In 1998, the same year the Forum was created, Thomas Berry recorded a series of perceptive reflections on our environmental challenges. They reveal his understanding, 25 years ago, of many of the pressing issues we are now facing. Berry was in conversation with Brian Thomas Swimme, an evolutionary cosmologist, and the audio tapes were produced by Bruce and Pamela Bochte. We are delighted to release them for the first time in digital form to celebrate Thomas’s inspiration for the work of the Forum on Religion and Ecology.
The 1998 recordings include these notes: “Thomas Berry’s life has spanned the 20th Century. In his earlier years he witnessed the intrusion of industrial society into the hill country of the Southern Appalachians. Later as a scholar and historian he became increasingly concerned over the disruption of the basic life systems of this continent and of the Earth itself. In his view the devastation resulting from our industrial way of life is so severe that we must now reshape the human venture in a more benign mode of presence to the natural world, if either the planet or ourselves are to survive into the 21st century in any acceptable manner. Such is the Great Work assigned to us in these years of transition into the 21st century. Already this new period begins to dawn over the horizon. These thoughts that he presents here should be of benefit to everyone, for we are all responsible for the world that we will be giving over to our children.”