Journey of the Universe: A Story for Our Times Specialization

Starts Jul 03

Journey of the Universe: A Story for Our Times Specialization

Discover our role as humans in the Earth community

Explore the unfolding of the universe, Earth, & humans by drawing upon science & the humanities.

About This Specialization

Use the links below to audit the courses at no cost: Course 1: Journey of the Universe: The Unfolding of Life Course 2: Journey of the Universe: Weaving Knowledge and Action Course 3: The Worldview of Thomas Berry: The Flourishing of the Earth Community Journey of the Universe: A Story for Our Times is a course series created by senior research scholars at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Sciences, Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim. The courses weave the discoveries of the evolutionary sciences together with the humanities such as history, philosophy, art, and religion. The courses in this Specialization draw on the Emmy-award winning film, Journey of the Universe, the book from Yale University Press, and a series of 20 interviews with scientists and environmentalists, titled Journey Conversations. Each week there will be a brief commentary by Brian Thomas Swimme, co-author of the Journey book. As part of the Specialization, we investigate the life of Thomas Berry, a historian of world religions known for articulating a “new story” of the universe that explores the implications of the evolutionary sciences and cultural traditions for creating a flourishing future. The capstone course gives students an opportunity to bring together their learning in a project that explores ways in which the creativity of humans can be more deeply aligned with the creativity of universe and Earth processes.

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courses
4 courses

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Projects

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Certificates

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Projects Overview

Courses
Beginner Specialization.
No prior experience required.
  1. COURSE 1

    Journey of the Universe: The Unfolding of Life

    Upcoming session: Jul 3 — Aug 21.
    Commitment
    2 hours of viewing lectures/week and 2 hours of reading books and articles/week
    Subtitles
    English

    About the Course

    Journey of the Universe weaves together the discoveries of the evolutionary sciences together with humanities such as history, philosophy, art, and religion. The course draws on the Emmy-award winning film, Journey of the Universe, and the book from Yale University Press. Journey explores cosmic evolution as a creative process based on connection, interdependence, and emergence. It examines a range of dynamic interactions in the unfolding of galaxies, Earth, life, and human communities. It investigates ways in which we understand evolutionary processes and the implications for humans and our ecological future. The Journey course, thus, is based on a new integration that is emerging from the dialogue of the sciences and humanities. Journey tells the story of evolution as an epic narrative, rather than as a series of facts separated by scientific disciplines. This changes our perception so that we begin to see ourselves as an integral part of this narrative. By situating ourselves within this story we can better appreciate the complexity and beauty of processes such as self-organizing dynamics, natural selection, emergence, symbiosis, and co-evolution. As we discover these intricate processes of evolution, we awaken to the beauty and complexity of our natural environment at this critical juncture in our planetary history. Upcoming sessions May 8, 2017 - June 26, 2017 June 5, 2017 - July 24, 2017 July 3, 2017 - August 21, 2017 July 31, 2017 - September 18, 2017 August 28, 2017 - October 16, 2017 September 25, 2017 - November 13, 2017
  2. COURSE 2

    Journey Conversations: Weaving Knowledge and Action

    Upcoming session: Jul 3 — Aug 21.
    Commitment
    2 hours of viewing lectures/week and 2 hours of reading books and articles/week
    Subtitles
    English

    About the Course

    Journey of the Universe weaves together the discoveries of the evolutionary sciences together with humanities such as history, philosophy, art, and religion. This course draws on the Journey of the Universe Conversations, a series of 20 interviews with scientists and environmentalists. The first 10 interviews are with scientists and historians who deepen our understanding of the evolutionary process of universe, Earth, and humans. The second 10 interviews are with environmentalists, teachers, and artists who explore the connections between the universe story and the practices for a flourishing Earth community. Upcoming sessions May 8, 2017 - June 26, 2017 June 5, 2017 - July 24, 2017 July 3, 2017 - August 21, 2017 July 31, 2017 - September 18, 2017 August 28, 2017 - October 16, 2017 September 25, 2017 - November 13, 2017
  3. COURSE 3

