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

Sophia Summer Institute 2014

In celebration of the centenary of Thomas Berry’s birth

The Legacy of Thomas Berry in "Journey of the Universe"


Join our outstanding faculty as we take another significant step to create together the mutually enhancing world about which Thomas dreamed.

July 17 – 20, 2014

Please click here to register for the Summer Institute. If you prefer, you can register by phone at 510-436-1046 or by sending an email to The Sophia Center at sophiactr@hnu.edu.

Summer Institute July 17-20

Thursday, July 17

7:00 p.m. – The Evolution of Thomas Berry’s “New Story”
Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim

Friday, July 18

9:30 a.m. – Quantum Consciousness
Brian Swimme

2:00 p.m. – A Great Work of our Time: Climate Justice Coalitions in California Rise Up
Carl Anthony and Paloma Pavel

7:00 p.m. – Everybody Has a Meadow: Conversations and Commitments
Helen Prejean and Marya Grathwohl

Saturday, July 19

9:30 a.m. – Dreaming a Bigger Dream!
Belvie Rooks and Dedan Gills

2:00 p.m. – Peter Mayer in Concert
Peter Mayer

7:00 p.m.The New Story: Thomas Berry’s Cosmology of Connection
Drew Dellinger

Sunday, July 20

9:30 a.m. – News From The Universe: A Communion of Subjects
Jim Conlon

11:00 am — Missa Gaia Celebration

post-Institute Retreat July 20–22

Beauty and Danger: A Spiritual Path Inspired by Thomas Berry
Led by Helen Prejean and Marya Grathwohl.




Mary Evelyn Tucker is Senior Lecturer and Research Scholar at Yale University where she has appointments in the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies as well as the Divinity School and the Department of Religious Studies. Most recently she hosted and co-wrote, with Brian Swimme the 60 minute film "Journey of the Universe", broadcast on PBS television stations nationwide.


John Grim is a Senior Lecturer and Research Scholar at Yale University, where he has appointments in the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies as well as the Divinity School and the Department of Religious Studies. He is co-founder and co-director of the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale with Mary Evelyn Tucker.


Sister Helen Prejean is known internationally for her tireless work against the death penalty. She works with the Death Penalty Discourse Network, whose programs include The Dead Man Walking School Theatre Project and the Moratorium Campaign.


Brian Swimme is a professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. He received his Ph.D. from the Department of Mathematics at the University of Oregon in 1978 for work in gravitational dynamics. He brings the context of story to our understanding of the 13.7 billion year trajectory of cosmogenesis. Most recently he hosted and co-wrote, with Mary Evelyn Tucker, the 60 minute film "Journey of the Universe", broadcast on PBS television stations nationwide.


Carl Anthony is currently a Ford Foundation Senior Fellow and Visiting Scholar at the Department of Geography at the University of California at Berkeley. He co-founded and published the "Race, Poverty and the Environment Journal", the only environmental justice periodical in the United States. He is writing a book on the Earth, the City and the Hidden Narrative of Race.


Paloma Pavel works in the Bay Area and internationally consulting to individuals, communities, and organizations in areas such as strategic visioning, communication, diversity, and leadership development. Dr. Pavel's organizational clients reflect a core values commitment in areas of health, justice, education, and sustainable development.


Marya Grathwohl 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.


Dedan Gills is co-founder of Growing A Global Heart and poet.  He has pioneered the idea of “Green Recovery”--a concept that combines stewardship and restoration of blighted urban areas with an engaged dialogic process designed to restore the integrity of souls wounded by the crush of modern urban reality.


Belvie Rooks is an educator, speaker, writer, facilitator and co-founder of Growing a Global Heart, which aims to inspire the planting millions of trees to honor the lives lost during the Trans-Atlantic slave trade and also as a way of commemorating youth victims of urban violence. Belvie’s lifetime of work and vision bridges the intersection between personal healing, social justice, inter-generational wisdom sharing and environmental stewardship. Hers is a complex weaving that illuminates how healing on any level supports healing on all levels.


Drew Dellinger is an internationally sought-after speaker, poet, writer, and teacher whose keynotes and poetry performances—which address ecology, justice, cosmology, and connectedness—have inspired minds and hearts around the world. He is also a consultant, filmmaker, and founder of Planetize the Movement.


Peter Mayer writes songs for a small planet—songs about interconnectedness and the human journey; about the beauty and the mystery of the world. Whimsical, humorous, and profound, his music breaks the boundaries of "folk", and transcends to a realm beyond the everyday love song, to a place of wonder at the very fact of life itself.


Jim Conlon is Director of HNU-Sophia Center, facilitator and presenter of Spirituality and the New Story is an author of many books including recently published book and video, Invisible Excursions: A Compass for the Journey and Sacred Butterflies.

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