Thomas Berry’s Eco-Theology

I am happy to have been tagged by Sana of  My Journey with Hijab  for a  3 Days, 3 Quotes Challenge’.  This is Day #2.  Many thanks to Sana for inviting me to participate. If you haven’t already visited her blog you might want to take a look–you’ll find humour, thoughtful reflections, spiritual quotes, words of compassion, and more.

The rules for the 3 Days, 3 Quotes Challenge:

1. Thank the blogger, who nominated you.

2.  Choose three consecutive days to share a new quote on your blog. They can be from anywhere, anyone, or anything that inspires you… Which means, it can be from yourself, too!

3. On each of the three days, nominate 3 more bloggers to carry on this mission impossible endeavor (if they dare!).

Today’s challenge nominees are: The Writer Next Door, Uncle Spike’s Adventures, Your Nibbled News.




At first glance, this statement may seem obvious: “The destiny of humans cannot be separated from the destiny of earth.”  However, the comment is a fine distillation of much thought by a respected Catholic theologian.  Further, it is a thought that is easy to accept, but not so easy to honour, as it doesn’t reflect our current legal, political, and economic systems.  One example:  in North America we have charters and bills of human rights, but the interests of land, air, animals, trees, and lakes, etc. are not enshrined in our constitutions.  In fact, some people debate environmental protection laws as if they are optional–why should they be optional if our destiny is in fact inseparable from the destiny of the earth?

Thomas Berry was a Catholic Priest, cultural historian, eco-theologian, and author from North Carolina, U.S.A.–he lived primarily in the 20th century, but lived almost a decade in the 21st  (1914-2009).  I came across his thinking accidentally.  I was looking into Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, French writer, mystic, and theologian (1881-1955); and learned about Thomas Berry while listening to his talks about Teilhard de Chardin (posted on YouTube).

Teilhard de Chardin brought evolution into Christian theological thinking–he experienced the Divine within a dynamic unfolding universe, in a continual process of  creation and emergence.  Creation of the Universe lead to formation of the Earth, Life on earth, and  eventually, Humans.  Thomas Berry took this vision one step further and proposed that humans, as an integral part of the Universe, must live in community with it–in a spirit of cooperation rather than domination–shifting from an anthropocentric orientation to a bio- or eco-centric  one.

Here is a list of a few Thomas Berry books:

The Great Work: Our Way into the Future, 1999

The Dream of the Earth, 1988

Evening Thoughts: Reflecting on Earth as Sacred
 Community, 2006

The Sacred Universe: Earth, Spirituality, and
 Religion in the Twenty-First Century, 2009

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