Kurt Johnson has worked in professional science and comparative religion for over 40 years and serves on many international committees, particularly at the United Nations. In comparative culture and religion Kurt has been on the faculty of New York City’s One Spirit Interfaith Seminary for 12 years and is the co-author of the very influential 2013 book on the future of world religions: The Coming Interspiritual Age. In science, with a PhD in Evolution, Ecology and Comparative Biology he was on the staff of the American Museum of Natural History for 25 years and is currently associated with the McGuire Center for Biodiversity at the University of Florida. A member of The Evolutionary Leaders, Kurt has published over 200 scientific articles and seven books, including the popular science bestseller Nabokov’s Blues: The Scientific Odyssey of a Literary Genius. In 2016 his book on science and the arts, Fine Lines, appeared from Yale University Press along with contributions in a United Nations NGO publication: Ethics, Spiritual Values, and the New United Nations Development Agenda. Kurt has presented regularly on science and religion at The Science and Nonduality Conference and the Parliament of the World’s Religions and published articles on this inter-relationship in many periodicals, including audio discussions with Ken Wilber at Integral Life. He is founding member of the Contemplative Alliance and President of the Friends of the Institute of Noetic Sciences. At the United Nations he serves on the Executive Committee of the UN NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values and Global Concerns and the NGO Forum 21 Institute. Formerly a monastic for over 10 years, and active in contemplative and sacred activism across several traditions, Kurt is also an ordained Eco-Minister and recently co-edited the Namaste Insights internet magazine on the eco-vision of interfaith pioneers Thomas Berry and Wayne Teasdale.
I discovered This View of Life (TVOL) when it stepped up to publish the first in a series of “Roundtable” discussions by spiritual and secular thought leaders about how current science understands values-oriented behavior and social direction. I had pointed out in my recent book, The Coming Interspiritual Age, that most contemporary discussion of cultural direction in the context of the world’s religions now embraces an evolutionary perspective. This requires, of course, that religionists try to “know the science” and secularists understand the cultural embedding of religions is the most historically dynamic way possible. Not an easy task, and one requiring much nuanced discussion!
This is precisely the discussion that has arisen from TVOL’s seminal publication of that first roundtable. TVOL has become a crossroads for discussions among secular and sacred activists who see transformative change in an evolutionary context, resulting in over fifty thought leaders producing three more published Roundtables and over five hours of videos discussing how to “steer toward the Omega Point”. For example, integral philosopher Ken Wilber has a discussion at YouTube based on the materials in TVOL which now has over 47,000 views. This certainly shows the discussion is real, vibrant, and getting around!
For me, as a sacred-secular “hybrid” and certainly for sacred thought leaders and activists embracing an evolutionary worldview, TVOL will continue be a regular, and primary, reading source for our work. I look forward to the expansion of topics that will grace the pages of TVOL in the future. TVOL has been a great idea!
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