Entering the Ecozoic: The Work of Thomas Berry

I knew of Father Thomas Berry of course, and bought Dream of Earth back when it was a new book in 1988. Frankly, I had not read it. I will now.

I have used one of this man’s quotes as part of my “visual essay” media presentations. It states that…

“The universe is not a collection of objects but a community of subjects.” That is one not easily unpacked, but worth the effort another time.

His wider message, as an “eco-theologian” as he has been called, is that we have not fully appreciated the Christian story by our indifference to the vitality of the story’s cosmic extent in the physical realm–from the sub-atomic to the super-novae.  All of this is part of the Story. Matter matters to God.

We have desecrated forests and coral reefs; soil and ground water; amphibians and fish–as if the world was made for man alone. We have abrogated the role of stewardship and deprived our selves and our children of the wisdom, solace and wonder that could come with a restored relationship with creation in all its forms.

Berry long ago used the term Ecozoic for the coming era he saw as the only viable alternative to the Anthropocene.

I think you can look forward to an interesting discussion following the film about Berry’s life and work called The Great Story. And the food’s not bad either!

April 18th at The Floyd Country Store
SustainFloyd Movie Series

Doors open 6:30pm

The thinking of Catholic monk and author, Thomas Berry, describes the big picture behind the activities of SustainFloyd. In relation to the natural world he believed that ‘the mountains, rivers, birds, fish, all living organisms are not there for our use but for a union which is needed for us to become who we are’. This film about Berry’s life and work is a reminder that we need to focus on creating an economy that honors the bountiful planet–a work that for us includes developing healthy food systems, non destructive energy systems and an increased awareness of the impact of our individual lives.

The film will be preceded by a beans and rice dinner and followed by a discussion led by Fred First, Joe Klein and Alwyn Moss.

Tickets: $5 at the door. Beans & Rice available for a further $5 donation.

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fred

Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

One thought on “Entering the Ecozoic: The Work of Thomas Berry”

  1. Is Thomas related to Wendell Berry? This is the first I’ve heard the term Ecozoic. That’s why I follow Fragments.

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