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Fall 2019 

Contemplation and Cosmology

Readings and Films


Homework for Week 2


Readings in preparation for Week 2

    1. 0 Readings – Med 3 readings – with Hyperlinks – Fall 2019
    2. 2-1 The Lens Through Which We See – Joe Mitchell” by Joe Mitchell
    3. “The Meadow Across the Creek” by Thomas Berry, from The Great Work: Our Way into the Future, Chapter 2


Internet viewing

  1. Watch: “The New Story” with Brian Swimme, located on YouTube at Brian Swimme Video Series: “Swimme 1: The New Story” (6:48)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRykk_0ovI0


Extra Credit (if you have the interest and time)

  • Journey of the Universe (the text book we are using for Med 3) has a website with additional information. https://www.journeyoftheuniverse.org/
  • Big History Project – The Big History Project was started by Bill Gates and David Christian to enable the global teaching of the subject of Big History, which is described as “the attempt to understand, in a unified way, the history of Cosmos, Earth, Life and Humanity.” https://school.bighistoryproject.com/bhplive
  • For background on Thomas Berry, explore his website www.thomasberry.org. There you can find many essays and videos of his lectures. 


Homework for Week 3


Readings in preparation for Week 3

    1. 3-1 The New Story – Thomas Berry” by Thomas Berry 
    2. 3-2 Turning Point-A Science of Living Systems – Fritjof Capra by Fritjof Capra


Internet viewing

  1. Watch “The History of Our World in 18 Minutes” a TED talk by David Christian (17:40)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqc9zX04DXs
  2. Watch “Ecology: A New Story” by Brian Swimme, lecture at Seattle University, available on YouTube (73:28)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qeX8Tzt8ur0


Homework for Week 4


Readings in preparation for Week 4

4-1 How to Build a Universe – Bill Bryson” by Bill Bryson, from A Short History of Nearly Everything, Chapter 1

4-2 The Epic of Evolution – Brian Swimme” by Brian Swimme 

4-3 The Contemplative and the Cosmos – Beatrice Bruteau” by Beatrice Bruteau, from God’s Ecstasy: The Creation of a Self-Creating World, Chapter 1


Internet viewing

  1. Watch: “Where Are We” by Brian Swimme, located on YouTube at Brian Swimme Video Series: “Swimme 2: Where Are We?” (8:03)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZckDXoFSy0
  2. Watch “Birth to Earth” by Brian Swimme, located on YouTube at Brian Swimme Video Series: “Swimme 3: Birth to Earth” (10:27)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDr9wh_dGH8
  3. Watch “Earth to Life” by Brian Swimme, located on YouTube at Brian Swimme Video Series: “Swimme 4: Earth to Life”, (10:41)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DaI6lCNZvZ0
  4. Watch “Life to Human” by Brian Swimme, located on YouTube at Brian Swimme Video Series: “Swimme 5: Life to Human” (8:57)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnRJb-c4JEU
  5. Watch “A Brief History of Everything” by Neil deGrasse Tyson. An astrophysicist, cosmologist, author, science communicator, and director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York, Tyson presents a brief summary of the new cosmology coming from observational science. (8:30)



Homework for Week 5


Readings in preparation for Week 5

    1. 5-1 A God for Evolution – John Haught
    2. 5-2 Our Living Universe – Duane Elgin
    3. 5-3 The Epic of Evolution – Thomas Berry” by Thomas Berry


Reading available on Internet

  1. “Overview of Cosmic Evolution” by Eric Chaisson  https://www.cfa.harvard.edu/~ejchaisson/cosmic_evolution/docs/fr_1/fr_1_site_summary.html


Internet viewing

  1. Watch “Journey of the Universe,” with Brian Swimme (2011) This epic award winning documentary (60 minutes) explores the human connection to Earth and the cosmos. Learn about the only planet on which you will live. The film aired on PBS and is available online at www.vimeo.com/36950412. Use password: whowouldyoube619. Website: www.journeyoftheuniverse.org.


