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THOMAS BERRY

Thomas Berry's intellectual background included the study of western history, Asian traditions, and indigenous religions; he also received an early and sustained influence of PierreTeilhard de Chardin on his philosophy of evolutionary history. Out of this rich formation, he developed a New Story for humanity, the Universe Story. Beginning as a cultural historian, Berry moved in his latter years to become a historian of Earth. Berry saw himself, not as a theologian but as a geologian; and he understood that the movement from human history to cosmological history was a necessary progression. He witnessed in his own life time the emergence of a planetary civilization as cultures have come in contact around the globe, often for the first time. At the same time, he saw that the very resources for sustaining such a planetary civilization are being undermined by massive environmental destruction. Berry, priest, teacher and author of many path-making books, passed away in 2009 at 94. (from a biography by Mary Evelyn Tucker)