Mary Evelyn Tucker

Mary Evelyn Tucker

Senior Lecturer and Senior Research Scholar

Mary Evelyn Tucker is a Senior Lecturer and Research Scholar at Yale University where she has appointments in the School of the Environment as well as the Divinity School and the Department of Religious Studies. She teaches in the joint MA program in religion and ecology and directs the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale with her husband, John Grim.
Her special area of study is Asian religions. She received her Ph.D. from Columbia University in Japanese Confucianism. Since 1997 she has been a Research Associate at the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies at Harvard. Her Confucian publications include: Moral and Spiritual Cultivation in Japanese Neo-Confucianism and The Philosophy of Qi (Columbia University Press, 2007). With Tu Weiming she edited two volumes on Confucian Spirituality (Crossroad, 2003, 2004).
Her concern for the growing environmental crisis, especially in Asia, led her to organize with John Grim a series of ten conferences on World Religions and Ecology at the Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard (1995-1998). Together they are series editors for the ten volumes from the conferences distributed by Harvard University Press. In this series she co-edited Buddhism and Ecology (Harvard, 1997), Confucianism and Ecology (Harvard, 1998), and Hinduism and Ecology (Harvard, 2000).
After the conference series she and Grim founded the Forum on Religion and Ecology at a culminating conference at the United Nations in 1998. They now direct the Forum at Yale where they also teach religion and ecology. To help shape this new interdisciplinary field they edited Worldviews and Ecology (Orbis, 1994) and a Daedalus volume titled Religion and Ecology: Can the Climate Change? (2001). Tucker also wrote: Worldly Wonder: Religions Enter Their Ecological Phase (Open Court Press, 2003). Together they completed a new overview of the field titled Ecology and Religion (Island Press, 2014). Tucker, Grim, and Willis Jenkins co-edited the Routledge Handbook on Religion and Ecology (Routledge, 2016).
Tucker and Grim studied world religions with Thomas Berry in graduate school and worked closely with him for 30 years. They are the managing trustees of the Thomas Berry Foundation. Tucker edited several of Berry's books: The Great Work (Random House, 1999), Evening Thoughts (Sierra Club Books and University of California Press, 2006), The Sacred Universe (Columbia University Press, 2009), and with Grim, The Christian Future and the Fate of Earth (Orbis, 2009), and Thomas Berry: Selected Writings on the Earth Community (Orbis, 2014).
To bring Berry's work forward she has also worked closely with evolutionary philosopher, Brian Swimme, for some 25 years. Together they have created a multi-media project called Journey of the Universe which includes an Emmy award winning film, which was broadcast on PBS and is now available to watch on Amazon Prime. The companion book which Swimme and Tucker authored is published by Yale University Press (2011). There is also a DVD series of 20 interviews that Tucker did with leading scientists, educative, and environmentalists, titled Journey Conversations. (For the website see: She is also a co-editor of another volume bringing science and religion together, When Worlds Converge (Open Court, 2002). Tucker and Grim co-edited Living Cosmology: Christian Responses to Journey of the Universe (Orbis Books, 2016).
Tucker and Grim have spoken and written extensively about the Papal Encyclical on the environment titled Laudato Si’. See especially their article “Laudato Si” in The Quarterly Review of Biology in September 2016.
Tucker has been involved with the Earth Charter since its inception. She served on the International Earth Charter Drafting Committee from 1997-2000 and was a member of the Earth Charter International Council.
She also serves on the Advisory Boards of Orion Magazinethe Garrison Institute, and Green Belt Movement U.S.

Related article: New Environmental Ethics: 20 Years of The Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology


Travel and Teaching—Kyung Hee Global Collaborative Summer Program, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea, July 11-15, 2016 

Conferences—Korean Society for Literature and Religion, “The Story of Ecology and Religion” and “Disability through Literature,” Seoul, Korea, July 5-8, 2016 

Travel and Teaching—Yale-YMU Summer School, Yunnan Minzu University, Chenggong, Kunming, Yunnan, China, June 25-July 6, 2016. 

