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Two new collections of Fr. Thomas Berry's important writings

 |  NCR Today

Two collections of the writings of Fr. Thomas Berry have been published recently, just a few months after his death in June.

One is The Sacred Universe: Earth, Spirituality and Religion in the Twenty-First Century, published by Columbia University Press. The other is The Christian Future and the Fate of the Earth, published by Orbis Books. The former is edited by Berry's friend and student Mary Evelyn Tucker; the latter edited by Tucker and her husband John Grim.

Both contain important essays Berry wrote during his long career as a scholar, cultural historian and geologian. Berry had prophetic insight about our engagement with the Earth and was one of the first to link the ecological crisis to our religious views and assumptions.

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A sample of Fr. Berry's far ranging insight: "Spirituality is not something an individual or school of thought thinks up under some inner pressure to detach from the vulgar ways of humans so as to live in an esoteric realm of interiority. It is, rather, a profound expression of the mystery of participation in a total way of life, formerly of single cultures but now of the human community. The discovery of ourselves must include discovery of that spirituality which has supported and directed the human venture. This spirituality imposes itself just as inner creative powers impose a poetic vision that cannot be refused by the poet or the artist. This spirituality is not a future possibility but a present reality widely experienced but little understood."

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April 11-24, 2014

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