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World Renowned Scholar on Religion and Ecology Dr. Mary Evelyn Tucker to Visit Lawrence in Conjunction with “Journey of the Universe” Film Screening

Press Release
February 22, 2013

Lawrence, Kansas – In a collaborative project between Kansas University and community groups, Dr. Mary Evelyn Tucker will come to Lawrence this February for a series of talks and a screening of her film “Journey of the Universe.” This documentary exploring the human connection to Earth and the cosmos will be shown at Liberty Hall on February 27th at 6:30, followed by a panel discussion featuring Tucker.  Other panelists include Dr. Don Worster (professor emeritus at KU), Rev. Thad Holcombe (ECM), and Dr. Paul Outka (Associate Professor at KU).   

The film is narrated by evolutionary philosopher Brian Swimme, and was produced by Tucker and her husband, John Grim. Tucker and Grim have joint appointments at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (FES) and Yale Divinity School, where they teach cross-disciplinary courses and also direct the Forum on Religion and Ecology.

“Journey of the Universe” is the result of the collective inspiration of a 30-year collaboration between Swimme, Tucker, Grim, and the late Thomas Berry, a historian of world religions and a leading environmental thinker. They were inspired by Berry’s article “The New Story,” which examined how the world’s religions explained the creation of the world and the scientific story of the universe’s emergence.

“Berry had a vision of the need for an integrating narrative of the development of the universe, Earth, and humans,” Tucker said. Grim added, “He was one of the first to suggest we need an epic story that would show people their profound connection to the Earth community.”

In addition to the film screening and panel discussion, Tucker will be present for a colloquium at the KU Commons (located in Spooner Hall) on Thursday, February 28th at 9:30 AM.  She also will give a community lecture on the “Emerging Alliance of Religion and Ecology” at the Spencer Art Museum that evening at 7:00 PM.  In conjunction with these events, the Spencer Art Museum is also hosting a self-directed tour of environmentally themed art.     

Event sponsors include:  Elizabeth Schultz Environmental Fund, Ecumenical Campus Ministries, KU Dept. of Religious Studies, KU Dept. of Environmental Studies, Indigenous Studies Program at KU, The Commons at KU, The Spencer Museum of Art, The Center for Design Research, Theologians in Residence/Visiting Scholars in Residence, KAWSMOS, KAW Council, and Hilary's Live Well, Eat Well. 

Key Events:

Wednesday, February 27th: “Journey of the Universe” film screening followed by panel discussion.  Liberty Hall, 6:30 PM

Thursday, February 28th:  Colloquium at the KU Commons (Spooner Hall), 9:30 AM

Community Lecture “Emerging Alliance of Religion and Ecology.”                                        
Spencer Art Museum, 7:00 PM

CONTACT: Rachel Myslivy 785-424-4115 rachelm@ku.edu

Tara Trapani (Project Coordinator, Journey of the Universe) tcmk@aya.yale.edu


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