Conference—Second International Seminar on Environment, Culture and Religion—Promoting Intercultural Dialogue for Sustainable Development, Tehran, Iran, April 22-25, 2016 

Conference—International Society of Chinese Philosophy, Chinese University of Hong Kong, July 21-24, 2015 

Conference—Earth Charter + 15 Conference, Holland, June 28-19, 2015, Two showings of Journey of the Universe 

Conference—Ecological Civilization, at Yale-China Center, Beijing, June 16, 2015 Travel—Showings of Journey of the Universe, Beijing Normal, June 11, 2015; Minzu University, June 12, 2015 

Conference—Songshan Forum, “The Unity of Humanity and Heaven and Civilizational Diversity,” Henan, China, August 2014 

Travel and Teaching—“The Journey of the Universe: A New Story for Our Times” course at Schumacher College, Devon, UK, June 23-27, 2014 

Travel—June 2014, Journey of the Universe showings in London, Devon, Manchester, UK Conference—Songshan Forum on Chinese Civilization and World Civilization, “Humanistic 

Spirit and Ecological Consciousness,” Henan, China, September 2013 

Travel—Showings of Journey of the Universe in Costa Rica, March 2013 

Travel—Showings of Journey of the Universe in China: Beijing, Dalian, Harbin, and Shanghai, China, March 6-15, 2012 

Conference – International Forum on Marxism and Ecological Civilization from the Multi- dimensional Perspectives of Tradition, Modernization, and Constructive Postmodernism Dalian, Liaoning Province, China, March 11-12, 2012 

Conference—“Religious Diversity and Ecological Sustainability in China” Minzu University, Beijing, China, March 6-9, 2012 

Conference Organized - “Yamuna River: A Confluence of Waters, A Crisis of Need” Yale University FES/TERI University co-sponsors, Jan 3-5, 2011, India. 

Conference—“Beyond Sustainability”, Big Island, Hawaii, June 21-25, 2010. 

Conference—“Earth Charter +10”, Center for Environment Education, Ahmedabad, India, November 1-3, 2010 followed by Earth Charter Council Meeting. 

Conference Planning –“Yamuna River: A Confluence of Waters, A Crisis of Need,” Delhi and Vrindavan, India, Jan 4-8, 2010. 

Conference- “Making a World of Difference: Hearing Each Other—Healing the Earth,” Parliament of World Religions, Melbourne, Australia, December 3-9, 2009. 

Organized 12 panels on World Religions and Ecology, the Earth Charter, and Journey of the Universe 

Conference – “Many Heavens, One Earth: Faith Commitments for a Living Planet,” Sponsored by Alliance for Religion and Conservation and UN Development Programme, Hosted by Prince Phillip and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at Windsor Castle, Windsor, UK, November 2-4, 2009 

Symposium – Religion, Science, and Environment 8th Symposium, Sponsored by the Ecumenical Patriarch, Bartholomew – “Restoring Balance: The Great Mississippi River,” New Orleans, LA, October 21-25, 2009 

Conference – “Promoting Technologies and Policies toward a Low Carbon Society,” Global Environmental Action International Conference, Japanese Ministry of Environment, Tokyo, Japan, October 16-17, 2009 Hosted by the Crown Prince and Prime Minister. 

Conference – Dialogue of Civilizations, Rhodes, Greece, October 8-11,2009 

Conference – “Cross-Cultural Perspectives on East Asian Religious Traditions,” Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan January 15-17, 2009 

Conference – “Spirituality and Conservation,” International Union for the Conservation of Nature, World Conservation Congress, Barcelona, October 6-9, 2008 

Conference – “Earth Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” UNESCO, Paris September 3-5, 2008 

Conference – “Confucianism and Ecology,” Global Forum on Civilization and Peace, Korean Academy of Social Sciences, May 27-29, 2008 

Conference – Beijing University, Roundtable Discussion on Cultural Values and Ecology, May 31, 2008 

Conference – “Earth Charter and Ecology,” Biwako Summit, Keynote, Otsu, Japan, June 7, 2008 

Conference – Club of Rome and World Political Forum, chaired by Michael Gorbachev, Turin Italy, March 28-30, 2008 

Conference – “Toward a New Consciousness: Values to Sustain Human and Natural Communities,” FES Conference at Aspen Institute, Aspen, CO October, 2007 

Conference – “Religion, Science and the Environment,” Greenland, September 5-13, 2007 

Conference – “Nature, Space and the Sacred,” Bamberg University, Germany, May 25-28, 2007 

Conference – “Confucianism and World Religions,” Leiden University, Netherlands, May 23-25, 2007 

Conference – “Toward Mainstreaming Principles of Cultural Diversity and Intercultural Dialogue for Sustainable Development,” UNESCO, Paris, May 21-23, 2007 

Conference – “Climate Change and Development,” Vatican, Rome, April 26-27, 2007 

Symposium: “Faith Based Organizations and Education for Sustainable Development,” Barcelona UNESCO meeting March 21-24, 2007 

Meeting – Earth Charter International Council Meeting, Amsterdam, October 1-3, 2006 

Symposium – Religion, Science and the Environment Symposium in the Amazon with the Greek Orthodox Patriarch, July 13– 20, 2006 

Meeting – Earth Charter International Council Meeting, University for Peace, Costa Rica, April 2-4, 2006 

Conference – Earth Charter +5, Royal Tropical Institute, Amsterdam, Netherlands 

Conference – Science and Religion in the Age of Crisis, Awajishima, Japan, September 18-21, 2005 

