Tuesday, June 02, 2009



1914 - 2009

Environmentalist, Priest, Eco-Theologian, dies at 94

Many of us were privileged to be touched by the words of this great soul who believed that "the most important spiritual qualities were amazement and enchantment. Awe is healing. A sense of wonder is the therapy for our disconnection from the natural world."

At the age of 11, he says, his sense of "the natural world in its numinous presence" came to him when he discovered a new meadow on the outskirts of the town to which his family had just moved. "The field was covered with white lilies rising above the thick grass," he said. "A magic moment, this experience gave to my life something that seems to explain my thinking at a more profound level than almost any other experience I can remember."

It was not only the lilies, he said. "It was the singing of the crickets and the woodlands in the distance and the clouds in the clear sky. … This early experience has remained with me ever since as the basic determinant of my sense of reality and values. Whatever fosters this meadow is good. What does harm to this meadow is not good."

For more about Thomas Berry go here and here and here.

[UPDATE 5 June 2009: More on Thomas Berry -- be sure to check out Andrew Revkin's NY Times obituary and his DotEarth piece appropriately called The Great Worker.]


Clem Wilkes said...

Thank you, Lou. As usual, you, from Brazil, show us, make us aware of things that we have missed, that we should have been aware of. I really appreciate all your efforts. I believe you life has been blessed, especially by your move to Forteleza. Clem

Clem Wilkes said...

Thomas Berry has left the body, but not the earth. I know he has planted many seeds in the hearts of others that will continue to bear fruition.