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Joanna Rogers Macy

Feb 10, 2019

Joanna Rogers Macy (born May 2, 1929), is an environmental activist, author, scholar of Buddhismgeneral systems theory, and deep ecology. She is the author of eight books.[

Macy graduated from Wellesley College in 1950 and received her Ph.D in Religious Studies in 1978 from Syracuse UniversitySyracuse. She studied there with Huston Smith, the influential author of The World’s Religions (previously entitled The Religions of Man). She is an international spokesperson for anti-nuclear causes, peace, justice, and environmentalism,[1] most renowned for her book Coming Back to Life: Practices to Reconnect Our Lives, Our World and the Great Turning initiative, which deals with the transformation from, as she terms it, an industrial growth society to what she considers to be a more sustainable civilization. She has created a theoretical framework for personal and social change, and a workshop methodology for its application. Her work addresses psychological and spiritual issues, Buddhist thought, and contemporary science. She was married to the late Francis Underhill Macy, the activist and Russian scholar who founded the Center for Safe Energy.

Macy first encountered Buddhism in 1965 while working with Tibetan refugees in northern India, particularly the Ven. 8th Khamtrul RinpocheSister Karma Khechog Palmo, Ven. Dugu Choegyal Rinpoche, and Tokden Antrim of the Tashi Jong community. Her spiritual practice is drawn from the Theravada tradition of Nyanaponika Thera and Rev. Sivali of Sri Lanka, Munindraji of West Bengal, and Dhiravamsa of Thailand.

Key formative influences to her teaching in the field of the connection to living systems theory have been Ervin Laszlo who introduced her to systems theory through his writings (especially Introduction to Systems Philosophy and Systems, Structure and Experience), and who worked with her as advisor on her doctoral dissertation (later adapted as Mutual Causality) and on a project for the Club of RomeGregory Bateson, through his Steps to an Ecology of Mind and in a summer seminar, also shaped her thought, as did the writings of Ludwig von BertalanffyArthur Koestler, and Hazel Henderson. She was influenced in the studies of biological systems by Tyrone Cashman, and economic systems by Kenneth BouldingDonella Meadows provided insights on the planetary consequences of runaway systems, and Elisabet Sahtouris provided further information about self-organizing systems in evolutionary perspective.

Read more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joanna_Macy


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