Journey of the Universe

The Origin of the Human

June 15, 2019 Journey of the Universe Season 1 Episode 8
Journey of the Universe
The Origin of the Human
Show Notes

This episode features two conversations on The Origin of the Human with John Grim and Mellisa Nelson. 

John is the Senior Lecturer and Research Scholar at Yale University with appointments at the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale Divinity School, and the Department of Religious Studies.  He is the co-founder and director of the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale University and was an executive producer on the Journey of the Universe film. 

Mellisa is a cultural ecologist, writer, educator, researcher, media-maker, and activist. Her work is dedicated to indigenous revitalization, environmental protection and restoration, and the renewal and celebration of community health and cultural arts.

Our host is Mary Evelyn Tucker, co-author of Journey of the Universe and professor at Yale University.

In these conversations, John and Mellisa draw upon the history of early humans and highlight contemporary indigenous life ways to explain the sustaining power of ritual and celebratory acts that locate humans within the rhythms of Earth’s transformative systems. 

We hope you enjoy the Journey!


What is our place in the 14-billion-year history of the universe?

What roles do we play in Earth's history?

How do we connect with the intricate web of life?

This podcast series is part of a larger project called Journey of the Universe that invites us to reflect on these questions. It consists of a film, a book, a series of conversations, and online classes.  

The creators of the Journey project imagine that by knowing more about the universe and Earth we will also know more about ourselves. This may give us grounds for navigating our own journey in challenging times.  

How did we come to be part of this universe story?  

How do we belong and how can we participate in its future flourishing?  

This series is a gateway into exploring these questions. 

In these podcasts of the Journey of the Universe Conversations we will meet scientists and historians, environmentalists and teachers, gardeners and urban planners. All of them are reflecting on how we can be more fully alive in this context of participating in a universe story. Each podcast will have a section of the Journey of the Universe film narrated by Brian Thomas Swimme followed by a conversation hosted by Mary Evelyn Tucker.

Connect deeply with these materials and more via the Journey of the Universe: A Story for Our Times Specialization, a series of Massive Online Open Courses hosted by Coursera and created by Yale.

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