F&ES 789Eb/REL 912H / 2019-2020

Journey of the Universe

Credits: 3

Spring 2020: Tu, 4:00-6:00, Kroon 321


This semester long course brings the sciences and humanities into dialogue to explore the ways in which we understand evolutionary processes and the implications for humans and our ecological future. The course draws on the Journey of the Universe project: an Emmy award winning film, a book, and a series of 20 interviews with scientists and environmentalists. See journeyoftheuniverse.org  Journey of the Universe explores evolution as a creative process based on connection, interdependence, and emergence.  The Journey interviews also present an opportunity to investigate the ecological and social challenges of our times.


The second half of the course will explore the thought of Thomas Berry (1914-2009) who inspired Journey of the Universe with his essay on the need for a New Story. Berry, a cultural historian was an early and significant voice awakening ethical sensibilities to the environmental crisis. We will look at his books, articles, and recorded lectures to examine his key ideas.  We  will briefly explore his studies in world religions including Buddhism, Confucianism, and Indigenous Traditions.  Finally the course will highlight his challenge to Christianity to articulate theologies of not only divine-human relations, but also human-Earth relations.