Mary Evelyn Tucker


Mary Evelyn Tucker is codirector of the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale, where she teaches in the joint MA program between the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and the Divinity School. She coedited Confucianism and Ecology, Buddhism and Ecology, and Hinduism and Ecology. With her husband, John Grim, she has authored Ecology and Religion and edited Thomas Berry’s books, including Selected Writings.  With Grim, she organized ten conferences on World Religions and Ecology at Harvard, and coedited the ten resulting volumes. She served on the International Earth Charter drafting committee and was a member of the Earth Charter International Council. Tucker is co-author with Brian Thomas Swimme of the Journey of the Universe book. She is the executive producer of the Emmy award winning Journey film that aired on PBS. She lives with Grim in Connecticut. 

This Persian carpet, the heart of my hearth, weaves me into a longer ancestral heritage—biological lineage, and even a geological and a cosmological one. These floral patterns emerged within the deep time of evolution that is manifest in the complex patterns of nature itself. Each one of these shapes of flowers and plants reflect the long journey of life unfolding toward complex forms. Such beauty arose in the fiery burst of stars where carbon atoms first emerged that eventually gave rise to carbon-based life that evolved over billions of years on this volcanic planet. Finally they burst forth in the explosion of diverse life forms in the last sixty-five million years of the Cenozoic era.

So it is here in my home hearth that I sense how we humans participate in ever-expanding dynamic circles of connectivity. Like the plants and flowers, we have evolved out of geological and biological changes during billions of years of Earth’s evolution. Even earlier, stellar explosions formed the carbon that gave rise to life, including the carbon in our bodies. This is a cosmological context that we are only now beginning to absorb. Our identity is not just local or national. We are Earth-born beings made from cosmic stardust. Thus the stars are our ancestors. Deep time is our birthplace.


Some of my favorite people on earth are in this book,
Dear writers and grand spirits.

Annie Dillard