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THE ECOZOIC WAY in Religion, Ethics and Law

Understanding & Applying the Essential Teachings of THOMAS BERRY

with Herman Greene, JD, DMin

Eight Week Course
Mondays: March 4, 11, 18, 25; April 1, 8, 15, 22  (7:00 – 9:00 PM ET)

Scroll down for discounts and to register, or click here!

Sixteen PD hours for teachers!  AMS approved!

The present urgency is to begin thinking within

the context of the whole planet, the integral Earth community.

— Thomas Berry, The Great Work

Explore a New Story Perspective on the Ecozioc Way

This course involves an in-depth study of Thomas Berry’s work. Thomas was a synthetic writer and teacher. Beneath his interdisciplinary and multi-modal work there are patterns that provide crucial guidance for our time. His work has turned thousands of people around and given them guidance. As was once written about him, “We need Thomas to help us understand what is going on; to give us eyes to see, ears to hear, passion to feel, courage to act; to give us ways to explain what has happened; and to give us knowledge of what we authentically may rely on, hope for, and move toward if we are to create a viable future in this dawning new millennium.”

Herman Greene, a close friend and leading scholar of Thomas Berry, will lead this course.

Herman met Thomas in the early 1980s and in the last fourteen years of his life Herman met with him monthly. As founder and president of the Center for Ecozoic Studies he has edited hundreds of papers on Thomas’s work, including 151 tributes at the time of his death and a collection of his key teachings. Herman serves as Thomas Berry Scholar-in-Residence of the Earth Law Center where he has applied and is applying Thomas’s teaching to ecological governance and law. He has also provided leadership in a variety of settings in ecology and religion.
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He was a Prophet, Visionary,

and Earth Saint.

Who was Thomas Berry ?

Thomas Berry (1914-2009) was a cultural historian, philosopher, human ecologist, and a self-described geologian. He was among the first to observe that the effects of human activity have become so great that Earth is undergoing a change in geo-biological eras. He identified the “Great Work” of our time as the task of moving on from a terminal Cenozoic era to an emerging Ecozoic era . . . a task in which everyone is involved and no one is exempt, and one that is more difficult and complex than any ever before undertaken.
He gave an assessment that Earth’s life systems are in grave peril and that ecological integrity provides the overarching context for meaningful action in the 21st century. He provided a historical analysis of how the present crisis arose. He offered a cultural critique of the globalized Western civilization. And he set forth a vision of a viable future for humans and nature, guidelines for cultural and institutional reform, a new mythic story for people to understand their places in the cosmos and to guide their activities in meaningful ways, and an understanding of the spirituality of Earth.
Watch “Thomas Berry Speaks” short version, long version.
Watch “Thomas Berry recite his “Earth’s Desire” poem.
Watch Thomas Berry speak on “The Historic Mission of our Time.

Session Descriptions

(Sessions are live with Herman Greene.  Recordings of all sessions will be accessible inside the course space for up to one year.  You may participate in online discussions between sessions.)

Session 1: Thomas Berry:  The Man, His Times, and Influences on His Thought

Session 2: The Ecozoic Era:  Moving on from a Terminal Cenozoic to an Ecozoic Era 

Session 3: The Great Work:  Moving from our Modern Industrial Civilization with its Devastating Impact to that of Benign Presence

Session 4: Reinventing the Human at the Species Level.

Session 5: The New Cosmology

Session 6: Call for Ecozoic Societies

Session 7: Essential Understandings for the Great Work

Session 8: Applying Thomas Berry’s Teachings: Reform of Religion and Law

Green Mountain Monastery and Thomas Berry Sanctuary, Greensboro, Vermont

Reading Materials

To see readings for each session,

click here! 

You can watch

recordings of sessions which will be posted in the course space for up to one year.

Key Learnings:

1) Who Thomas Berry was, influences on his life and thought, how he affected people, and his importance today.

2) Key patterns and teachings in his work, including the “Ecozoic era,” the “Great Work” of our time, reinventing our human species, and the story of the universe as science and mythic narrative.


3) Understandings in Earth history, ecology, philosophy, economics, and geopolitics that Herman has found essential in applying Thomas Berry’s teachings.

4) Instruction in how Herman has applied Berry’s teachings to the reform in law and religion and how this relates to reform of other institutions.

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Thomas Berry, A Biography by Mary Evelyn Tucker, John Grim, and Andrew Angyal

Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim are the co-founders of the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology. They are, also, trustees of the Thomas Berry Foundation, which has established a website on Thomas Berry’s work, This will be valuable to participants as it contains biographical materials about him, articles by and about him, and audio and video presentations by him.        

What we are dealing with is epic in its dimensions beyond anything thus far expressed under this term.  Mitigation of the present ruinous situation, the recycling of materials, the diminishment of consumption, the healing of damaged ecosystems—all this will be in vain if we do these things to make the present industrial systems acceptable. They must all be done, but in order to build a new order of things. 

— Thomas Berry, “The Determining Features of the Ecozoic Era”

Why This Course Is Important?

