Joanna Macy

Joanna Macy

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Joanna Macy

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Joanna Rogers Macy, Ph.D (sometimes listed as Joanna R. Macy or Joanna Marie Macy; born May 2, 1929), is an environmental activist, author, scholar of Buddhism, general systems theory, and deep ecology.


Macy graduated from Wellesley College in 1950 and received her Phd in Religious Studies in 1978 from Syracuse University, Syracuse. 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 peace, justice, and environmentalism, 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.

Macy travels giving lectures, workshops, and trainings internationally. Widowed in January 2009, she lives in Berkeley, California, near her children and grandchildren. She serves as adjunct professor to three graduate schools in the San Francisco Bay Area: the Starr King School for the Ministry, the University of Creation Spirituality, and the California Institute of Integral Studies.


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