    The Worldview of Thomas Berry: The Flourishing of the Earth Community

    Upcoming session: Jul 3 — Aug 21.
    Commitment
    7 weeks of study, 1-3 hours/week
    Subtitles
    English

    About the Course

    Thomas Berry (1914-2009) was a historian of world religions and an early voice awakening moral sensibilities to the environmental crisis. He is known for articulating a “new story” of the universe that explores the implications of the evolutionary sciences and cultural traditions for creating a flourishing future. This course investigates Berry’s life and thought in relation to the Journey of the Universe project. It draws on his books, articles, and recorded lectures to examine such ideas as: the New Story, the Great Work, and the emerging Ecozoic era. The course explores Berry’s insights into cosmology as a context for locating the human in a dynamic unfolding universe and thus participating in the creative work of our times. In particular, we will examine Berry’s reflections on renewal and reform in the areas of ecology, economics, education, spirituality, and the arts. Course Rationale: Thomas Berry was an original, creative, and comprehensive thinker, especially regarding the critical nature of our global environmental crisis. His intellectual importance resides in his response to the ecological crisis by bringing together the humanities and science in an evolutionary narrative. In addition, he articulated the need for the moral participation of the world religions in addressing environmental issues. He came to this realization largely through his study of cosmologies embedded within religious traditions. Sensing the significance of these stories as “functional cosmologies” he explored the widespread influence that these stories transmitted through a tradition, for example, in rituals, ethics, and subsistence practices. Upcoming sessions May 8, 2017 - June 26, 2017 June 5, 2017 - July 24, 2017 July 3, 2017 - August 21, 2017 July 31, 2017 - September 18, 2017 August 28, 2017 - October 16, 2017 September 25, 2017 - November 13, 2017
  4. COURSE 4

    Living Cosmology

    Upcoming session: Jul 17 — Sep 4.
    Commitment
    6 weeks of study.
    Subtitles
    English

    About the Capstone Project

    The ecological and social challenges we are facing as a human species are multiple, complex, and vexing. The difficulty in finding viable solutions can often lead to a sense of disempowerment. Thomas Berry pointed a way forward with his understanding of the Great Work of our times that would help to give rise to an Ecozoic era of mutually enhancing human-Earth relations. The Great Work implies that each person has a contribution to make toward the flourishing of the Earth community. That is the invitation of this capstone course for students to become participants in transformative learning. In this capstone we offer a venue to respond to our contemporary challenges by exploring ways in which the creativity of humans can be more clearly and effectively aligned with the creativity of universe and Earth processes. This is what is intended by “living cosmology”, namely how do we live within a universe story in ways that transform us? How can we dwell within a broadened consciousness of a new story of evolution? How can this empower a new context for education, art, spirituality, and ethics along with ecology, politics, economics, and business? Projects may involve the humanities or the sciences or an interdisciplinary combination. This could involve arts, literature, poetry, painting, music, or the natural and social sciences, ecological problem solving or policy-making. Both original thought and practical applications are encouraged. Interdisciplinary thinking and fresh solutions will be fostered. Upcoming sessions: April 24, 2017 - June 12, 2017 May 22, 2017 - July 20, 2017 June 19, 2017 - August 7, 2017 July 17, 2017 - September 4, 2017 August 14, 2017 - October 2, 2017 September 11, 2017 - October 30, 2017 October 9, 2017 - November 27, 2017

Creators

  • Yale University

    Since its founding in 1701, Yale has been dedicated to expanding and sharing knowledge, inspiring innovation, and preserving cultural and scientific information for future generations.

    For more than 300 years, Yale University has inspired the minds that inspire the world. Based in New Haven, Connecticut, Yale brings people and ideas together for positive impact around the globe. A research university that focuses on students and encourages learning as an essential way of life, Yale is a place for connection, creativity, and innovation among cultures and across disciplines.

  • Mary Evelyn Tucker

    Mary Evelyn Tucker

    Senior Lecturer and Senior Research Scholar
  • John Grim

    John Grim

    Senior Lecturer and Senior Research Scholar

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