Online course: The Worldview of Thomas Berry: The Flourishing of the Earth Community (part of a long term online programme: Journey of the Universe: A Story for Our Times)

Dates: any time

Duration: 25 hours

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 out of 116 ratings (see top rating courses here)

Participating countries: any country

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Organizer: Yale University at Coursera

Cost:

  • FREE
  • $49 with sharable certificate

The Worldview of Thomas Berry: The Flourishing of the Earth Community

Thomas Berry (1914-2009) was a historian of world religions and an early voice awakening moral sensibilities to the environmental crisis. He is known for articulating a “new story” of the universe that explores the implications of the evolutionary sciences and cultural traditions for creating a flourishing future.

This course investigates Berry’s life and thought in relation to the Journey of the Universe project. It draws on his books, articles, and recorded lectures to examine such ideas as: the New Story, the Great Work, and the emerging Ecozoic era. The course explores Berry’s insights into cosmology as a context for locating the human in a dynamic unfolding universe and thus participating in the creative work of our times. In particular, we will examine Berry’s reflections on renewal and reform in the areas of ecology, economics, education, spirituality, and the arts.

Thomas Berry was an original, creative, and comprehensive thinker, especially regarding the critical nature of our global environmental crisis. His intellectual importance resides in his response to the ecological crisis by bringing together the humanities and science in an evolutionary narrative. In addition, he articulated the need for the moral participation of the world religions in addressing environmental issues. He came to this realization largely through his study of cosmologies embedded within religious traditions. Sensing the significance of these stories as “functional cosmologies” he explored the widespread influence that these stories transmitted through a tradition, for example, in rituals, ethics, and subsistence practices.

Instructors

 

Programme

WEEK 1: 1 hour to complete

Welcome to The Worldview of Thomas Berry: the Flourishing of the Earth Community

Learn what this course is about, who’s teaching it, and other ways you can explore this topic. Meet and greet your peers as well!

Course Introduction
Course Description
Pre-Course Survey
Meet Your Instructional Team
Recommended Texts
Books of Thomas Berry
Additional Berry resources
Introduction – Thomas Berry as Cultural Historian
Mary Evelyn and John talk about their first encounters with Thomas Berry.

Dialogue: Tucker and Grim, “The Worldview of Thomas Berry”
“Thomas Berry Speaks,” filmed by Marty Ostrow
Brian Swimme’s Thomas Berry intro
“Life and Thought: Introduction,” by J Grim and ME Tucker
Thomas Berry Website
Thomas Berry as a Cultural Historian
Introduction – Thomas Berry as Cultural Historian

WEEK 2: 5 hours to complete

Thomas Berry’s Study of World Cultures and Religions

Thomas Berry was a scholar of Earth’s cultures; someone who inspired others to understand that the scientific story of the universe was a primary revelation, on the part with the world’s religions, and needing to be integrated with world’s cultures.

Tucker and Grim, “Thomas Berry and the Encounter with World Religions.
(Part 1) “The Universe and Religion” by Thomas Berry
(Part 2) “The Universe and Religion” by Thomas Berry
(Part 3) “The Universe and Religion” by Thomas Berry
(Part 4) “The Universe and Religion” by Thomas Berry
Thomas Berry, a Scholar of World Cultures
Forum on Religion and Ecology
Thomas Berry: Selected Writings on the Earth Community (Chapter 5)
Thomas Berry: Selected Writings on the Earth Community (Chapter 6)
Asian Art Highlights from Yale University Art Gallery
Thomas Berry’s Study of World Cultures and Religions
Thomas Berry’s Study of World Cultures and Religions

WEEK 3: 3 hours to complete

Influence of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Learn how Pierre Teilhard de Chardin inspired Thomas Berry. Discover Special Relativity as a way of showing the omnipresence of the “within.”(Part 1) Teilhard de Chardin in an Age of Ecology,” an interview of Thomas Berry with Jane Blewett
(Part 2) Teilhard de Chardin in an Age of Ecology,” an interview of Thomas Berry with Jane Blewett
Teilhard de Chardin’s influence on Berry’s thoughts
“Teilhard in the Ecological Age,” by Thomas Berry, in Teilhard in the 21st Century. Edited by Arthur Fabel and Donald St John, Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2003
Audio: Thomas Berry on Teilhard de Chardin at the Cathedral of St John the Divine, NYC.
Teilhard Association Websites
Teilhard de Chardin in the Age of Ecology
Influence of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

WEEK 4: 3 hours to complete

“The New Story”

Thomas Berry’s Differentiation, Subjectivity, and Communion as the overall guidance the New Story provides for humanity.

(Part 1) “The New Story,” by Thomas Berry
(Part 2) “The New Story,” by Thomas Berry
Differentiation, Subjectivity, and Communion
“The New Story,” by Thomas Berry, Teilhard Studies #1, Teilhard Association, Winter 1978.
Chapter 1 from Thomas Berry: Selected Writings on the Earth Community
Journey of the Universe website
Thomas Berry’s New Story
“The New Story”

WEEK 5: 4 hours to complete

Cosmology and Ecology

Thomas Berry’s notion of the human as being derivative of the Earth Community: a primary governing principle for moving into the ecological era.

“The Historical Mission of Our Time,” (Part I) by Thomas Berry
“The Historical Mission of Our Time,” (Part II) by Thomas Berry
Thomas Berry and the Earth Community
Chapter 2 in Thomas Berry: Selected Writings on the Earth Community
Chapter 3 in Thomas Berry: Selected Writings on the Earth Community
Chapter 12 in Thomas Berry: Selected Writings on the Earth Community
The Age of Reptiles Mural at Yale Peabody Museum
Cosmology and Ecology
Cosmology and Ecology

WEEK 6: 5 hours to complete

The Great Work and the Ecozoic Era

From a biological level, what is happening in our time is a recoding of Earth’s processes when natural selection is being overpowered by cultural selection, so that human decision has become geological in its reach. Thomas Berry summarized this by saying that the crucial task of our time is to reinvent the human species with the systems of Earth’s life by means of story and shared dream experience.

(Part 1) “Thomas Berry Speaks on ‘The Great Work’”
(Part 2) “Thomas Berry Speaks on ‘The Great Work’”
(Part 3) “Thomas Berry Speaks on ‘The Great Work’”
Reflections on Capacity From Marrakech – Catherine Martini
Brian Swimme on “The Great Work”
Chapter 8 from Thomas Berry: Selected Writings on the Earth Community
Chapter 9 from Thomas Berry: Selected Writings on the Earth Community
Chapter 10 from Thomas Berry: Selected Writings on the Earth Community
Chapter 11 from Thomas Berry: Selected Writings on the Earth Community
Emerging Earth Community
Special Issue on The Great Work, (in Worldviews: Environment, Culture, and Religion)
The Great Work of the Ecozoic Era
The Great Work and the Ecozoic Era

Long term online programme Journey of the Universe: A Story for Our Times

This online course is one of the parts of long term online programme “Journey of the Universe: A Story for Our Times“, provided by Yale University:

Name of the course Duration (hours) Score Number of ratings
Journey of the Universe: The Unfolding of Life 24 4.7 345
Journey Conversations: Weaving Knowledge and Action 40 4.8 134
The Worldview of Thomas Berry: The Flourishing of the Earth Community 25 4.7 116