Berry, Thomas, 1914-2009

Variant names

Hide Profile

Thomas Berry (TMB) is a historian of cultures and a writer with special concern for the foundation of cultures in their relations with the natural world. He comes from the hill country of North Carolina, [and] was born in 1914. He began his [ministerial] life in a Monastery in 1934. His doctoral degree is from the Catholic University of America. He studied Chinese language and culture in China in 1948 with the intention of teaching at Fujen University in Peking but had to leave when Mao Tse-tung moved into the region.

Later he studied Sanskrit at Columbia University. In the 1980s he assisted in the educational program for the T'boli peoples in Mindanao, Philippines. He taught the cultural history of India and China at Seton Hall University in New Jersey and at Saint John's University in New York. He also taught as adjunct professor at various other universities in the eastern United States. He was director of the graduate program in the History of Religions at Fordham University from 1966 until 1979. Founder of the Riverdale Center of Religions Research in Riverdale, New York, he has been its director since its beginning in 1970. He was president of the American Teilhard Association from 1975 until 1987.

Besides a book on "The historical theory of Giambattista Vico", a book on "Buddhism" and one on "Religions of India", he has published a number of papers on the more significant human issues of the present. For the past fifteen years his writings have mainly been concerned with the industrial devastation of the earth and the need to recognize our human responsibility for the fate of the earth. His book entitled, "Dream of the Earth", was published in 1988, by Sierra Club Books. Among the essays contained in this book are "The ecological age"; "The cosmology of peace"; "Technology and the healing of the Earth"; and "Bioregions: the context for reinhabiting the earth".

A book written with the cosmologist Brian Swimme "The universe story: from the primordial flaring forth to the Ecozoic Era, a celebration of the unfolding of the Cosmos", was published by Harper San Francisso in the fall of 1992. The story of the universe presented there is proposed as the context for an educational program from the earliest years through university and professional training, and education suited to the needs of the emerging twenty-first century. In recent years he has lectured extensively on the idea that the human community and the natural world [need to] go into the future as a single integral community or both will experience disaster on the way" (biography taken from the papers, author unknown).

From the description of Papers, 1933-2001 and undated (inclusive), 1960-2001 (bulk). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 237793870

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Berry, Thomas Mary, 1914-. Papers, 1933-2001 and undated (inclusive), 1960-2001 (bulk). HCL Technical Services, Harvard College Library
creatorOf Ostrow, Martin I. The Thomas Berry Interview, 2000-2001. HCL Technical Services, Harvard College Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Berry, Thomas M. person
associatedWith Ostrow, Martin I. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Religion and ethics
Environment and the human condition
Environment and society
Ethics and theology


Birth 1914-11-09

Death 2009-06-01




Ark ID: w6q24925

SNAC ID: 5141763