Only the Sacred: Transforming Education in the Twenty-first Century

Edited by Peggy Whalen-Levitt

Greensboro, NC: CEINW, 2011

Book Description:

The materialist philosophy that has dominated Western civilization for the past four hundred years is coming to an end. In Only the Sacred: Transforming Education in the Twenty-first Century, we are introduced to a new vision of reality where we sense that there is a more profound world within this material world we know so well. We begin to recognize a sacred universe that is intimately connected to the consciousness of the human being. Those of us who see ourselves as educators now have to reckon with a question that can no longer be ignored: Can we, in good conscience, continue to educate our children from within the materialist worldview or are we now being asked, really required, to allow the new life of a more profound world to penetrate the consciousness of our schooling? In this remarkable collection of articles originally published in Chrysalis, a publication of the Center for Education, Imagination and the Natural World, we journey with twenty-three educators through an exploration of fundamental questions of our time, a path of inner schooling for educators, and practices where we see this new understanding of a sacred universe actualized in diverse educational settings. Inspired by the mentoring of Thomas Berry, this collection makes it clear that the depth and fullness of the universe, from the stars in the heavens to the dirt beneath our feet, cannot be known by the intellect alone. Only a sense of the sacred, developed deep within the human soul, will reveal the whole.

Peggy Whalen-Levitt is the Director of the Center for Education, Imagination and the Natural World, a work for teachers and children devoted to Universe as sacred community. Peggy coordinates the Center’s program for educators, “The Inner Life of the Child in Nature: Presence and Practice” and is the editor of Chrysalis, the Center’s newsletter. She holds a Ph.D. in Language in Education from the University of Pennsylvania.