Online Zoom Forum: Thomas Berry: The Spiritual and Ecological Vision in his Life and Work.

Date: Wednesday 24 January 2024.
Time: 7pm-9pm (UK time).

Event Description:

Format: There will be four talks of up to 15 minutes each, followed by 15 minutes of discussion among the speakers and the chair, followed by Q & A.

Thomas Berry was one of the leading thinkers of the 20th century. Born in North Carolina, he lived primarily in New York City but also spent time in Europe and Asia. His planetary reach was striking, both in his knowledge of world history and religion, but also in his celebration of the evolution of the Earth and universe. His understanding of cosmology and ecology were an inspiration for the Journey of the Universe project, an award winning film, book, podcasts, and online courses.




Roberto Chiotti, BES, B.ARCH, MTS, OAA, FRAIC, LEED AP, CAHP Founding Principal larkin architect limited.




Mary Evelyn Tucker, Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology:

“Thomas Berry’s Life: Wisdom and Compassion”

John Grim, Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology:

“Cosmology and Ecology: Shaping the Earth Community”

Sam King, Project director, Journey of the Universe:

“The New Story in Journey of the Universe”

Kathleen Noone Deignan, CND, PhD is a sister of the Congregation of Notre Dame and Professor Emerita of Religious Studies at Iona University:

“Thomas Berry: Poetics of the Ecozoic“

Thomas Berry has been described in a kaleidoscope of terms, but few have invited in-depth discovery and reflection on his rich and potent vocabulary of the “ecozoic.” Calling for a new language and meta-spirituality of “incendence,” Thomas’ transformative vocabulary is inscribed across his literary corpus. This session offers a sounding of Berry’s voice echoing through his vision: his unique poetics of the Ecozoic.




Joint Bio for Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim:

Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim are affiliated faculty with the Yale Center for Environmental Justice at the Yale School of the Environment.

They direct the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology, which arose from ten conferences they organized at Harvard's Center for the Study of World Religions.

They are series editors of the Harvard volumes from the conferences on Religion and Ecology.

Tucker specializes in East Asian religions, especially Confucianism. Grim specializes in indigenous traditions, especially Native American religions.

Grim and Tucker have written a number of books including Ecology and Religion (Island Press, 2014) and edited the Routledge Handbook of Religion and Ecology (2017).

They are editors for the series on Ecology and Justice from Orbis Books.

They have created six online courses in “Religions and Ecology: Restoring the Earth Community.”

They were students of Thomas Berry and collaborated over several decades to edit his books.

They also wrote Thomas Berry: A Biography with Andrew Angyal (Columbia, 2019).

With his article “The New Story,” Berry was a major inspiration for Journey of the Universe.

With Brian Thomas Swimme, Tucker and Grim created this multi-media project that includes a book (Yale, 2011), an Emmy award winning film, a series of Conversations, and online courses from Yale/Coursera.

Until 2020, following in Berry’s footsteps, Grim served as president of the American Teilhard Association and Tucker as Vice President for over three decades.

Bio of Sam King:

Sam King is an environmental educator, writer, and activist. He serves as lead mentor for the Yale/Coursera online courses in Religions and Ecology, which he helped develop with Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim.

He is also Project Manager for the Emmy Award-winning Journey of the Universe film and multimedia project, hosting the Journey of the Universe: 10 Years Later podcast and editing the monthly newsletter.

Sam received a Master of Arts in Religion and Ecology with a certificate in Educational Leadership and Ministry from Yale Divinity School. He also served as a Teaching Fellow at the Yale School of the Environment.

A former Fulbright Scholar in Sri Lanka, Sam taught at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura and researched agrarian Buddhist rituals.

He has also taught English, Environmental Science, Philosophy, and Religion at The Hotchkiss School and Phillips Academy Andover Summer.

He holds a B.A. in Religion and Environmental Studies from Bowdoin College. An avid gardener, forager, and outdoorsman, Sam lives on ancestral Quinnipiac land in New Haven, CT.

Bio of Kathleen Noone Deignan, CND, PhD:

Kathleen Noone Deignan, CND, PhD is a sister of the Congregation of Notre Dame and Professor Emerita of Religious Studies at Iona University in New Rochelle, New York where she taught from 1980 – 2021, and now serves as founding director of the Deignan Institute for Earth and Spirit, a multi-faceted project in support of the cultivation of global citizens for the emergence of a global ecological civilization.

A GreenFaith Fellow since 2008, Dr. Deignan is an alumna of Fordham University where she studied with her mentor Thomas Berry earning a Master’s Degree in the History of Christian Spirituality and a Doctorate in Historical Theology. Her publications include ChristSpirit: The Pneumatological Eschatology of Shaker Christianity, When the Trees Say Nothing: Thomas Merton’s Writings on Nature, Thomas Merton: A Book of Hours, Teilhard de Chardin: A Book of Hours, and numerous published articles on integral ecological spirituality. She is presently composing Thomas Berry: A Book of Hours.

President Emerita of the International Thomas Merton Society, Sister Kathleen animates The Merton Contemplative Initiative at Iona University, and is co-convener of The Thomas Berry Forum for Ecological Dialogue to honor and promote the legacy of her mentor, Thomas Berry. She sits on the board of The Berry Foundation.

Bio of Roberto Chiotti:

In addition to obtaining his professional architectural degree in 1978 from the University of Waterloo, Canada, Roberto Chiotti completed his Master of Theological Studies degree at the University of St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto in 1998 with a specialty in Theology and Ecology.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and founding principal of Larkin Architect Limited, a Toronto based firm specializing in the design of sustainable sacred space for parishes and religious communities, mostly within the Christian tradition.

In addition to his teaching appointments, Roberto has been invited to speak on the topics of liturgical design, sacred space, eco-theology, and the architectural response to the ecological crisis at universities, colleges, and conferences throughout North America and abroad.

He currently serves on the board of the Architectural, Culture, and Spirituality Forum, an international community of scholars and practitioners who believe that the design and experience of the built environment can assist the spiritual development of humanity in service of addressing the world’s most pressing issues.

He also participated in the recent Critical Conversations Project, a joint collaboration between ACSF and the Centre for Theological Enquiry at Princeton University.


Thomas Berry


An archive recording will be made for the EICSP archive.

NB: There will be no refund if you cancel your booking.

Cost: By Donation:
Contact: Neill Walker, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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Account Name: Edinburgh International Centre for Spirituality and Peace
Bank Address: Edinburgh Royal Mile Branch
Account Number: 06131159
Sort Code: 802000

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The IBAN number is as follows:

GB70 BOFS 8020 0006 1311 59

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