All the Scattered Leaves of the Universe: Journey and Vision in Dante’s Divine Comedy and the Work of Thomas Berry
by Andrew Levitt
Greensboro, NC: CEINW, 2015
All the Scattered Leaves of the Universe is a book about wisdom and transformation of the soul for the sake of the world. It evolved in a four-part series of presentations that took place in February and March of 2015 at the Center for Education, Imagination and the Natural World in Greensboro, NC. With only initial knowledge that Thomas Berry frequently carried a copy of The Divine Comedy with him and that he recommended to his students that they read Dante before engaging his own work, the series set out to explore how Dante's medieval poem might have influenced Thomas Berry's understanding of the Great Work in the Twentieth Century. How could Dante's expression of the tensions of the Medieval World and his vision of a narrowly contained cosmos inform understanding of the contemporary crisis of the planet within an expanding universe? As this book makes clear, to answer that question it is necessary to listen carefully to the dialogue Thomas Berry and Dante held across the centuries. Attention reveals the integral relation of the two, which expands appreciation and understanding of each and demonstrates that together they can guide the soul through transformation to communion with all Being in service to the world.
Andrew Levitt holds a BA in English from Yale University and a PhD in Folklore from the University of Pennsylvania. He trained as a mime with Marcel Marceau and with Paul J. Curtis at The American Mime Theatre. After performing and teaching mime professionally for over thirty years, he helped found the high school at the Emerson Waldorf School in Chapel Hill, NC where he taught humanities and directed theater for seven years. He co-created a performance piece, "The Meadow Across the Creek: Words from Thomas Berry," for the Thomas Berry Centennial in 2014. Heron Mornings, his first book of poetry, was published in 2017. As Dr. Merryandrew, he currently works as a clown doctor in the Pediatric unit at Moses Cone Memorial Hospital in Greensboro, NC.