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Thomas Berry

A Biography

Thomas Berry (1914–2009) was one of the twentieth century’s most prescient and profound thinkers. The first biography of Berry, this book illuminates his remarkable vision and its continuing relevance for achieving transformative social change and environmental renewal.

Author Information

TuckerMary Evelyn:

Mary Evelyn Tucker (PhD, Jananese Confucianism, Columbia) is Senior Lecturer and Research Scholar at the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Department of Religious Studies, and the Divinity School. She directs the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale with her husband, John Grim. She is also Research Associate at the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies at Harvard. She is the author of several books, including Worldly Wonder: Religions Enter Their Ecological Phase (Open Court, 2003) and The Philosophy of Qi (Columbia, 2007). She is the editor of several of Thomas Berry's books, including The Sacred Universe (Columbia, 2009). She is the coeditor (with Grim) of Ecology and Religion (Island, 2014) and the World Religions and Ecology series (Harvard) and (with Grim and Willis Jenkins) of the Routledge Handbook on Religion and Ecology (2016). She and Grim are the managing trustees of the Thomas Berry Foundation.GrimJohn:

John Grim (PhD, History of Religions, Fordham) is Senior Lecturer and Senior Research Scholar at Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. His published works include The Shaman: Patterns of Religious Healing Among the Ojibway Indians (Oklahoma, 1983) and (as editor) Indigenous Traditions and Ecology: The Interbeing of Cosmology and Community (Harvard, 2001). His interests focus on Native American and indigenous religions and religion and ecology.AngyalAndrew:

Andrew Angyal (PhD, English, Duke) is Professor of English and Environmental Studies at Elon University. He is the author of biographies of Loren Eiseley (Hall, 1983), Lewis Thomas (Hall, 1989), and Wendell Berry (Hall, 1995). He specializes in environmental humanities, chaos and complexity theory, and ecospirituality.Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim teach at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and the Yale Divinity School, where they direct the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology. They worked closely with Thomas Berry for over thirty years as his students, editors, and literary executors and are the managing trustees of the Thomas Berry Foundation.

Andrew Angyal is professor emeritus of English and environmental studies at Elon University. He is also the author of Loren Eisley (1983), Lewis Thomas (1989), and Wendell Berry (1995).


Christopher Key Chapple, Doshi Professor of Indic and Comparative Theology, Loyola Marymount University:
This book gives tribute to an important thinker who influenced and shaped the fields of cross-cultural studies, religion, and ecology in the twentieth century. The intellectual endeavor of Thomas Berry articulates the failings of the Eurocentric nation-state model and urges listening to the unintended consequences of human hegemony over the natural order of the world.

Brian Thomas Swimme, coauthor, with Thomas Berry, of The Universe Story: From the Primordial Flaring Forth to the Ecozoic Era—A Celebration of the Unfolding of the Cosmos:
In my first meeting with Thomas Berry, I sensed a depth of wisdom that was comprehensive and unique. This initial intuition only deepened as we worked together over decades. There is no better pathway into his vision than this profound biography.

James Gustave Speth, cofounder of National Resources Defense Council and World Resources Institute, former administrator of United Nations Development Programme:
To read this magnificent biography is to encounter the evolution of greatness, for Thomas Berry was truly one of the remarkable people of the twentieth century. The distinguished authors chronicle his early life to his study of the world’s religions, to the tragedy of ecological loss and the story of the unfolding universe. This is followed by a series of fascinating essays probing Berry's large intellectual legacy. Throughout, Berry's decency and humanity, as well as his courage, are vividly displayed. I found this book to be a joy and an inspiration.

Kathleen Dean Moore, author of Great Tide Rising: Towards Clarity and Moral Courage in a Time of Planetary Change:
To a bewildered world, Thomas Berry offers a moral compass. To a fragmented world, he offers the convergence of scientific and spiritual worldviews in a new story of the evolutionary unity of humans and the cosmos. For a despairing world, he offers meaning and hope in lives of Great Work. For a suffering world, he offers a new jurisprudence of Earth rights. As Thomas Berry was a brilliant, erudite, joyous person who changed the world, so this biography is a brilliant, erudite, joyous book that will change your life.

Bill McKibben, author of Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?:
This is a book one has waited impatiently for: some of our finest environmental historians of religion telling the epic intellectual and human story of Thomas Berry. Most biographies illuminate the past, but this one helps chart the course for our future.

Thomas E. Lovejoy, University Professor, George Mason University:
A tour de force biography: Thomas Berry was one of the most important thinkers on humanity and our trajectory on this wondrous living planet—and indeed in the journey of the universe. This is a book written with love and clarity and belongs on everyone’s required reading list. Read it and you will understand one of the most inspiring persons of our time—and it will change how you think about the future.

A warm celebration of an environmentalist whose ideas are increasingly relevant.

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