Lectures – Religion and Ecology, Jakarta, Indonesia, August 17-19, 2005 

Seminar and Lectures – Religion and Ecology, Gadjah Mada University, Jogyakarta, Indonesia, August 9–16, 2005 

Conference – “Americans and Climate Change: Closing the Gap between Science and Action,” FES Conference at Aspen Institute, Aspen, CO, May 2005 

Conference – United Nations Environment Programme Conference on “Environment, Peace and the Dialogue of Civilizations and Cultures,” Tehran, Iran, May 9-10, 2005 

Conference – “Water Conflicts and Spiritual Transformation: A Dialogue”, Vatican City, Italy, October 13-15, 2004 

Conference – “The Formation of the Ideas about Cosmic Order in Early Modern East Asia” National Taiwan University, Taipei, August 20-21, 2004 

Conference – Parliament of World Religions, Barcelona, Spain, July 7-13, 2004 

Conference – Earth Dialogues Conference, Chaired by Mikhail Gorbachev, Barcelona, Spain, February 5-6, 2004 

Conference – “Forum on Sustainable Development,” Soria, Spain, February 2-3, 2004 

Conference – Religion, Science and the Environment Symposium on the Baltic Sea sponsored by the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, June 2003 

Conference – Religion, Science and the Environment Symposium on the Adriatic Sea sponsored by the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, June 2002 

Conference – Earth Dialogues Conference on “Globalization: Is Ethics the Missing Link?” Chaired by Mikhail Gorbachev and Maurice Strong, Lyon, France, February 2002 

Conference – United Nations Environment Programme Conference on “Religion, Environment and Culture,” Tehran, Iran, June 2001 

Conference – Conference on Spirituality and Sustainability, Assisi, Italy, July 2000 Conference – Parliament of World Religions, Cape Town, South Africa, December 1999 Travel – South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana, December 1999 

Conference – “Confucian Currents in Japan and East Asia 17th to 19th Centuries”, National University of Singapore, December 1997 

Travel – Malaysia and Hong Kong for meetings on religion and ecology, December 1997 Conference – International Conference on the Neo-Confucian Thought of Wang Yang-ming, Kyoto, Japan, August 1997 

Conference – Conference on Spirituality and Sustainability, Assisi, Italy, July 1997 

Conference – “Rio + 5” International Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, March 1997 

Conference – Conference on Spirituality and Sustainability, Assisi, Italy, July 1996 

Travel – Israel, India, Japan (Consultant for Comparative Religions Program Friends World Program, Long Island University, supported by the Luce Foundation), January 1996 

Conference – Traditional Chinese Culture and the Future, Kyoto International Conference Center, January 1996 

Conference – Teilhard and Schweitzer Conference, UN University, Costa Rica, March 1995 Conference – International Conference on “Traditional Culture in East Asia”, Fukuoka, Japan, April 1994 

Travel – On the Silk Road in China and Central Asia, May 1993 

Conference – Global Forum International Conference, Kyoto, Japan, April 1993 

Conference – International Conference on Inter-Religious Dialogue in New Delhi, February 1993 Travel – Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, India, Indonesia, Cambodia, January-February 1993 

Conference – One week in Japan to help prepare for Global Forum Conference in 1993 and to attend Global Forum Artists Conference in Shimane, September 1992 

Travel – Ten days in Japan to interview the Confucian scholar, Okada Takehiko, January 1992 Conference – Ten days in Japan for Shinto International Workshop on Global Survival in Okayama, November 1990 

Conference – Two weeks in Japan for Inter-Religious Conference in Osaka, Summer 1990 

Travel – Two weeks in the Soviet Union (NCC Travel Seminar to celebrate 1000 years of Christianity in Russia), Summer 1988. 

Travel – Co-leader of Iona faculty trip to Native American Southwest, January 1987 Travel: Five weeks in China and Tibet, Summer 1986 

Travel – Leader of Iona faculty trip to China, Summer 1985 Study – Doctoral research in Tokyo, 1981-1982 

Travel – Two months in Southeast Asia, South India, Sri Lanka, 1981-1982 Teaching – Notre Dame Seishin University, Okayama, Japan, 1973-1974 

Travel – Three months in Korea, Southeast Asia, North India, Egypt, 1974 

Study – Sophia University, Tokyo, Japan, Summer 1974 

Study – Sophia University, Tokyo, Japan, Summer 1973 Travel – Turkey Ankara and Istanbul), Summer 1970 

Study – Sophomore year in Oxford, England, 1968-1969 

Travel – Four months in Western Europe 



Ph.D., Columbia University
M.A., Fordham University
M.A., SUNY, Fredonia
B.A., Trinity College