man as ‘master and proprietor of nature,’” as Czech author Milan Kundera puts it (2003, p. 41). We realize now that human progress under such human oversight has surprised us. In spite of discovering “miracles” of science and technology along the way, our path has not brought us into the better world we thought we wanted. It has conveyed us rather into the shadowlands of our Imperial dreams. Nature is vanishing from the planet.

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We can do it! Protecting the Earth in troubled times

By Erin Jarvis
Berkeley Science Review
March 9, 2012

"We are the stars burst into consciousness." This is my favorite bit of wisdom from evolutionary philosopher Brian Thomas Swimme. His words are not simply metaphor; we truly are made of the stars. While stars are initially composed of just hydrogen and its fusion product helium, at the end of the star’s life carbon, oxygen, and all the rest of the elements are rapidly formed before the star’s last massive explosion into both nothingness and everything.

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Journey of the Universe: A new Film by Earth Charter Council Member Mary Evelyn Tucker

By ECI Sec4 ECI Sec4
Earth Charter Initiative
February 28, 2012

The new film Journey of the Universe tells the story of the evolution of the universe and, in so doing, offers the viewer a perspective of the human experience that allows us to understand our interconnections with all life. The film has been greatly influence by the Earth Charter and it reflects many of the Earth Charter’s ethics on universal responsibility, ecological integrity, and respect, reverence, and care. The film’s producer writes:

"This integration of the principles of the Earth Charter with the cosmological story of Journey of the Universe provides a unique synergy for rethinking a sustainable future. Such a synergy can contribute to the broadened understanding of sustainability as including economic, ecological, social, and spiritual well-being..."

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Interview with Mary Evelyn Tucker on KLOS Spotlight on the Community Podcast


Journey of the Universe, by Brian Swimme and Mary Evelyn Tucker


Woodbridge Residents Tell a Tale of the Universe

Bethwood Patch
January 19, 2012

Yale professors' 10-year quest results in an infinite story that can be viewed in an hour.

A 10-year effort by a pair of Woodbridge residents has resulted in a "journey" of stupendous proportions. Yale professors Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim will be at the Jewish Community Center on Sunday, January 22, from 2-4 p.m. for a showing of their documentary "Journey of the Universe." The showing will be followed by a wine and cheese reception, book signing and a discussion panel titled "Our World, Our Farm" that will relate the broad message of the film to Woodbridge's Massaro Farm.

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How do we empower women?

By Elisa Parker
See Jane Do
January 12, 2012

Mary Evelyn, a renowned educator of world religions and ecology at Yale University calls us forward to "awaken to our common origins and our shared futures" and encourages us all to effect change by having the confidence to use our voice. Mary Evelyn's passion for life is evidenced in her works including Worldly Wonder: Religions Enter Their Ecological Phase (Open Court Press, 2003), Moral and Spiritual Cultivation in Japanese Neo-Confucianism (SUNY, 1989) and The Philosophy of Qi (Columbia University Press, 2007). Her latest endeavor the film & book, "Journey of the Universe" co-written by Mary Evelyn and Brian Swimme will be featured at the Wild & Scenic Film Festival (January 13-15) in Nevada City, CA.

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Ten Ideas for Saving the Planet: An Overview

By John B. Cobb, Jr.
Jesus, Jazz, and Buddhism
January 2012

1. Reality is composed of interrelated events.
2. There are gradations of intrinsic value.
3. God aims at maximizing value.
4. Humans are uniquely (but by no means exclusively) valuable and uniquely responsible.
5. Education is for wisdom.
6. The economy should be directed toward flourishing of the biosphere.
7. Agriculture should regenerate the soil.
8. Comfortable habitat should make minimal demands on resources.
9. Most manufacturing should be local.
10. Every community should be part of a community of communities.

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