Mission and History
The mission of the Thomas Berry Foundation is to carry out the Great Work of Thomas in enhancing the flourishing of the Earth community.
Created in 1998 by Thomas Berry, Mary Evelyn Tucker, John Grim, Martin Kaplan, and Thomas’ sister, Margaret Berry, the Foundation has promoted Thomas’ ideas through publishing his essays and overseeing translations, initiating an archive at Harvard, and organizing the Thomas Berry Award and Lecture.
Thomas Berry Award
This Award was inaugurated in 1999 in Washington DC when the Center for Respect of Life and Environment (CRLE) at the Humane Society of the United States created the award to honor Berry’s legacy. Since then it has been presented to selected individuals who have modeled the “great work” in their teaching, writing, or public service. The Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology partnered with CRLE in presenting the Award from its early stages and now sponsors the Award.
The Thomas Berry Award recipients are:
Carl Anthony and M. Paloma Pavel, March 19, 2021
Thomas Berry Forum for Ecological Dialogue, Iona College (Conveners: Kathleen Deignan, Brian Brown, Kevin Cawley, Daniel Martin), November 9, 2019
Paul Winter, May 4, 2019
John Grim, May 20, 2017
Brian Edward Brown, January 24, 2016
James Gustave Speth, November 8, 2014
James Conlon, July 18, 2013
Stephen Dunn, November 1, 2012
Martin S. Kaplan, September 26, 2009
Fritz and Vivienne Hull, October 15, 2007
Miriam Therese MacGillis, October 1, 2005
Reverend James Parks Morton, 2004
Steven C. Rockefeller, May 17, 2002
Tu Weiming, August 30, 2000
Brian Thomas Swimme, October 8, 1999
Mary Evelyn Tucker, November 10, 1998
Thomas Berry’s Legacy
Over the last decade Thomas’ archives have been transferred to Harvard with the dedicated assistance of his sister Margaret. During this same period Mary Evelyn and John have edited four of Thomas’ books and promoted their distribution (The Great Work, Evening Thoughts, The Sacred Universe, and The Christian Future and The Fate of Earth). In addition, they have helped to organize the Thomas Berry Award and Lecture since 1998. In September 2009 they created a Memorial Service for Thomas at the Cathedral of St John the Divine that was attended by over 1000 people. They also developed and maintain the Thomas Berry website. In November 2014 they organized a conference at Yale to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Thomas’ birth and the 5th anniversary of his death. From this conference a book was published by Orbis Books, Living Cosmology: Christian Responses to Journey of the Universe (Spring 2016). In 2017 it received a first-place award from the Catholic Press Association in the category of Faith & Science. In 2019, ten years after Thomas’s death, Columbia University Press published Thomas Berry: A Biography. This overview of his life and thought was written by Mary Evelyn Tucker, John Grim, and Andrew Angyal.
Margaret Berry (November 13, 1918 – August 13, 2019) was the sister of Thomas Berry and a founding member of the Thomas Berry Foundation. She was instrumental in assisting Thomas during the last 14 years of his life when he returned to Greensboro. During this period we are particularly grateful for her tireless work in organizing and sending his papers to Harvard’s Archives for Environmental Science and Public Policy. Read her obituary here.
Acknowledgements for Website
This website was originally created by Travis Kochel and Lizy Gershenzon in 2016 and was updated and expanded by Gregory Hansell in 2020. Support for this website and the publication of Thomas Berry’s works over many years has been provided by the Germeshausen Foundation, the V. Kann Rasmussen Foundation, the Kendeda Foundation, the Charles Engelhard Foundation, the Kalliopeia Foundation, Margaret Berry, Rev. Albert Nielson, Marianne and Jim Welch, Paul Minus, Frances Beinecke, Roger Cooke, and Joan Cirillo. We are grateful to our excellent team of co-workers who have contributed their skills to this site: Tara Trapani, Elizabeth McAnally, and earlier Matthew Riley. Videos of Thomas Berry are now available due to Jane Blewett’s generous gift of Lou Niznik’s recordings and the careful work of Don Smith and Wes Pascoe in digitalizing them. The website is dedicated to Margaret Berry and all those who have assisted the Great Work.
Mary Evelyn Tucker
Ann Berry Somers
The Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology builds on the innovative work of Thomas in the history of world religions through a joint degree program in religion and ecology as well as through conferences, publications, and a website. The Forum is directed by Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim. There are 6 online courses in Religions and Ecology from Yale/Coursera.
The Emmy award winning PBS film, book, and conversation series that build on the comprehensive vision of Teilhard de Chardin and Thomas Berry. Created by Brian Thomas Swimme, Mary Evelyn Tucker, and John Grim, this project is designed to foster a broader understanding of the universe story and its implications for a viable future for the Earth community. There are 2 online courses on Journey of the Universe and one on Thomas Berry from Yale/Coursera.