Yale University

Discover our role as humans in the Earth community

Delivered online

Yale University
Enrolment Date(s):
16 January, 13 February 2017
3 x 6 week courses
Enrolment deadline:
13 Feb 2017

NOTE: This course listing has expired and may no longer be relevant!

Course description

Journey of the Universe: A Story for Our Times is a course series created by senior research scholars at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Sciences, Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim. The courses weave the discoveries of the evolutionary sciences together with the humanities such as history, philosophy, art, and religion. The courses in this Specialization draw on the Emmy-award winning film, Journey of the Universe, the book from Yale University Press, and a series of 20 interviews with scientists and environmentalists, titled Journey Conversations.

Each week there will be a brief commentary by Brian Thomas Swimme, co-author of the Journey book.

As part of the Specialization, we investigate the life of Thomas Berry, a historian of world religions known for articulating a “new story” of the universe that explores the implications of the evolutionary sciences and cultural traditions for creating a flourishing future.

The capstone course gives students an opportunity to bring together their learning in a project that explores ways in which the creativity of humans can be more deeply aligned with the creativity of universe and Earth processes.

Use the links below to audit the courses at no cost:

Course 1: Journey of the Universe: The Unfolding of Life

Course 2: Journey of the Universe: Weaving Knowledge and Action

Course 3: The Worldview of Thomas Berry: The Flourishing of the Earth Community


What will I be able to do upon completing the Specialization?

Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:

1. Understand and demonstrate understanding of the unfolding of the universe, Earth, and humans by drawing upon both science and the humanities.

2. Be able to recall, and to critically assess, the history and development of cosmological thought both as it has unfolded over time and also as it spans multiple disciplines in the sciences and humanities.

3. Integrate the ideas found in the film, book, and Educational Series / Conversations with other areas of knowledge.

4. Apply the methodologies and concepts learned in this course to environmental and social problems in creative, pragmatic ways.

5. Engage critically with the concepts presented through this course in academic writing and research.

Entry requirements

These courses are introductory and aimed at an educated public, ranging from those with college education to those without.

No prerequisite knowledge is needed – just an openness to learn about the complex development of the universe, Earth, and life. Within this epic story we will explore the role of humans given our present social and ecological challenges.