Recovering a Sense of the Sacred: Conversations with Thomas Berry : a Memoir

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Timberlake Earth Sanctuary Press, 2012 - Human ecology - 152 pages
Recovering a Sense of the Sacred: Conversations with Thomas Berry is a thoughtful and poignant memoir by Carolyn W. Toben recounting her spiritual journey with renowned scholar, author and cultural historian, Thomas Berry. For ten years, Carolyn spent many hours in deep discussions with Thomas Berry about his transformational thinking for healing the human-earth relationship through recovery of a sense of the sacred. This book is based on her personal notes, practices and reflections from these conversations.

"Recovering a Sense of the Sacred is a poignant and intimate portrait that reveals deep insights into the work of the great contemporary mystic-sage, Thomas Berry. Even more than this, at this time of "historic confusion," this tender story provides a profound interior activation; it calls us toward another way of knowing that is essential for new levels of understanding. Reverent and real, this wonderful work provides gracious and wise companionship for a life of the sacred."-Tobin Hart, Ph.D., author of The Secret Spiritual World of Children

"Carolyn Toben has given us a true gift! Recovering a Sense of the Sacred carries the reader to the heart of his/her deepest identity as a sacred being in a sacred planet in a sacred universe. Those who knew Thomas will find themselves right there in the midst of the conversations, listening in, smiling, bathed again in the warmth of his remarkable presence. For those who are new to Thomas or his work, this book is an excellent introduction to his comprehensive thought and wisdom, for here it reaches us through a sense of his person-his own deep sense of the sacred in every being, his reverence, hospitality and friendship."-Mary Southard, CSJ, artist and creator of the Earth Calendar

"No thinker in the twentieth or twenty-first century has provided us with as much inspiration and guidance about the relationship between humans and the natural world as Thomas Berry. Carolyn Toben's very personal and eloquent book offers us an opportunity to sit with Thomas and absorb his special wisdom."-Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods

"In this inspired book, Carolyn Toben chronicles her extended conversations with the noted theologian and philosopher, Thomas Berry. What she has achieved is not only a passionate homage to a great thinker and visionary, but a personal and moving statement of our human responsibility to access the depth of our consciousness in relation to all that exists around us."-Richard Lewis, author of Living By Wonder: The Imaginative Life of Childhood

"This book is an exquisite gift for those of us familiar with Thomas Berry's writings and for those still new to his work. For here we meet the man himself in the context of an evolving relationship where, in different settings and moments over the last decade of his life, he shares his vision of a living universe and the immensity of meanings it holds for him. And here, in between their conversations, Carolyn Toben explores how his message is altering her own perceptions of the natural world and of herself. Their warm-hearted companionship invites us in as well, to come alive to the creative mutuality at the heart of all that is."-Joanna Macy, author of World as Lover, World as Self

"A fascinating and moving portrait of one of the Great Teachers of our time. I am deeply grateful for this lyrical and lucid memoir, which captures Thomas Berry's vision, his graciousness, his deep communion with the earth and its beings, and the implications of his work for the future. Skillfully transmitting his wisdom and presence, Carolyn Toben's encounter with the cosmology of Berry is a blessing for the entire planet."-Drew Dellinger, author of Love Letter to the Milky Way

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About the author (2012)

Carolyn Toben is an educator, counselor and creator of new social forms with a spiritual dimension that foster cultural re-newal. Her background includes degrees from the University of North Carolina Greensboro (Phi Beta Kappa), extensive post-graduate studies in spirituality, world religions, and depth psychology, and teaching in both secondary and college settings with an emphasis on alternative and interdisciplinary education. In 2000, Carolyn founded what is now the Center for Edu-cation, Imagination and the Natural World, a work inspired by cultural historian and author, Thomas Berry, which offers chil-dren and teachers a new understanding of the human-earth relationship. A grandmother of nine, she currently creates programs, re-treats and events for individuals and groups seeking spiritual renewal and reconnection with the natural world at Timberlake Earth Sanctuary, her family-owned land in Whitsett, North Carolina. For ten years, Carolyn spent many hours with the renowned priest, author and cultural historian, Thomas Berry, engaged in deep discussions about his foundational thinking on the human-earth-Divine relationship. "Recovering A Sense of the Sacred: Conversations with Thomas Berry" is based on her personal notes, practices and reflections from these conversations.

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