In her January 10, 20010 email message, after her greeting, Connie Barlow first commented about my book,
She then mentioned that Brian Swimme and Annie Dillard were both deeply influenced by Loren Eiseley, the anthropologist I mentioned in the personal coda at the end of DGR, as one whose writing I found especially moving. She had named her own pilgrimage story, An Immense Journey: Religious Naturalism and The Great Story, in honor of Eiseley. When I looked at her essay, it was unsurprising to discover that it was also in honor of many who had inspired dark green religion.
Barlow conveyed that she appreciated how I dealt with Richard Dawkins and “embedded the crucial historical facts linking Aldo Leopold to the 'odyssey of evolution' and Wilson to the 'epic of evolution.'" She then suggested I recommend the following book by Joel R. Primack and Nancy Ellen Abrams, as well, titled The View from the Center of the Universe: Discovering our Extraordinary Place in the Cosmos,
as well as one of their youtube lectures.
Barlow provided a link to additional websites that are exploring the Epic of Evolution, including two versions of a 2006 lecture by Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, the longer version included a discussion of religion, the shorter version did not, but had more graphics, she said.
Tyson is director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City and host of NOVA television programs. Barlow called him "the popular face of astrophysics today," and noted that this video was from the 2006 “Beyond Belief” conference, and that in it, "the viewer gets an inside look at the genesis and robustness of Tyson’s personal form of dark green religion." Some of the quotes in this video also appear in the Symphony of Science music video on the previous page.
Many other resources related to the Epic of Evolution (and illustrating its affinity with dark green spirituality) are found at Barlow and Dowd’s website, including, as Barlow put it, “a rite of passage curriculum for middle school kids in religious education based on Bill Plotkin's ‘Nature and the Human Soul’ and ‘The Lion King’ (plus a little stardust).” See Barlow’s Kids Curriculum, then, "Remember Who You Are.”
Barlow related a telephone conversation with Plotkin in which she learned that he, like many others, had once written off everything under the Disney umbrella as anti-green, even though at the time he had not even seen The Lion King. So, she wrote, she was glad to see that in DGR I had done “such a good job with it.”
Barlow closed her message recommending another website that she had created, Torreya Guardians, which provides examples of efforts to rewild the planet and that she understands such action as a form of dark green ritual.
In a subsequent email message (April 2010), Barlow sent a number of additoinal resources. Some of these, such as Peter Mayer's songs, I have placed in other fitting places in these supplemental materials pages. Those I have not, follow here, with Barlow's (lightly-edited) explanations:
In the Beginning (Stardust Music Video by Connie Barlow). Here is a sing-along music video in which the perspective of a 14 billion year Universe is used to draw out our concern for future generations and the “delight” one can find in the evolved world.
Sand County Almanac: Aldo Leopold Passenger Pigeon Essay, read by Connie Barlow at the Wisconsin monument, at the exact site in Wisconsin where Leopold himself delivered this commemorative speech.
Nancy Ellen Abrams: Cosmic Society, This illustrated clip of Nancy Ellen’s role in the annual Terry Lectures at Yale University exemplifies how a mainstream understanding of astrophysics enriches her religious views of the sacredness of the natural world. The Terry Lectures are an annual event in which “preemininent scholars in religion, the sciences, and philosophy are invited to address issues concerning the ways in which science and philosophy inform religion and religion’s application to human welfare.”
Dark Green Religion Grace for Mealtime (by the late Philemon Sturges).
Gentle Arms of Eden, song lyrics by Tracy Grammer and Dave Carter.
Michael Dowd and Connie Barlow's more formal review of Dark Green Religion, and a podcast featuring it and mentioning yet more examples of the phenomenon, can be found with other reviews of Dark Green Religion.