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The Journey of the Universe – A New Story for Our Times

23 – 27 June 2014

With Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim

This course is open for bookings.

News: Five half-price bursaries are available for this course – details below.

For many years we have been looking to science, engineering, policy, law and economics to provide information to help us understand and resolve our complex environmental issues. We now have a great deal of knowledge in these areas, but we still lack the collective will to engage in long-term changes essential for the continued flourishing of our ‘Earth Community’. Now we are beginning to recognise that other types of knowledge are needed alongside this information – knowledge from the humanities, from spirituality and ethics.

In this course we will explore the Journey of the Universe – a film, a book and a series of conversations with leading scientists and environmentalists, born out of Thomas Berry’s call in 1978 for a ‘New Story’ and developed by Mary Evelyn Tucker, John Grim and Brian Swimme. The Journey of the Universe is a cosmological narrative that transcends the boundaries between disciplines and integrates science and values to tell the story of our Universe and its evolution.

From this story we will take a new orientation and context as we reconsider our relationship with the Earth Community, looking at the many symbolic and lived expressions of interconnection between us and how they inspire us to action. Our goal for the week is to explore how this new story can evoke the ‘Great Work’ of our time for social and environmental transformation.

On this course you will gain a fuller understanding of the epic of evolution as a context for inspiring wonder and evoking creativity. We will explore how it is possible for humans to work to enhance Earth’s life systems, looking at examples ranging from bioregionalism and transition towns to international efforts like the Earth Charter.

About Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim


Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim

Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim are both currently Senior Lecturers and Research Scholars at Yale University and Environmental Ethicists-in-Residence at Yale’s Centre for Bioethics. Together they direct the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale. This project arose from a series of conferences held from 1996 to 1998 at Harvard’s Centre for the Study of World Religions.

Mary Evelyn Tucker

Mary Evelyn is the author of Moral and Spiritual Cultivation in Japanese Neo-Confucianism (SUNY, 1989), Worldly Wonder (Open Court,2003), and The Philosophy of Qi (Columbia, 2007). With Brian Swimme, she created a multi-media project titled Journey of the Universe that includes a book with Yale University Press (2011), a film and educational video series. She is also co-editor of Confucianism and Ecology (Harvard, 1998), When Worlds Converge (Open Court, 2002) and Confucian Spirituality (Continuum, 2003). She helped Thomas Berry edit many of his essays for publication including his last collection Sacred Universe (Columbia, 2009). Tucker is a member of the Earth Charter International Council. She serves on the Advisory Boards of Orion Magazine, the Garrison Institute, and Climate Central.

John Grim

John is the author of The Shaman (University of Oklahoma Press (1983), and an edited volume Indigenous Traditions and Ecology (Harvard, 2001). With Mary Evelyn he has edited a Daedalus volume (2001) entitled, Religion and Ecology: Can the Climate Change?, and Thomas Berry’s essays, The Christian Future and the Fate of Earth, (Orbis Books, 2009). Together they have written a volume for Island Press titled Ecology and Religion that will be released October 2013. Grim is currently president of the American Teilhard Association.


Advanced readings:

Brian Thomas Swimme and Mary Evelyn Tucker, Journey of the Universe (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2011)
Thomas Berry, “The New Story” in Dream of the Earth (San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, 1988) or on Journey website

Strongly suggested

Journey of the Universe Conversations (20 brief interviews with scientists and environmentalists) available through

Additional Websites: Forum on Religion and Ecology

Course Fees

£795 All course fees include accommodation, food, field trips and all teaching sessions.

Five half-price bursaries are available for this course.

If you are interested in applying for a bursary, please email with the name of the course you would like to apply for and short answers to the following questions:

For more information about Bursaries please click here.

For further information about Schumacher College please see About the College


Click here to access our on-line booking system

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Reserve your place now

To provisionally reserve a place for 5 days, email us your contact details and the name of the course
Telephone: +44 (0)1803 865934

We will hold the place for five working days for reservations – three weeks before a course or earlier. After five days we will automatically offer your place to someone else if we have not received your application.

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Schumacher College is part of the Dartington Hall Trust, a company limited by guarantee, registered in England and as a charity (company no. 1485560, charity no. 279756). Registered office: The Elmhirst Centre, Dartington Hall, Totnes, Devon TQ9 6EL, United Kingdom