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Sophia Center for Culture and Spirituality - a wisdom center celebrating Earth, Art and Spirituality

Visiting and Core Sophia Center Faculty

Outstanding Scholars and Teachers of New Cosmology

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FinchMary Ann Finch, MA, is the Director of the Care Through Touch Institute, a professional school of massage and a service agency that provides Care Through Touch to thousands of poor, homeless, elderly and dying women, men and children in the Bay Area. She is the author of Care Through Touch.

Catherine M. Firpo, PhD, holds a Doctorate in Mythological Studies with an emphasis in Depth Psychology. "As an artist, writer, and educator I work with the synthesis of visual imagery and archetypal elements woven into patterns of individual and collective psyche. My emphasis includes the magnificence and mystery of the creative process within each individual that I believe allows new perspectives and global intelligence to come forward with collective and awareness and compassion into our world."

FirpoCarol Lee Flinders, PhD has spent fifteen years writing about natural foods, co-authoring the popular Laurel's Kitchen cookbooks and writing a weekly syndicated newspaper column. Her latest book, Enduring Lives: Portraits of Women of Faith in Action profiles four contemporary women that she believes live and work in the "spiritual mother-line" – women like St. Teresa of Avila and St. Catherine of Genoa. (More about Flinders)

FoxJohn Fox CPT, is a poet and certified poetry therapist. John teaches at the Sophia Center of Holy Names University. He is adjunct associate professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, California. He teaches in the Graduate School of Holistic Studies at John F. Kennedy University in Berkeley, California and the Institute for Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto, California. He is author of Poetic Medicine: The Healing Art of Poem-making and Finding What You Didn't Lose: Expressing Your Truth and Creativity Through Poem-Making and numerous essays. He works throughout the United States and has brought "poetic medicine" to Ireland, the United Kingdom, Israel, Kuwait, South Korea and Canada. John is the past president of the National Association for Poetry Therapy. (More about Fox )

Estelle Frankel, MFT is a practicing psychotherapist, spiritual advisor, and seasoned teacher of Jewish mysticism who blends depth psychology with the wisdom and healing practices of Kabbalah. She has taught Jewish studies in Israel and throughout the U.S. for over 30 years and is ordained as a Rabbinic Pastor (mashpiah-maggidah) by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi. Estelle is on the teaching faculty of Chochmat Halev and Lehrhaus Judaica in Berkeley, Ca. where she offers group spiritual guidance and teaches courses on Jewish mysticism. She has published numerous essays on Judaism and psychology, and is the author of the award winning book, Sacred Therapy: Jewish Spiritual Teachings on Emotional Healing and Inner Wholeness. (More about Frankel)

Dwyer, width=Susan Plummer Freeman PhD. As a psychotherapist for 17 years, Susan has worked with individuals, couples and families. Her background in teaching, training and research, as well as a therapy group facilitator and consultant, is combined with a lifetime pursuit of understanding the very human and vital experience of deep change. After receiving a BS degree in Behavioral Science she went on to UC of Berkeley earning her M.S.W. in Community Organization and Social Planning. She graduated with distinction from Saybrook Institute in San Francisco, CA with a PhD in Psychology.

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FriedmanBarry Friedman, PhD, MFT, is a licensed psychotherapist and historian of religion practicing in the East Bay. Barry's doctorate is in South Asian Language and Civilizations. He also holds a MA in Divinity and MA in Counseling Psychology. He brings to his work over a decade of training and experience in depth psychotherapy, two decades in the field of history of religious and world mythology, and a long term study and practice of Buddhist and Hindu meditation, prayer and Tai Chi Chuang.

GolasSusan Golas csjp, MA, the “founding mother” of WATERSPIRIT in 1998, continues to serve as the director. Her background includes efforts in education, peace and justice work, and church renewal. She has served in leadership positions in the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace, an international, Catholic religious order committed to peace through justice. Suzanne also serves as the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace's non-governmental organization (NGO) representative at the United Nations where she concentrates on sustainable development and environmental issues, specifically water. Suzanne participated in the Earth Literacy program at Genesis Farm, Blairstown, New Jerse.

