This arrived in an email this morning and I thought it was important enough to share it with you. Jim Berry and Thomas Berry might be seen as co-articulators of the ideas that have come to be associated with Thomas Berry. Jim Berry was a power-house in his own right – a strong clear voice for Earth.
“Humans belong to the Earth and to Earth’s life system; are part of it and have the clear obligation to honor the Earth and to behave in such a way as to demonstrate that honor. You are urged to love your country, but your love of the land, of the trees and the animals and the life-giving photosynthetic process is about a million times more important than nationalistic love of political and economic and social entity doing a whole lot of bad things. ” ~ James Fant Berry
We of (the) Center for Ecozoic Societies will remember Jim for his work through the Center for Reflection on the Second Law. From March 1980 through June 1998, Jim sent out letters, which he called circulars, every month, 181 in all. Being only two pages long these were avidly read. He wrote about human-Earth relations and the teachings of his brother, Thomas Berry. People said he could explain Thomas better than Thomas could. Copies of his 181 circulars are available here and may be read and distributed freely under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
Jim nourished many environmentalists, young and old, through annual retreats at Camp New Hope outside Chapel Hill, NC. The subjects were always the same–we need to care for Earth. Many outstanding people spoke, lively workshops were held, and there was always a campfire in celebration of ancestors.
Perhaps nothing captures Jim better than the way he would stand up in public meetings and with his booming voice preface his remarks by saying “I SPEAK FOR THE EARTH!”
- Patrick O’Neill’s obituary of Jim Berry
- His obituary in The Greensboro Record (third obit down in the article)
- His memorial in the West Point Association of Graduates
We celebrate the life of James Fant Berry.
His work, his kindness, and his passion for Earth lives on.