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Journey of the Universe newsletter: June 2019
Welcome to our ongoing Journey! 

This month we are focusing on the communal and impassioned nature of the universe with special attention to the passion of animals.

What role does passion play in the story of your life?

How do these passions connect you with your communities?

We can feel that passions are an important part of life.  But at times, our rational minds can label passions as impractical, irrelevant, or indulgent.  

We are here this month to reassure your instinct -- passions are not an extraneous aspect of life.  Nor are they purely human.  Passions have been and continue to be an essential component to the development of life, establishment of community, and more broadly, to the journey of the universe as a whole. 

This month we explore the passion of animals into greater depths with a podcast conversation between Scott Sampson and Mary Evelyn Tucker.  In this conversation, Scott explains how passion drives evolution and how throughout this development, we are able to see two fundamental characteristics of our unfolding universe: diversification and unification

For more insights into our impassioned and communal universe, we offer: 

‣  Brian Thomas Swimme on Becoming Planetary

‣  Mary Evelyn Tucker's latest Community Message for June

‣  Paul Waldau on Celebrating a Community of Subjects

‣  Barbara J. King on The Evolution of Religious Belief

We hope you enjoy one or all of these offerings as you enter into an inspired Summer season.
A conversation between Mary Evelyn Tucker and Scott Sampson, paleontologist, science communicator, and President & CEO of
Science World.  

In this conversation, Scott tells the compelling story of Earth's fossil record.  Touching on topics ranging from the ancient ecosystems of dinosaurs to the co-evolution of the human with other species, this conversation highlights the importance of understanding mass extinctions. 
by Brian Thomas Swimme 
Image by Brian Sebastian Swimme

In this essay, Brian Thomas Swimme revels in the passionate nature of the universe as a whole, as exhibited in the mighty salmon. The "cosmic sap" that drives the salmon, spins the planets, and flows through us all is celebrated as that which connects us to the stars. 



In this video, Mary Evelyn Tucker speaks to the presence of more-than-human animals in relation to human exceptionalism and explores the works of Paul Waldau and Barbara J. King, whose works speak to the communion between the human and animal communities.

by Paul Waldau

In this essay, Paul explores the embracive Thomas Berry phrase "the universe is a communion of subjects rather than a collection of objects" as it relates to the understanding of and relation to the passion of animals. Throughout this work, Paul highlights key ideas from a remarkable collection of educators, authors, and activists to provide pathways to an understanding of ourselves as citizens in a more-than-human world that are responsible to a "greater self."


a lecture and panel discussion with Barbara J. King

In this presentation, Barbara J. King, Professor Emerita of Anthropology at the College of William & Mary, discusses how we may better understand the human impulse for religious belief by adopting an evolutionary perspective. King describes the ways in which an understanding of the cognitive and emotional behaviors of monkeys and apes, human ancestors, and our evolutionary cousins the Neanderthals may aid us in this endeavor. Our species evolved religiosity, she suggested, in large part because we evolved first as primates deeply invested in belongingness: the drive to matter, emotionally, to others who matter to us. 


"Religion & Science: Universe Story"

August 4 & November 3, 2019

2:00-3:30 pm

Scarritt Bennett Center
Kreitner Room, Laskey Building
1027 18th Avenue South 
Nashville,TN, USA

With Dr. Craig E. Philip, Dr. Keivan Stassun, 
Tamara Marshall Whiting, and Joyce Wilding 

These events are free and open to the public.

View the flyer

Journey of the Universe Film Screening: Cork, Ireland

Saturday evening, June 14, 2019

Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim will hold a Q&A after the screening.

At a Conference titled: "Religion/Water/Climate: Changing Cultures and Landscapes"

Sponsored by the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture 

Hosted by University College Cork in Ireland on June 13-16, 2019

Event Website
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