GrathwahMarya Grathwohl, OSF, MA, lives at Prayer Lodge, a center serving native American women. She is passionate about changing human consciousness toward love for the planet and is writing a book that integrates her transformative experience with Crow and Northern Cheyenne peoples with insights from the 13.7 billion year story of the universe. Marya lives in a solar and wind power home, heated and cooled by a geothermal system. She is a Sister of St. Francis since 1963. (More about Grathwohl).

GrayLeslie Gray, PhD, is a clinical psychologist who maintains a private practice in San Francisco while teaching ecopsychology and Native American studies at various Bay Area universities. Leslie offers workshops and trainings internationally. Her innovative work blending ancient and modern healing modalities has been featured in numerous publications such as the Sierra Club Books anthology, Ecological Medicine: Healing the Earth, Healing Ourselves. Leslie is a member of the Society of Indian Psychologists and an Associate of the Milton Erickson Institute of the Bay Area. In 1998 Leslie founded Woodfish Institute whose mission is to promote ecological education grounded in time-tested indigenous wisdom.

gebaraIvonne Gebara PhD, is a Theology and Liberation for Women in Latin America (Read transulated interview).

GriffinSusan Griffin, PhD, is a poet, essayist, playwright and screenwriter. Named by Utne reader as one of a hundred important visionaries for the new millennium, she has been the recipient of an NEA grant, and a one year Macarthur Grant for Peace and International Cooperation. Her work, translated into 17 languages, is taught in colleges and universities internationally. She lectures widely in the United States and abroad, and teaches occasional courses at the California Institute of Integral Studies and Pacifica Graduate School, as well as privately at her home in Berkeley. (More about Griffin)

GrimmJohn Grim, PhD, is currently a Senior Lecturer and Research Scholar at Yale University. With Mary Evelyn Tucker he is the Environmental Ethicist-in-Residence at Yale's Center for Bioethics. He is Coordinator of the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale with Mary Evelyn Tucker. Together they edited the 10 volume series, "World Religions and Ecology," from the Harvard Center for the Study of World Religions distributed by Harvard University Press. In that series he edited Indigenous Traditions and Ecology: The Interbeing of Cosmology and Community (Harvard, 2001). His published works include: The Shaman: Patterns of Religious Healing Among the Ojibway Indians (University of Oklahoma Press, 1983) and an edited volume with Mary Evelyn Tucker entitled Worldviews and Ecology (Orbis, 1994, 5th printing 2000), and a Daedalus volume (2001) entitled, Religion and Ecology: Can the Climate Change? John is also President of the American Teilhard Association. Recently, he edited, with Mary Evelyn Tucker, Thomas Berry's last collection of essays titled, The Christian Future and the Fate of Earth published by Orbis Books in 2009. They are also working on a volume for Island Press on The Emerging Alliance of Religion and Ecology for early 2010. (More about Grim)

Robert Hale, OSB, Cam, PhD, teaches spirituality at the Jesuit School of Theology. He has been a monk since 1959, and former Prior of New Gamaldoli Hermitage for 12 years. He has written articles and three books in the area of spirituality including Christ and the Universe: Teilhard deChardin and the Cosmos.

Lynette Marie Hanthorn, is Executive Director of Transition Colorado, founded and directed the Center for Creative Justice in Ames, Iowa for more than 20 years, and is an accomplished conflict transformation facilitator and energetic healing practitioner. (More about Hanthorn)

John HaughtJohn F. Haught, PhD, is Senior Fellow, Science & Religion, Woodstock Theological Center, Georgetown University. He was formerly Chair and Professor in the Department of Theology at Georgetown University (1970-2005). His area of specialization is systematic theology, with a particular interest in issues pertaining to science, cosmology, evolution, ecology, and religion. He is the author of eighteen books, many relate to issues in Science and religion:, including Making Sense of Evolution: Darwin, God and The Drama of Life ; God and the New Atheism: A Crtical Response to Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens; Christianity and Science: Toward a Theology of Nature. He has also authored numerous articles and reviews and lectures internationally on many issues related to science and religion. In 2002 he was the winner of the Owen Garrigan Award in Science and Religion, in 2004 the Sophia Award for Theological Excellence, and in 2008 a "Friend of Darwin Award" from the National Center for Science Education. He testified for the plaintiffs in the Harrisburg, PA "Intelligent Design trial" (Kitzmiller et al. vs. Dover Board of Education). In April 2009 he received an honorary doctorate from Louvain University in Belgium. He and his wife Evelyn have two sons and live in Falls Church, Va. Full CV. (More about Haught)

