A MOVEMENT – Earth Literacy is one of a growing number of movements in which people attempt to respond, both in their personal and professional lives to what they see as a “turning point” in the story of life on Earth. The “turning point,” they believe, represents a crisis in the way humans perceive reality. For humans to solve the twin problems of preserving a livable environment and of restructuring self-destructive political and economic global relationships will require a radical shift in perception. The shift may be as extensive as moving from an image of a flat Earth located at the center of an unchanging universe to that of a round Earth located in one of a billion galaxies in an expanding universe. The crisis represents a choice for the human species between the possibility of ultimate catastrophe or moving into a time of unparalleled fulfillment. To live at the time of such a once-in-a-lifetime-of-a-species choice is an incredible gift and an opportunity. To be unaware of such a gift and opportunity, to sleep through the “turning point” in life’s story, would be, for an individual, a colossal human tragedy.
A NETWORK – Earth Literacy, since the early 1980’s has become a network of educational centers around the United States and in Argentina and New Zealand. The network evolved out of a two-year “communion” agreement in which individuals from four institutions came together periodically to struggle with the implications of waking up to the choice we are making as a species. The communers were from:
A CURRICULUM – Earth Literacy encompasses a cluster of central themes and resource materials that might roughly be described as a budding curriculum. Its themes parallel in some ways those of other movements such as deep ecology, creation-centered theology, Native American spirituality, eco-feminism, etc. As a curriculum, Earth Literacy is more concerned with process and story than content and categories. It is interdisciplinary and experiential. If Earth Literacy were a tree, it could be said to draw its theoretical sustenance from four major root systems.
MISSION – The Earth Literacy Network spans a diverse array of participants with varying levels of involvement and individual agendas. Centers function at three levels:
A common mission of all centers is to invite others to consider and commune over the implications of waking up to the momentous choice humankind is now making. Many of the resources introduce Thomas Berry’s new cosmologyand the radical shift in thinking we must make in order to create a civilization that makes sense — human sense, Earth sense, universe sense.