Discover “Journey of the Universe,” a Multimedia Project That Explores Humanity’s Place in the Epic History of the Cosmos

Today we know what no pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion knew: the his­to­ry of the uni­verse and of the unfold­ing of life on Earth. Through the aston­ish­ing achieve­ments of nat­ur­al sci­en­tists world­wide, we now have a detailed account of how galax­ies and stars, plan­ets and liv­ing organ­isms, human beings and human con­scious­ness came to be.

With this knowl­edge, the ques­tion of what role we play in the 14-bil­lion-year his­to­ry of the uni­verse impos­es itself with greater poignan­cy than ever before. In ask­ing our­selves how we will tell the sto­ry of Earth to our chil­dren, we must inevitably con­sid­er the role of human­i­ty in its his­to­ry, and how we con­nect with the intri­cate web of life on Earth.

In Jour­ney of the Uni­verse–a mul­ti­me­dia edu­ca­tion­al project that fea­tures a book, film and free online courses–evolutionary philoso­pher Bri­an Thomas Swimme and his­to­ri­an of reli­gions Mary Eve­lyn Tuck­er pro­vide an ele­gant, sci­ence-based nar­ra­tive to tell this epic sto­ry, lead­ing up to the chal­lenges of our present moment. The authors describe the ori­gins of humans on Earth, how we devel­oped a sym­bol­ic con­scious­ness, and how our abil­i­ty to com­mu­ni­cate using sym­bols make humans a “plan­e­tary pres­ence.”

We are now faced with a new dynamic—one where the sur­vival of the species and entire ecosys­tems depend pri­mar­i­ly on human activ­i­ty, and the choic­es humans make.

Weav­ing togeth­er the find­ings of mod­ern sci­ence togeth­er with endur­ing wis­dom found in the human­is­tic tra­di­tions of the West, Asia, and indige­nous peo­ples, the authors explore cos­mic evo­lu­tion as a pro­found­ly won­drous process based on cre­ativ­i­ty, con­nec­tion, and inter­de­pen­dence, and they envi­sion an unprece­dent­ed oppor­tu­ni­ty for the world’s peo­ple to address the daunt­ing eco­log­i­cal and social chal­lenges of our times.

Devel­oped over sev­er­al decades, and inspired by the authors’ long col­lab­o­ra­tion with Thomas Berry, Jour­ney of the Uni­verse boasts an impres­sive ros­ter of sci­ence advi­sors includ­ing Ursu­la Good­e­nough, Craig Kochel, and Ter­ry Dea­con.

Jour­ney of the Uni­verse is a mul­ti­me­dia edu­ca­tion­al project that includes:

1.) The Jour­ney of the Uni­verse: A Sto­ry for Our Time Spe­cial­iza­tion avail­able on Cours­era, cre­at­ed by Yale.  This is a col­lec­tion of three Mas­sive Online Open Cours­es that take stu­dents through the sci­en­tif­ic and cul­tur­al cos­mol­o­gy found through­out Jour­ney of the Uni­verse, as well as deep into its lin­eage with cul­tur­al his­to­ri­an and cos­mol­o­gist Thomas Berry:

Course 1: Jour­ney of the Uni­verse: The Unfold­ing of Life

Course 2: Jour­ney of the Uni­verse: Weav­ing Knowl­edge and Action

Course 3: The World­view of Thomas Berry: The Flour­ish­ing of the Earth Com­mu­ni­ty

2) The Jour­ney of the Uni­verse Film, win­ner of the 2012 San Francisco/Northern Cal­i­for­nia Emmy® Award for best doc­u­men­tary. You can watch the trail­er for the film above

3) The Jour­ney of the Uni­verse Book, pub­lished by Yale Uni­ver­si­ty Press. Trans­lat­ed into French, Ital­ian, Span­ish, Ger­man, Turk­ish, Chi­nese, Kore­an, Indone­sian.

4) The Jour­ney of the Uni­verse Con­ver­sa­tion Series, a twen­ty-part edu­ca­tion­al series inte­grates the per­spec­tives of the sci­ences and the human­i­ties into a retelling of our 13.7 bil­lion year sto­ry. In a series of one-on-one inter­views, sci­en­tists, his­to­ri­ans, and envi­ron­men­tal­ists explore the unfold­ing sto­ry of the uni­verse and Earth and the role of the human in respond­ing to our present chal­lenges.

Devin O’Dea lives in San Fran­cis­co where he serves as the man­ag­er of the Jour­ney of the Uni­verse project: a col­lab­o­ra­tive, mul­ti­me­dia con­ver­sa­tion that draws togeth­er sci­en­tif­ic dis­cov­er­ies with human­is­tic insights con­cern­ing the nature of the uni­verse.  Devin wel­comes all inter­ests and feed­back to Jour­ney mate­ri­als at

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