Homework for Break Week


Internet viewing

  1. Watch “Home,” an extraordinary movie about the only planet on which you’ll live. This 90 minute evening activity will help you understand why caring for creation is so important. You can learn more about how to protect and preserve our environment by living a lifestyle that is more respectful of the Earth and its inhabitations.  http://www.homethemovie.org/en


Homework for Week 6


Readings in preparation for Week 6

    1. 6-1 The Origin of the Human – Swimme and Tucker
    2. 6-2 Becoming a Planetary Presence – Swimme and Tucker“One with the Universe” by Albert Nolan, from Jesus Today: A Spirituality of Radical Freedom, Chapter 16


Reading available on Internet

  1.  “Being Human in the Age of Humans” by Rick Potts  http://static1.1.sqspcdn.com/static/f/558814/24193191/1389465212067/Being_Human.pdf?token=%2BtEXzZta%2F67X2X06andiM6Tnwdg%3D


Internet activities

  1. Watch “The Current Moment” by Brian Swimme, located on YouTube at Brian Swimme Video Series: “Swimme 6: The Current Moment” (9:35)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jw0RS2Tfk74
  2. Watch “Why We Struggle Now” a TEDex talk by Michael Dowd (20:26)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDMOF7qtlh8


Homework for Week 7


Readings in preparation for Week 7

    1. 7-1 Good-Bye – Bill Bryson
    2. 7-2 America, What Happened – Thomas Berry
    3. 3. 7-3 Easter_s Collapse – Jared Diamond

Reading available on Internet

  1. “The Historical Roots of Our Ecological Crisis,” a classic essay published in 1967 by Lynn White, professor of history at Princeton and UCLA, identified Christian ethos along with the Industrial Revolution as critical shapers in human attitudes toward treating nature as a resource to be exploited.



Internet activities

Awakening the Dreamer is a free online course focusing on four questions: where are we, how did we get here, what is possible now, where do we go from here? It is a two-hour, self-guided online course designed to awaken you to the challenges and opportunities of this critical moment in history, and inspire you into action. You can take the course in one sitting, or break up the experience into smaller units over a period of time. Sign-up for the free course and receive access to the videos. 

Watch two videos in part 2 (How Did We Get Here): “The Challenges Facing the Environment” (4:20) and “Delving into Social Justice and Spiritual Fulfillment” (10:07)



Homework for Week 8


Readings in preparation for Week 8

    1. 8-1 Emerging Earth Community – Swimme and Tucker
    2. 8-2 The Great Work – Thomas Berry
    3. . 8-3 The Ecozoic Era – Thomas Berry

Homework for Week 9


Readings in preparation for Week 9

    1. 9-1 How Can We Give the Earth a Future – Leonardo Boff“Our Way Into the Future: A Communion of Subjects” by Thomas Berry
    2. 9-2 Our Way Into the Future – Thomas Berry
    3. 9-3 The Evolution of Consciousness – Peter Russell

Internet activities

  1. Watch “Teilhard de Chardin” documentary introduction” available on YouTube (7:59)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xz1YUICfiGQ
  2. Watch “Evolution: A Christian Perspective,” a segment from a lecture on Teilhard de Chardin at Georgetown University by Ilia Delio available on You Tube (8:26)


Homework for Week 10


Readings in preparation for Week 10

    1. 10-1 The Spirituality of the Earth – Thomas Berry
    2. 10-2 Cosmic Christ – Ron Rolheiser
    3. 10-3 The World as God_s Body – Sally McFague
    4. 10-4 A World of Wonder – Thomas Berry

Internet activities

  1. “Reality Reconciles Science and Religion” a TEDex talk by Michael Dowd (18:14)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QeTWVw9Fm4
  2. “The Wombat” (1:03)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHyH3MPgZDo


Audio Link:

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4