Center for Ecozoic Studies
From its beginning in 2000, the Center for Ecozoic Studies (from 2011 to 2017, known as the Center for Ecozoic Societies) has been concerned with the integration of the human world in the natural world. “Integrate,” as used here, means to make whole by bringing all the components of Earth’s community of life together in a coherent and mutually enhancing manner. This is first and foremost an ecological challenge, but it cannot occur without cultural changes and changes in human relations.
Our work has been inspired and guided by Thomas Berry’s vision and insight. Berry taught that the primary flaw in human development is the radical discontinuity between humans and other modes of being. He also taught that human activity has disrupted major life patterns and systems such that we are bringing to an end the Cenozoic era in Earth’s history. For there to be a hopeful future, we need to bring into being an “Ecozoic era.” Bringing this into being, he called “the Great Work” of our time, one surpassed by no other great work given to humans in history. To accomplish the Great Work will mean re-inventing the human and establishing a new intimacy with the natural world.
Our work involves teaching, translating, further developing and applying these ideas. We see the movement into the Ecozoic era as involving a transition from economic-industrial societies (including the visions, understandings and ways of relating in these societies) to ecological-cultural (ecozoic) societies. Thus, our mission is to offer new ideas and new ways of living for an ecological-cultural age.
We divide our work into four main areas described elsewhere in this website:
- Events, and
This is our expanded mission statement:
The mission of CES is to advance new ideas and new ways of living for an ecological-cultural (ecozoic) age, through publications, education, arts, and action. CES emphasizes critical reflection, story and shared dream experience as ways of enabling the creative advance needed to bring into being a new mode of human civilizational presence, and also of discerning the practical steps leading to the Ecozoic. CES understands the universe as meaningful, continuously evolving, and relational. In such a universe, the Ecozoic is not something to be arrived at, but something ever to be created. Its hallmarks are inclusiveness, interdependence, and appreciation; communion, differentiation, and subjectivity; and sensitivity, adaptability, and responsibility. It involves more just and cooperative relationships among humans, as well as transformed relationships of humans with the larger community of life.