HermansonKim Hermanson, PhD, lectures, writes and teaches on topic related to transformative teaching and learning. Her recent book, Sky's The Limit, earned an honorable mention at the 2006 Independent Publisher Book Award. She also teaches at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology and University of California Berkeley Extension. (More about Hermanso)

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HolmesBarbara Holmes, PhD, is Associate Professor of Ethics and African American Religious Studies, Memphis Theological Seminary. She is author of: A Race and the Cosmos: An Invitation to View the World Differently, Private Woman in Public Spaces, Joy Unspeakable: The Contemplative Practices of the Black Church, and The Legacy of Martin Luther King, JR.-The Boundaries of Law, Politics and Religion.

HouckPatrick Houck has a UC Berkeley certificate in landscape architecture and is the owner of a garden design and installation business in the Bay Area. Patrick does process painting as a further aide in understanding the creative process and has been teaching workshops with Michele Cassou.

DiazAda Maria Isasi-Diaz, PhD, is a professor of Ethics and Theology at Drew University, NJ. She has spent the last 20 years of her life elaborating a Muejrista Theology — a liberation theology from the perspective of Latinas living in the USA. She has lectured all over the USA and in Cuba, Zimbabwe, and the Philippines on issues of justice, diversity and Latinas religious understandings and practices. Among her publications are Mujerista Theology - A Theology for the 21st Century and En la Lucha (just re-issued by Fortress press).

KeepinWill Keepin, Ph.D, is founding President of Satyana. Originally trained in mathematical physics. His work on sustainable energy policy was influential in several countries. Subsequently trained in spiritual practices and transpersonal psychology. He is adjunct faculty member at the California Institute of Integral Studies and co-author with Molly Dwyer of their forthcoming book, Gender Reconciliation.

KellyKathy Kelly, Ph.D, helped initiate Voices in the Wilderness, a campaign to end the UN/US sanctions against Iraq. For bringing medicine and toys to Iraq in open violation of the UN/US sanctions, she and other campaign members were notified of a proposed $163,000 penalty for the organization, threatened with 12 years in prison, and eventually fined $50,000, a sum which they’ve refused to pay. Kathy was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize 2000. She is the author of Iraq Under Siege.

KingUrsula King, PhD, is professor and director of the Center for Comparative Studies in Religion and Gender, Department of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Bristol, England. She is the author of the award-winning, Spirit of Fire, Christian Mystics and Christ in All Things.

KortenDavid Korten, PhD, is the co-founder/chair of the Positive Futures Network (YES! Magazine), citizen activist, teacher and author. In his most recent book, The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community, David draws on evidence from sources as varied as evolutionary theory, developmental psychology, and religious teachings to make the case that a life-centered, egalitarian, sustainable way of ordering human society based on democratic principles of partnership is indeed possible. (More about Korten)

KovatsAlexandra Kovats, csjp, PhD, has been a spiritual director and retreat facilitator for over thirty years. She is adjunct instructor at the School of Theology and Ministry at Seattle University. Through her teaching and journeying with people of different ages, life-styles and culture/ethnic backgrounds she is committed to facilitate them toward a fuller and freer life. She is the author of Prayer, A Discovery of Life.

Lake Osprey Orielle Lake, MA, is one of the world’s few female monument makers working with allegorical images and is the founder/artist of the International Cheemah and Mari Monument Projects, which celebrate environmental, multicultural and societal themes. Through her projects and presentations at conferences and universities around the world, Osprey explores art and new narratives as critical tools in societal transformation. She is an adjunct faculty member at two California universities, on the governing board of Praxis Peace Institute, and is the State of the World Forum’s Director of Women’s 2020 Climate Solutions Caucus.  Osprey also works internationally with social and environmental change organizations. (More about Lake)

LangMaurice Lange, OMI, MDiv, at 17 journeyed to Oaxaca, Mexico to live with indigenous people. This experience, along with 40 years of life spent largely outdoors, continues to evoke a broader sense of life. Maurice is a member of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. After a two year internship at Genesis Farm he now live and works near the St. louis are. He offers retreats, presentations and Earth Literacy courses which call forth a mutually enhancing human Earth relationship.

