Book Information & Endorsement

Awakening Universe, Emerging Personhood: The Power of Contemplation in an Evolving Universe

Awakening Universe, Emerging Personhood: The Power of Contemplation in an Evolving Universe

Mary Conrow Coelho, Wyndham Hall Press, 2001

"Awakening Universe, Emerging Personhood goes a long way toward healing the duality our culture has perceived between science and religion. This story helps us reconcile our will to know with our belief that there is a larger whole of which we are an essential, intrinsic part. Mary's book can help us find our voice in a challenging time through claiming our larger identity.

I have feelings of deep gratitude for the work that Mary Coelho has done. As I have read it I am sometimes moved to tears as it confirms what my heart has known all along. Mary's gift is that she is at home in the scientific venture but she is patient and careful as she demystifies the language and learning of its quantum pioneers."

—Sr. Miriam Therese MacGillis, OP, co-founder of Genesis Farm, Earth Literacy Center, New Jersey

"Many times as I was reading, I thought of the unnameable people in the future who will be served, touched, guided, inspired by her insights, scholarship, intuition and vision. Mary Coelho has created a guidebook for every serious contemplation of the cultural and spiritual significance of contemporary science. A distinguished and vibrant work integrating science and spirituality in ways directly relevant to contemporary society's deepest challenges. Your book is awesome and, I believe, unique to the epic of evolution movement."

—Brian Swimme, California Institute Integral Studies in San Francisco, CA,
Director of the Center for the Story of the Universe

"The crucial role of the human being in whom the universe reaches creative awareness articulated to a depth and breadth of insight rarely accomplished."

—Arthur Fabel, engineer, editor Teilhard Perspectives

"It filled me with a mixture of possibility, awe, and even a sense of personal breakthrough. I can personally attest to the power of change this book promotes."

—Janet Soderberg, artist and teacher

"Awakening Universe, Emerging Personhood is a gift to all who seek to understand the transformation of human consciousness occurring today"

—Reverend Andy Smith, Earth Ethics

About the Author

Mary Coelho brings to this work an academic and practical background in both biology and theology. She has an MA in biology, has taught biology and worked in a research laboratory. She has studied at both Union Theological Seminary (MDiv) and Fordham University (PhD in historical theology) and worked as Co-director of the Programs in Spiritual Direction at the Center for Christian Spirituality at General Theological Seminary. She is the author of several articles and coauthor with Rev. James Neufelder of Writings in Spiritual Direction by the Great Christian Masters. She has been a member of the Steering Committee of the Friends Committee on Unity with Nature and is on the board of The American Teilhard Association. She has led a number of workshops on the integration of the epic of evolution and the Western contemplative/mystical tradition. By avocation, Mrs. Coelho is a watercolorist, exhibiting and selling her cityscapes and landscapes in the northeast.

Science has developed an astounding account of our vast emerging cosmos, from its initial great flaring forth some 13 billion years ago to the present diversity and beauty of our garden planet, the Earth, and its magnificent surroundings. The new story carries within itself profound implications for human self-understanding, which are gradually being explored and appreciated. In this book the new story is integrated with the insights and deeply personal discoveries of the Western contemplative traditions and the depth psychologies, resulting in a powerful new vision. Humanity's most profound spiritual hopes and hungers are addressed, embracing of our ancient embeddedness in the earth.

The book has five sections. The first is an exploration of the universe story and its cosmic yet intimate implications. We are invited in the second section, through the work of Meister Eckhart, Teresa of Avila, and others as examples, to appreciate the discoveries of the contemplative tradition and its assertion that we only find the fullness of our creativity and productive power by entering into the contemplative life. To develop a foundation for the integration of this tradition with the new story, there follows a section on contemporary understandings of matter, the plenum or generative "emptiness" (also designated Abyss/God or All-Nourishing Abyss) and the generation of form through self-organizing processes.The final sections explore a pathway to personal healing and full expression of personhood, a process that involves an evolutionary change in consciousness. Out of this, a person may enter the depth of human subjectivity as a knowing participant in the emerging whole, and become capable of making a conscious, creative contribution to the future direction unfolding in the universe.

"In this time of global crisis, the human race is caught up in the greatest transformation of consciousness in history. To make the transition into the future, we need guides who are learned in both science and spirituality and are gifted with a vision of hope for the future. Mary Coelho is such a guide for she has been trained as a scientist and as a specialist in classical Western spirituality, including the vision of Teilhard de Chardin, Thomas Berry and Brian Swimme. What makes her book unique and compelling is her own creative synthesis of science and spirituality that can effectively guide the reader toward a positive future."

—Ewert Cousins, Professor Emeritus of Theology, Fordham University

"This book is a work of significant scholarship that brings material from diverse disciplines together in a coherent story. Mary Coelho has created a guidebook that illuminates a path to enlightenment in a time when we face critical choices about our future."

—Reverend Andy Smith, Earth Ethics

Reading my way through this book, I felt years of simmering, unanswered questions unpacked in a refreshing way. The result is a profound awakening to the power of the present moment, our role in thesacred Earth community, and a renewed sense of the spirituality needed today. This book is just the gift of faith needed to carry us forward.

—K. Lauren de Boer, Editor of EarthLight Magazine

Ordering Information

All titles can be purchased directly from the publisher or through Amazon, Baker and Taylor, Academic Book Center, Barnes & Noble and other major distributors. Also available at the publishers' website


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