Just received a new volume of scholarly essays on the work of Thomas Berry, edited by Heather Eaton. Here’s a passage from the entry by John Grim:
"As a storyteller Berry guided his students into the power and engagement of cultural worldviews. Like all storytellers, Thomas had an intuitive sense of his own rhetorical power; but unlike many storytellers he seldom drew on personal anecdotes or the large gesture. He was more given to intellectual pursuits than solipsistic insight or emotional arguments…. Drawing out his syllables in a laconic North Carolina manner, he would calmly elucidate topics that truly excited him. Ultimately, what framed his educational enterprise was a historical vision increasingly integrative of time and space…. He had an abiding patience for the fluidities, shape-shiftings, and porosities of myths in transmitting values. Story, then, for Thomas held potential as primal narration arising from the most authentic engagement with interiority. Story did not imply simply a passive reception by a listener. Rather, story required an active, participatory, mutual interaction in which the story was present, alive, and in movement through teller, telling, and audience. The movement of story was for Thomas, therapeutic and transformative. In ways it can be said that he held a shamanic interpretation of the transformative healing transmitted in stories."
–John Grim, "Exploring Thomas Berry’s Historical Vision,"
in The Intellectual Journey of Thomas Berry, Heather Eaton, ed.