Thomas Berry was a “seminal” thinker. Seminal means “containing or contributing the seeds of later development : CREATIVE, ORIGINAL.” This adjective accurately describes how Thomas planted seeds for later development. He was not the end but the beginning of a way of knowing, doing, and being in the world. His ideas both invite and demand additional development and, especially, application. Because his writing was synthetic—taking and combining insights from many sources and weaving them together—it is difficult to break down and apply. It’s “all that stuff behind” his work that needs understanding to be able to develop and apply it well. The benefit of undertaking this in-depth study of Thomas’s work is that it can then also be applied synthetically by being woven into and combined with wide fields of endeavor from personal to civilizational to bring about change.There are three existential threats to the future of humanity: weapons of mass destruction, especially nuclear weapons, the ecological crisis, and technology gone awry. Only one of these challenges—the ecological crisis—provides the basis for reforming human civilization.

Concerning the breadth of what is involved in the ecological crisis and how it can be addressed, Thomas Berry is the master teacher.

Who Is This Course For?

This is a course for people who:
  • have heard about Thomas Berry and wish to study his work.
  • know Thomas Berry’s work and want to have a deeper understanding of how to apply it to personal-to-civilizational change.
  • are unfamiliar with Thomas Berry and, based on the description of this course, would like to know about him, his work, and how it may be applied.
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Bio of Herman Greene

Herman Greene is the founder and president of the Center for Ecozoic Studies in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, a thought, imagination, dialogue, and action center for an ecological age. He is Thomas Berry Scholar-in-Residence of the Earth Law Center and is co-author and co-editor of the legal textbook Earth Law: Emerging Ecocentric Law—A Guide for Practitioners. He is a retired business lawyer and holds graduate degrees in law (University of North Carolina-JD), theology (University of Chicago-MTh & MDiv, and United Theological Seminary-DMin), and political science (Stanford University-MA).
For a more complete bio, click here.

A Personal Invitation from Herman Greene:

I remember the day forty years ago when I read Thomas Berry’s “The Spirituality of the Earth.”
My life has never been the same. Thirty years ago I read The Dream of the Earth when my life
was in turmoil. Then I knew what my vocation was.

Someone once told me that my gift was being able to take in huge amounts of information and
organize it. I think that is true. 

I don’t know if in this course I will dazzle and inspire you. The point is to undertake a deep study of Thomas Berry’s thought and learn practical ways to apply it. There is a fair amount of suggested readings for this course and those who do the readings will benefit from doing so.

The Great Work is difficult, there is no way around this. As ecological and social conditions worsen, it will become even more difficult. Then we will need the guidance of Thomas Berry even more.

I will do my best offer to teach you Thomas Berry’s essential thoughts as I understand them and how to apply them. I look forward to learning from you as well.

Will you join us?

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We feel so at home in the Deeptime Network courses.  This community is unique. 

— Elizabeth Carranza & John Leydon, Philippines


What people are saying about the Deeptime Network . . .

" It is so supportive to have a whole community, from around the world, working together to embody and live out a deep connection to the new cosmology in its ethical and spiritual dimensions. We are the Universe emerging. "
- M.J. Zimmerman

" After 20 years of living into the Universe Story, I was reawakened to how truly empowering it is through what is emerging for others on parallel paths from around the globe. "
— Penny Andrews

" If you're seeking a meaningful story that explains our place in our Universe and in Nature, and like-minded global citizens, this course may be your next step on that journey. " - David Morton Rintoul

" Everything I have known in life is being integrated into unifying perspectives and connectedness which come like seeds being nourished from a deep space of love, abundance, and creativity "
— Marides "Madett" Virola-Gardiola, Philippines

Deeptime courses are not just about learning new ideas, they are a way to commune together to help each other spiral upwards to new heights of wisdom and awakening. "
— Sarbmeet Kanwal

" I am co-creating a space for children older than 7 years old and this course has been granting me a deeper understanding of how I want to position myself and act in this space while deep listening to children. " — Joana Benetton, Brazil

" Being around so many talented and confident people has helped me with developing a children’s book for Montessori Sunday school. " — Nancee Cline

It is all and more than I expected – I am not new to the material though have certainly learned and gained new insights into the wonderful planet we call “home”. 

The assignments are doable, interesting, and inviting.  I am enjoying the course very much.

Am loving it. The small groups are wonderful. It is such a marvelous group of participants. The networking is fabulous.  Love the opening and thoughtful reflections.

I look forward to every session.

I had to miss two weeks and was aware there was something missing in my life, so I know I am finding it really useful and challenging.  Also good to make connections.

I am feeling inspired, energized, and more-connected-than ever!  I am also enjoying the arc of the course, the meditations, quote sharing, and especially the content. 

Our Learning Management System

We use Sensei integrated with Buddypress so that participants can engage in asynchronous course discussions, and share resources, profiles, and information about their organizations.  We’ve had experience using this technology with people of all levels of technical capability.  If you have any questions, we’re right there to help you.  All meetings are recorded.  The course will remain open for one year so you can view recordings, stay in touch and continue to share thoughts and resources with others sharing the journey with you.  Our fearless developer, Mohit Sharma, stands at the ready to solve any tech problems that might crop up a long the way.

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  • Do you need scholarship support?  We have some scholarship funds available.  Write to [email protected]


(“PD hours” are Professional Development Hours.)


Questions?   Write to us at [email protected].