An epic story of the emergence of the universe and of the community of life, with a new vision for how we might bring forth a vibrant Earth Community
Today we know what no previous generation knew: the history of the universe and of the unfolding of life on Earth. Through the astonishing combined 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. And yet . . . we thirst for answers to questions that have haunted humanity from the very beginning. What is our place in the 14-billion-year history of the universe? What roles do we play in Earth's history? How do we connect with the intricate web of life on Earth?
In Journey of the Universe Brian Thomas Swimme and Mary Evelyn Tucker tell the epic story of the universe from an inspired new perspective, weaving the findings of modern science together with enduring wisdom found in the humanistic traditions of the West, China, India, 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.
Journey of the Universe transforms how we understand our origins and envision our future. Though a little book, it tells a big story—one that inspires hope for a way in which Earth and its human civilizations could flourish together.
This book is part of a larger project that includes a documentary film, an educational DVD series, and a website. For more information, please consult the website, journeyoftheuniverse.org.
Brian Thomas Swimme is a professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. Mary Evelyn Tucker is senior lecturer and research scholar at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and Yale Divinity School. She is co-founder and co-director of the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale.
"The book is simply written and easy to read—more like Kipling's Just So Stories than Being and Time—and you may or may not be convinced by Swimme and Tucker's interpretations of modern cosmology and evolutionary history. But it's a fascinating game to play. More theology of physics, please!"—Josh Rothman, Boston Globe (Brainiac blog)
"What’s most striking about Swimme and Tucker’s work is a simple but beautiful assumption: a cosmological orientation opens the human mind to wonder, gratitude, humility, and creativity."—Mitchell Thomashow, Orion
"Strikingly, . . . the co-authors managed to fit 14 billion years of grandeur along with humanity’s most fundamental questions into small spaces. . . . Perfectly tailored for classroom use . . . offering a common ground for discussion among people of myriad points of view."—Julianne Lutz Warren, Journal of Environmental Studies and Science
"In their new book, Journey of the Universe, Brian Swimme and Mary Evelyn Tucker invite us into the scientific story of the Universe, imbuing it with all the passion and purpose of a great religious myth. Their 'invitation into grandeur' carries us into the heart of a story that Homer would have loved to tell—the story of how life began, evolved, and turned into you and me."—Carter Phipps, EnlightenNext
"This highly descriptive text is a poetic expression of the authors’ view of biological and physical sciences."—Choice
Journey of the Universe (the film) has been nominated for an Emmy for the West Coast (winner will be announced 9 June)
"For those of us enmeshed in symbolic consciousness, this is just the story we need to hear, loud and clear. It helps us understand how we happened to be here, and, more important, why."—Bill McKibben, author of Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet and The End of Nature
"This is a wonderful, highly readable account of the history of the universe from the Big Bang through the present moment. . . . There is blockbuster potential in Journey of the Universe, and I recommend it with great enthusiasm."—Thomas Lovejoy, University Professor in Environmental Science and Policy, George Mason University
"Journey of the Universe is eloquent, accessible, and powerful, and conveys a sense of wonder ranging from the cosmos to the microcosm—in itself a considerable achievement. This is one of the most compelling and inspiring works I've read in a long time."—David W. Orr, Oberlin College
"This cosmic saga offers a compelling vision of the grand adventure in which we humans are taking part."—Scott Russell Sanders, author of A Conservationist Manifesto
"The sense of deep time and space that Journey of the Universe establishes is the greatly needed context for students, who do not always appreciate the present predicament and the role of humanity in the world. It puts us in perspective—and conveys wonder that Earth and life are here in the first place and how amazing it is to be in what is apparently one of the most creative nooks in the universe. Also wonderful is the scientific narrative spine and to ask over and over—ok, what does it mean for us?"—Julianne Lutz Warren, author of Aldo Leopold’s Odyssey
An online Yale course on Journey of the Universe is available through Coursera.
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