Thomas Berry was a cultural historian and scholar of the world’s religions, especially Asian traditions. Later as he studied Earth history and evolution, he called himself a “geologian.” He rejected the label “theologian” or “ecotheologian” as too narrow and not descriptive of his cultural studies in history of religions. He was drawn early on to respond to the growing ecological and climate crisis and proposed the need for a deep understanding of the history and functioning of the evolving universe; a necessary inspiration and guide for our own effective functioning as individuals and as a species.
Noted cultural historian Thomas Berry provides nothing less than a new intellectual-ethical framework for the human community by positing planetary well-being as the measure of all human activity. Drawing on the wisdom of Western philosophy, Asian thought, and Native American traditions, as well as contemporary physics and evolutionary biology, Berry offers a new perspective that recasts our understanding of science, technology, politics, religion, ecology, and education. He shows us why it is important for us to respond to the Earth’s need for planetary renewal, and what we must do to break free of the “technological trance” that drives a misguided dream of progress. Only then, he suggests, can we foster mutually enhancing human-Earth relationships that can heal our traumatized global biosystem.