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The Sacred Universe: Earth, Spirituality, and Religion in the Twenty-first Century [Hardcover]

Thomas Berry , Mary Evelyn Tucker
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Sept. 16 2009

A leading scholar, cultural historian, and Catholic priest who spent more than fifty years writing about our engagement with the Earth, Thomas Berry possessed prophetic insight into the rampant destruction of ecosystems and the extinction of species. In this book he makes a persuasive case for an interreligious dialogue that can better confront the environmental problems of the twenty-first century. These erudite and keenly sympathetic essays represent Berry's best work, covering such issues as human beings' modern alienation from nature and the possibilities of future, regenerative forms of religious experience. Asking that we create a new story of the universe and the emergence of the Earth within it, Berry resituates the human spirit within a sacred totality.

Frequently Bought Together

The Sacred Universe: Earth, Spirituality, and Religion in the Twenty-first Century + Journey of the Universe + The Dream of the Earth
Price For All Three: CDN$ 49.56

  • Journey of the Universe CDN$ 17.87
  • The Dream of the Earth CDN$ 14.40

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Dedicated readers of ecology, theology, or religious philosophy will want to savor each one [of these essays].

(Library Journal)

The volume is a fair encapsulation of the intellectual concerns for which Berry is best known.

(Christina Peppard Commonweal)

Thoams Berry demonstrattes in these papers the qualities he calls for: humanist vision and imagination.


When encountering the essays, one is struck by the clarity of analyses showing humanity's destructive antagonism toward the Earth. In them we observe the gradual evocation of a vision in which this antagonism is overcome so that we can live in harmony and peace on our planetary home.

(Norman Wirzba Journal of the American Academy of Religion)

The Sacred Universe is an important, inspiring compendium fo the thought of a great soul and spiritually profound seeker, who cogently and consistently reminds, even after his death, that we must learn to feel at home in the universe.

(Stephen B. Scharper America)


By developing a sustained critique of technology-enhanced consumerism, Berry makes a powerful call for a return to core values that include connectivity with nature and a quest for a reimagination of religious meaning.

(Christopher Key Chapple, Loyola Marymount University)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The glories of life to be saved Oct. 18 2011
By Brian Griffith TOP 500 REVIEWER
This collection of Berry's essays spans about three decades, and captures the evolution of his thought. We watch a grand vision struggling to come out. The first efforts are wordy, dense, and filled with theological language. Berry is struggling to bring his whole religious heritage with him into the new ecological age. With each attempt his writing grows clearer in focus. He argues less against outdated sentiments, and stresses the glories of life to be saved. Finally, he becomes a grand old prophet, regaling us with admiration for the sacred cosmos.

--author of The Gardens of Their Dreams: Desertification and Culture in World History
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  17 reviews
39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Text for Religious Educators. Dec 30 2009
By Jack Dougher - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Ordained or not, no purveyor of religion today should teach without having had an extensive course using this book as one of its texts. It is too important to be relegated to those relatively few who are self-starting, spiritual seekers or environmentalists. This book deserves being used as a companion to the sacred scriptures of each and every religion. Thomas Berry has gotten to the heart of the reform of consciousness without which nothing else can adequately address our ecological crisis. His passing this year at the age of 90 is a sore loss, but this book along with other of his writings will continue to enlighten and bless us.
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The place of the human in the universe Jan. 21 2010
By M. Clare Pierson - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Do you wonder about what the future holds for the earth and humans? This book is based on sound science and goes beyond science to give meaning to evolution, the connectedness of all that is and the place of the human on the earth. From where does the consciousness of humans come? where is evolving consciousness leading us? Explore what the extraordinarly perceptive mind of Thomas Berry presents in relation to these questions. Another work by this author is [[ASIN:0609804995 The Great Work: Our Way into the Future
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended for spirituality collections Dec 19 2009
By Midwest Book Review - Published on
The Sacred Universe: Earth, Spirituality, and Religion in the Twenty-First Century is edited by Mary Evelyn Tucker and comes from one of the 20th century's scholarly thinkers on spiritual intersection between humans and the natural world. Berry was a leading scholar and Catholic priest who spent over fifty years writing about earth and spirituality: THE SACRED UNIVERSE's essays represent his best writings and are recommended for spirituality collections.
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Sacred Cosmos May 24 2010
By zenhole - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Thomas Berry's timely work came into my possession as the oil disaster spread its killing stain throughout the entire Gulf of Mexico. Commentators seem concerned as to how we shall clean up the shores. The real question is "How far can the pollution travel if the well is unable to be stopped?" Is it possible that the pollution could spread to the entire earth? Would that not be the first act of the end of life on earth as we know it? If this can occur when ONE well fails, what would happen if they were all made to fail?
"The Sacred Universe" presents the mystery and miracle of Cosmic evolution, starting from a point of no dimensions, a creation "ex nihilo", through revelation through scriptures of all religions, and the personal experience of meditation wherein the wonders are received, used and praised. The icon which focuses our attention on this reality, is the photo of the earth and moon taken by the Galileo Probe. The blue/white marble of the earth contrasts to the barren brown of the moon as the only place in the Cosmos on which we know it to be the absolute perfect balance of conditions to allow the evolution of intelligent life to appreciate the wonder of it all and to help prevent the destruction of this paradise through technological possibility. Try to imagine that marble as all black.
The Sacred Universe is a cosmic "Silent Spring", that calls upon spiritualities and religions to embrace the whole cosmic evolution as the Divine Word Itself.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars gift for my grandkids March 28 2012
By hunter42 - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
best book i've ever read and i'm a 70 year old voracious reader. will leave the book for my 2 grandkids to read when they can/will understand the book's message. discusses global type problems beyond the purview of religion and scripture AND what mankind must do to alter our toxic trajectory. hints at possible mass extinction unless we address the error of our consumptive ways which could leave the earth uninhabitable and closes with an optimistic worldview.
as i read, the book i had hoped someone would write, unfolded. my highest recommendation!
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