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May 11, 2012
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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.
This immense sweep of history is distilled into an engaging narrative-based project designed to spark thoughtful dialogue among audiences, educators, and faith-based communities worldwide. The trilogy includes a 55 minute PBS film (airing nationwide in June 2012), a book (published by Yale University Press), and a 20-part educational series with curriculum downloadable from the Journey website. For more information, to view the trailer, and check for local PBS screenings, please visit our website at: www.journeyoftheuniverse.org
At its very heart, the trilogy celebrates the lively and prolific 30-year-friendship between Swimme, Tucker and leading historian of religions, Thomas Berry. Deeply inspired by Berry’s enduring legacy, both Swimme and Tucker have crafted an elegant narrative story of the universe, that explains not only how we live in a universe of remarkable creativity, but that we, as humans, have a profound role to play in the flourishing of our planet.
“Berry had a vision of the need for an integrating narrative of the development of the universe, Earth and humans,” says Tucker. “He was one of the first to suggest that we need an epic story that would show people their profound connection to the Earth community.”
The trilogy is also the cornerstone of what Swimme and Tucker hope will spark expanded interdisciplinary and interfaith dialogues between the fields of science, ecology and religion on the ideas of environmental stewardship and ethics. Both Tucker and her husband John Grim are the co-directors of the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology, and they teach in Yale’s Joint Master’s Degree in religion and ecology. Yale is the only university in the country to have such a joint degree which is between the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and the Divinity School. Tucker and Grim are the Executive Producers of the Journey of the Universe film. They have been directing the American Teilhard Association for 25 years along with Brian Swimme. The French scientist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955) is also an inspiration for the Journey film and book.
Journey of the Universe project will also be featured at the Forum’s Summer Symposium on Religion & Environmental Stewardship on June 5-7th (http://summerstudy.yale.edu/environmental-symposium).
“Education itself is a journey and not a destination,” says Swimme. “Our goal is to use the art of storytelling to capture the grandeur and wonder of the universe in a way that makes it profoundly relevant and deeply moving to the audience. We’re very pleased that both Dominican College and Loyola Marymount Colleges will be using Journey as part of their first-year Freshman program.”
“With this knowledge, the question of what role we play in the 14 billion year history of the universe imposes itself with greater poignancy than every before,” says Swimme. “In asking ourselves how we will tell the story of Earth to our children, we must inevitably consider the role of humanity in its history.”
In Journey of the Universe, Swimme & Tucker have provided an awe-inspiring glimpse at our connection to the cosmos and to the intricate web of life on Earth.
For more information and purchasing information on the Journey of the Universe trilogy of the documentary/book/educational series, please visit our website at: www.journeyoftheuniverse.org
About the Creators
BRIAN THOMAS SWIMME is a professor on the faculty of the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, where he teaches courses on evolutionary cosmology to graduate students in the humanities. He is author, with Thomas Berry of The Universe Story.
MARY EVELYN TUCKER is senior lecturer and research scholar, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and Yale Divinity School. She is co-founder and co-director of the Forum of Religion and Ecology at Yale and author of Worldly Wonder: Religions Enter Their Ecological Phase.