Thomas Berry, Dreamer of the Earth

Jan 21, 2011 | News, Published Books & Articles

by Ervin Laszlo (Author, Editor), Allan Combs (Author, Editor)

A tribute to the visionary contributions and prophetic writings of Thomas Berry, spiritual ecologist and father of environmentalism.


  • Contains 10 essays by eminent philosophers, thinkers, and scientists in the field of ecology and sustainability, including Matthew Fox, Joanna Macy, Duane Elgin, Sean Esbjörn-Hargens, Ervin Laszlo, and Allan Combs.
  • Calls for a transformation of consciousness to resolve today’s global ecological and human challenges.
  • Includes a little-known but essential essay by Thomas Berry.

When cultural historian and spiritual ecologist Thomas Berry, described by Newsweek magazine as “the most provocative figure among the new breed of eco-theologians,” passed away in 2009 at age 94, he left behind a dream of healing the “Earth community.” In his numerous lectures, books, and essays, Berry proclaimed himself a scholar of the earth, a “geologian,” and diligently advocated for a return to Earth-based spirituality.

This anthology presents 10 essays from leading philosophers, scientists, and spiritual visionaries–including Matthew Fox, Joanna Macy, Duane Elgin, Sean Esbjörn-Hargens, Ervin Laszlo, and Allan Combs–on the genius of Berry’s work and his quest to resolve our global ecological and spiritual challenges, as well as a little-known but essential essay by Berry himself. Revealing Berry’s insights as far ahead of their time, these essays reiterate the radical nature of his ideas and the urgency of his most important conclusion: that money and technology cannot solve our problems, rather, we must reestablish the indigenous connection with universal consciousness and return to our fundamental spontaneous nature–still evident in our dreams–in order to navigate our ecological challenges successfully.


Table of Contents 



The Declaration of Global Emergency and Emergence

By Ervin Laszlo and David Woolfson


The Dreamer of the Earth by Ervin Laszlo


The University of the Earth: An Introduction to Thomas Berry
by Allan Combs


The Emerging Ecozoic Period
by Thomas Berry

The Emerging Ecozoic Period


Some Thoughts on Thomas Berry’s Contributions to the Western Spiritual Tradition
by Matthew Fox


Teilhard de Chardin and Thomas Berry

The Call to Shamanhood

Thomas Berry, Moses, and Hildegard

Thomas Berry and Thomas Aquinas


Thomas Berry and the Evocation of Participatory Consciousness
by Geneen Marie Haugen


Inscendence – The Key to the Great Work of Our Time: A Soulcentric View of Thomas Berry’s Work
by Bill Plotkin


Inscendence and the Dream of the Earth

Revelation: For the One or the Many?

“The Genetic Imperative”

“The Spontaneities Within Us”

Genes, Places, Soul, and Nature Coding

Human Development from the Perspective of Inscendence


Dreaming in Sacred Sites: A Study and Tribute to Thomas Berry
by Stanley Krippner, Paul Devereux, Adam Fish, Robert Tartz, and Allan Combs 


Dreaming at Sacred Sites

The Dragon Project

The Sites

The Dreams



The Double Life of Thomas Berry: Emergence and Evolution
by Duane Elgin 


Scientific Views of An Emergent Universe

An Emergent Universe in Wisdom Traditions

Living at the Center of the Cross


Ecological Interiority: Thomas Berry’s Integral Ecology Legacy
by Sean Esbjörn-Hargens 


Streams of Integral Ecology

A Community of Subjects



Earth Community: What It Tells Us About Faith and Power
by Joanna Macy 


Discovering What We Know and Feel

Discovering What We Are

Being Acted Through

The Power to Connect


Berry and the Shift from Anthropocentric to the Ecological Age
by Ervin Laszlo 


The Dominant Beliefs and Myths of the Anthropocentric Age — and Why They Are Obsolete

Values and Consciousness in the Ecological Age

In Summary


About the Co-Authors & Co-Editors


Ervin Laszlo, twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, is editor of the international periodical World Futures: The Journal of General Evolution and Chancellor-Designate of Giordano Bruno GlobalShift University. The founder and president of the Club of Budapest and the author of 83 books, he lives in Pisa, Italy.

Allan Combs is professor of transformative studies at the California Institute of Integral Studies, co-director of integral studies at the Graduate Institute of Connecticut, and a founding member of the Integral Foundation. The author of more than 100 articles and books, he lives in Santa Rosa, California.



“Thomas Berry, Dreamer of the Earth offers an introduction to one of the most extraordinary thinkers of the twentieth century. His stature cannot be fully appreciated unless one brings to mind such axial personalities as Pythagoras or Confucius, thinkers who gave rise to civilizations. The deep structure of human beings is undergoing a seismic shift, which Thomas foresaw and in part evoked. To understand this new planetary mode of consciousness, there is no substitute for a close study of his ideas.”

Brian Swimme, Ph.D.California Institute of Integral Studies, Co-Author, with Thomas Berry, of The Universe Story

“The ten authors of this book review and extract the essence of Thomas Berry’s thinking regarding our society’s movement towards a sustainable environment and for saving our earth from destruction, destruction imposed upon it by the profit seeking industrial-business segment of our society. Thomas Berry goes beyond what many millions of us are ‘doing’ to save the earth by pointing out that it is the nature of our consciousness with regard to how we see life and our role as part of the universe and the earth’s environment that needs to change and evolve…I found this reading especially exciting and most important for our survival.”
Nicholas E. Brink, Ph.D.Imagination, Cognition and Personality, October 2013

“While the religious community is starkly divided on the issue of environmentalism. Thomas Berry was not. A Passionist priest and self-described cosmologist and “geologian” he came down firmly on the side of environmentalism and was a pioneer in the field… This book is an admirable introduction to that quest.”

Marlene Y. SatterForeWord Magazine, March 2011

“Here is another book calling us to reconnect with the natural world and to find all the meaning we need in an Earth-based spirituality.”

“Spontaneously I am inclined to shouting out an energetic, resounding (green) hallelujah of affirmation to the foregoing expression. Indeed, Bill Plotkin’s essay is superlative in a volume that is reader worthy and excellent from start to finish. Space does not allow me to do equal justice to the contributions from Joanna Macy, Duane Elgin, Stanley Krippner, Geneen Marie Haugen, Matthew Fox and the others.”
“Thomas Berry was one of the “Greats”, and this collection by Laszlo and Combs is a wonderful tribute.”

“… an impressive job of conveying the sometimes complex spiritual perspectives of a contemporary visionary.”

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