Skip navigation

IONA College Logo | Go to Home Page

The Thomas Berry Forum for Ecological Dialogue at Iona

“The Thomas Berry Forum is an open and inclusive space for ecological education, exploration, and transformation."
In 2009, after the death of the celebrated geologian and cultural historian, Father Thomas Mary Berry, CP, four of his students gathered at Iona College to initiate The Thomas Berry Forum for Ecological Dialogue to celebrate and promote his wisdom legacy: Dr. Brian Brown, Dr. Kevin Cawley, CFC, Dr. Kathleen Deignan, CND, Dr. Daniel Martin, Karen A. Killeen, and Rabbi Lawrence Troster.

FoundersBack row: Daniel Martin, Ph.D., Brian Brown, Ph.D.
Front row: Br. Kevin Cawley, Ph.D., Kathleen Deignan, Ph.D.
It is our hope that this Forum will be a creative resource for the entire Iona College community, and for the many other dialogue partners – regional, national and global – whom we hope to engage in Berry’s Great Work to awaken the ecological phase of human development. In particular, we wish to serve Iona’s interdisciplinary and integral Environmental Studies Program as a hosting platform for conferences, convocations, lectures, retreats, campus sustainability initiatives, and eco-pilgrimages that will enhance our academic enterprise.

The Thomas Berry Forum for Ecological Dialogue Remembers Rabbi Lawrence Troster

It is with the deepest sadness that we announce the passing of our brother, mentor, and friend Rabbi Lawrence Troster, Rabbi in Residence for the Thomas Berry Forum for Ecological Dialogue.


June 8, 1953 – May 24, 2019 Rabbi Lawrence Troster

There is no way to calculate the inestimable loss of this great teacher, Earth advocate, and inspiration who was for so many of us our formator in the Great Work of interfaith leadership on behalf of "Our Common Home," our imperiled Earth, and as our principal teacher within the community of GreenFaith. His lucid mind, his scholarly depth, his faithful companionship are the gifts he so generously bestowed on us. His kind and refined spirit he leaves with us. Our gratitude and love we send on with him as the fruitfulness of his faithful life. May his beloved Elaine and their children and grandchildren be comforted by his abiding presence and the undying gift of his life. (Photo credit: Kevin Cawley)

In communion with all who at once grieve and celebrate him.
The Thomas Berry Forum Conveners and Community
Brian Brown
Kevin Cawley, CFC
Kathleen Deignan, CND
Daniel Martin

Father Thomas Berry

Our present need is to know just how to move out of this alienation of the human into a more viable mode of presence to the natural world. Here I propose that the religions are too pious, the corporations too plundering, the government too subservient to provide any adequate remedy. The universities, however, should have the insight and the freedom to provide the guidance needed by the human community. The universities should also have the critical capacity to influence over the other professions and other activities of society. In a special manner the universities have the contact with the younger generation needed to reorient the human community toward a greater awareness that the human exists, survives, and becomes whole only within the single great community of the planet Earth.