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“Earth’s Epic”
Third Annual Thomas Berry Seminar
Whidbey Institute
Clinton, WA
August 13–16, 2001

The “Earth’s Epic,” the Third Annual Thomas Berry Seminar,* is a four day invitational conference exploring interdisciplinary aspects of the epic of the universe. Bringing together scholars in a broad spectrum of disciplines (e.g., physics, chemistry, biology, geology, ecology, animal behavior, human development, law, and religion), this year’s seminar will utilize the “Universe Story” as a background text from which scholars are able to reflect on crucial moments of the Earth’s history and the significance of these events for the human search for meaning.

In addition to the invitational conference events, a public presentation entitled, “Earth’s Four Billion Year Epic,” will be held at the Whidbey Institute on August 18, 2001. Calling for paradigmatic shifts from anthropocentric to cosmocentric ways of looking at our evolving universe, this presentation examines how the story of the universe is unfolding in religious and scientific disciplines. An interdisciplinary range of scholars will present information regarding the history of the Earth in order to illuminate the deeper meanings of the universe’s quest for self-expression. Sustained contemplation on these historic expressions is likely to lead participants to re-examine contemporary human-earth relations and enable them to view locations where positive changes can be pursued. Utilizing four key themes (social and economic justice, democracy, nonviolence, and peace) presented in the Earth Charter, scholars will advance theories that will assist us in moving toward more cosmocentric relationships with our environment.

Presenters at “Earth’s Four Billion Year Epic”

Animal Behavior
Marc Beckoff
Barbara Smuts

Ursula Goodenough
Johnny Polka
Chris Uhl

Brian Swimme

Larry Edward

Ecofeminism and Religion
Charlene Spretnak

George Fisher
Craig Kochel
Trileigh Stroh

Law and Religion
Brian Brown

World Religions
John Grim
David Haberman
Mike Kalton
Mary Evelyn Tucker


*About the Seminar Series
The Thomas Berry Seminars bring together scholars from the sciences and humanities in order to explore the deeper meanings of the epic of the universe. By reflecting on the narrative of the earth and universe from an interdisciplinary perspective, these scholars gain additional understanding of the mythic or cosmological dimensions of scientific knowledge in various cultures throughout various historical time periods.



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