Mary Litell, OSF, MA is a Franciscan Sister working with Capacitar as an international trainer working in the US, Latin America, East Africa and Southeast Asia. She is also part of Pace e Bene, a service in nonviolence, and understands the work of Capacitar as a pathway to cultures of peace. She is the author of, Cantice for Nicaragua and has co-authored several manuals for nonviolence education.

LivingstonPenny Livingston, is internationally recognized as a prominent permaculture teacher, designer and speaker. Penny has been teaching internationally and working professionally in the land management; regenerative design and permaculture development field for 25 years and has extensive experience in all phases of ecologically sound design and construction as well as the use of natural non-toxic building materials.  She specializes in site planning and the design of resource-rich landscapes integrating, rainwater collection, edible and medicinal planting, spring development, pond and water systems, habitat development and watershed restoration for homes, co-housing communities, businesses and diverse yield perennial farms. (More about Livingston)

McGillisMiriam MacGillis, OP, MA, is an earth activist and artist. She co-founded Genesis Farm Learning Center in Blairstown, NJ. The farm practices biodynamic methods of agriculture and some 180 families are shareholders in its economic support. The farm is also an ecological learning center based on the vision of Thomas Berry where the focus is on how to live in the new cosmological order and, especially, how to live within the bioregional context.

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MacyJoanna Macy, PhD, is a scholar of Buddhism, general systems theory, and deep ecology. A respected voice in movements for peace, justice, and ecology, she interweaves her scholarship with four decades of activism. She has created a ground-breaking theoretical framework for personal and social change, as well as a powerful workshop methodology for its application. Joanna travels widely giving lectures, workshops, and trainings in the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Australia. (More about Macy)

Peter Mayer is a full-time singer/songwriter from Minnesota with a background in Theology, who performs in acoustic music venues across the country. Much of his work has been inspired by Thomas Berry, Brian Swimme, and others who have helped create the vision at the heart of Sophia Center. He is currently working on his tenth CD. (More about Mayer)

MdDadeCarolyn McDade, PhD, is a lover of language and sound, committed to the power of singing in personal and social transformation.  Her songs, sung widely in the United States and Canada, weave together personal integrity, social, vision, and planetary wholeness. For three decades she has gathered circles to sing. Her primary work with women has evolved eleven recording projects. She brings the resources of her long story and intense exploration of that which matters.

McDanielJay McDaniel, PhD, is Professor of Religion, Hendrix College, Chair, Department of Religion; Director, Steel Center for the Study of Religion and Philosophy, NS; Director, New Horizons: Center for Study of Science and World Religions. "McDaniel's class at Sophia is entitled: Animals, Jazz, and Poetry.

McFagueSallie McFague, PhD, holds a Bachelor of Arts (magna cum laude) from Smith College, a Bachelor of Divinity (magna cum laude) from Yale Divinity School and Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from Yale University. Dr. McFague also holds an Honourary Doctor of Letters from Smith College. She has retired as Carpenter Professor of Theology at Vanderbilt Divinity School. She is a prolific author. Her books include: Metaphorical Theology, Models of God, The Body of God, and Super,Natural Christians. Dr. McFague's most recent book is Life Abundant: Rethinking Theology and Economy for a Planet in Peril.

mcNee photoPaul McNees, Artist, writer, musician, educator, and philosophy student. Paul moves fluidly between the worlds of education, music/art, and metaphysics. As a doctoral student at the California Institute of Integral Studies he is currently piecing together a dissertation exploring the deep mysteries of human music making.

Cannato Patricia Mische, PhD, is the Lloyd Professor of Peace Studies and World Law at Antioch College and co-founder and President of Global Education Associates, a network of people in 90 countries working to advance global systems that will assure greater peace, social justice, economic-well-being, ecological integrity, and democratic participation. She also collaborated with United Nations programs, is an activist and co-author of Toward a Human World Order, author of Star Wars and the State of Our Souls, Ecological Security and the United Nation System: Past, Present and Future, and Toward a Global Civilization.

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