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Center for Respect of Life and Environment (CRLE)
Thomas Berry Award & Lecture

PAST RECIPIENTS of the THOMAS BERRY AWARDS:

» 2005 Award Winner - Miriam MacGillis
» 2004 Award Winner - The Very Reverend James Parks Morton

» 2002 Award Winner - Steven C. Rockefeller
» 2000 Award Winner - Dr. Tu Weiming

» 1999 Award Winner - Brian Swimme
» 1998 Award Winner - Mary Evelyn Tucker


Miriam MacGillis
2005 Award Winner

Miriam Therese MacGillis, a Dominican Sistera and co-founder of Genesis Farm in 1980, received the 2005 Thomas Berry Foundation Award on October 1, 2005, in recognition of the 25th anniversary of Genesis Farm and in celebration of her remarkable leadership she has given to the universe story vision. MacGillis is director of Genesis Farm, a 140-acre haven for biodynamic agriculture with a graduate level Ecological Learning Center and Earth Literacy program. The award ceremony took place at St. Paul's Abbey, Newton, NJ, following the conclusion of the "Religion Enters its Ecological Phase" daylong program with Mary Evelyn Tucker, Professor of Religion, Bucknell University.


The Very Reverend James Parks Morton
2004 Award Winner

The Very Reverend James Parks Morton, founder and president of The Interfaith Center of New York (1997), was for 25 years Dean of the Episcopal Cathedral of St. John the Divine, where he was instrumental in transforming the very heart of urban social and cultural life in New York City and brought the environment and interfaith movements into the center of religious dialogue and action.

Even a partial list of his accomplishments is astonishing in its breadth and depth. He helped found the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board (UHAB) dedicated to helping people rebuild, occupy and own their own apartments; the youth self-help organization, The Valley, which annually assists over 5,000 inner-city youth; Homes for the Homeless, a program serving the poorest families in the community by helping them to find housing and to attain the life skills needed to maintain their homes; the Stoneyard Apprentice Program which trained local unemployed youth to become skilled stonecarvers and stone masons. He opened the Cathedral to the arts through artist-in-residence programs, free concerts of great music, art exhibitions and apprentice programs. His environmental initiatives included the first Recycling Center on Manhattan's Upper West Side; the creation of annual New York institutions, St. Francis Day and the Native American Thanksgiving, and the founding of the Joint Appeal of Science and Religion and the National Religious Partnership for the Environment, a group which has instilled over 50,000 congregations of every faith across America with the idea of sacred ecology and environmental responsibility.

A visionary and innovator, he continues to broaden the scope of interfaith work and the upholding of all great spiritual traditions--to enhance and integrate the lives of each individual while maintaining the diversity of community; to preserve the integrity of the environment, and to deepen the quality of every life--through the wise and tolerant use of the strengths of all religious and faith traditions.


Steven C. Rockefeller
2002 Award Winner

Steven C. Rockefeller is a Professor Emeritus of Religion at Middlebury College, Vermont. Professor Rockefeller is the author of John Dewey: Religious Faith and Democratic Humanism (1991) and the coeditor of Spirit and Nature: Why the Environment is a Religious Issue (1992). From 1997 to 2000 he chaired the international Earth Charter drafting committee. He serves as a member of the Earth Charter Commission and of the Council of the UN University for Peace in Costa Rica. Active in the field of philanthropy, he is chairman of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Inc.

 


Dr. Tu Weiming
2000 Award Winner

Tu Weiming was born in Kunming, China and educated in Taiwan (B.A. at Tunghai University) and North America (M.A. and Ph.D. at Harvard University). Before joining Harvard University in 1981, Dr. Tu taught Chinese intellectual history at Princeton University and the University of California at Berkeley. He has also lectured on Confucian humanism at Peking University, Taiwan University, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and the University of Paris. He is Harvard-Yenching Professor of History and Philosophy and of Confucian Studies and Visiting Professor at Peking, Fudan, Nanjing, Wuhan and Zhongshan Universities in China.

His writings include:

Neo Confucian Thought: Wang Yang-ming's Youth Centrality and Commonality, Humanity and Self-Cultivation Confucian Thought: Selfhood as Creative Transformation Way, Learning, and Politics: Essays on the Confucian Intellectual

A member of the Committee on the Study of Religion at Harvard, the chair of the Academia Sinica's advisory committee on the Institute of Chinese Literature and Philosophy and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Professor Tu Weiming is a moderator of the Executive Seminar Asia at the Aspen Institute, a board member of the Chinese Heritage Centre in Singapore, and a recipient of an honorary degree from Lehigh University (2000).

As part of his ongoing work he is interpreting Confucian ethics as a spiritual resource for the emerging global community. He assumed his tenure as the Director of the Harvard-Yenching Institute in January 1996.

Tu Weiming is on the Steering Committee of the Forum on Religion and Ecology. He has been deeply involved in weaving together Thomas Berry's thought, the enlightenment legacy, the ecological resources of the religions of the world, and the Earth Charter into a creative synthesis to inform the dialogue of civilizations on globalization.


Brian Swimme
1999 Award Winner

Brian Swimme received his Ph.D. from the University of Oregon in 1978, specializing in gravitational dynamics, mathematical cosmology and singularity theory. He then taught in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Puget Sound from 1978-1981.

In 1981 Swimme moved to New York to study with Thomas Berry at his Riverdale Center of Religious Research. Thus began their collaboration on research into the evolutionary dynamics of the universe, earth, life, and role of the human within the earth community. In 1992 they co-authored The Universe Story.

Swimme returned to teaching in 1983 as an assistant professor at Holy Names College in Oakland, California. His work on the "new cosmology" or "the new story of the universe" generated excitement and creativity for many who discovered the universe story as our story.

In 1989, Swimme founded the Center for the Story of the Universe at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) in San Francisco. For ten years, the Center has carried out research, sponsored conferences, and produced and distributed video and audio programs. In 1994, Swimme joined the graduate faculty of CIIS as a professor of cosmology.

Swimme has been a featured speaker at conferences sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, The United Nations, The World Bank, UNESCO, State of the World Forum, and the International Montessori Association.

His published work includes The Universe is a Green Dragon (1984), The Universe Story (1992) with Thomas Berry, The Hidden Heart of the Cosmos (1996), the video series Canticle to the Cosmos (1990), and The Hidden Heart of the Cosmos (1996). In his most recent video series, The Earth's Imagination (1998), Swimme explores the evolutionary nature of the human mind and what this teaches us about how we can best participate in the shaping of a vibrant Earth community.


Mary Evelyn Tucker
1998 Award Winner

Mary Evelyn Tucker is an associate professor of religion at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, where she teaches courses in world religions, Asian religions, and religion and ecology. She received her Ph.D. from Columbia University in the history of religions, specializing in Confucianism in Japan. She has published Moral and Spiritual Cultivation in Japanese Neo-Confucianism (SUNY, 1989). She co-edited Worldviews and Ecology (Orbis, 1994), Buddhism and Ecology (Harvard, 1997), and Confucianism and Ecology (Harvard, 1998).

She and her husband, John Grim, have directed a series of ten conferences on World Religions and Ecology at the Harvard University Center for the Study of World Religions from 1996-1998. They are the series editors for the volumes which are being published from the conference. They are also editors of a book series on Ecology and Justice from Orbis Press.

She has been a committee member of the Environmental Sabbath program at the United Nations Environment Programme since 1986 and is Vice President of the American Teilhard Association. She is Chair of the CRLE Board of Directors.



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