Joanna Macy Ph. D., is a scholar of Buddhism, systems thinking and deep ecology. A respected voice in movements for peace, justice, and ecology, she interweaves her scholarship with learning from five decades of activism. As the root teacher of the Work That Reconnects, she has created a ground-breaking theoretical framework for personal and social change, as well as a powerful workshop methodology for its application. Her wide-ranging work addresses psychological and spiritual issues of the nuclear age, the cultivation of ecological awareness, and the fruitful resonance between Buddhist thought and contemporary science.
The many dimensions of this work are explored in her books Coming Back to Life: The Updated Guide to the Work That Reconnects (with Molly Brown, 2014); Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in Without Going Crazy (with Chris Johnstone, 2011); Pass It On: Five Stories That Can Change the World (with Norbert Gahbler, 2010); World as Lover, World as Self (2007); Widening Circles: A Memoir (2000); Mutual Causality in Buddhism and General Systems Theory (1991); Thinking Like a Mountain: Toward a Council of All Beings (with John Seed, Pat Fleming, and Arne Naess, 1988); Dharma and Development: Religion as Resource in the Sarvodaya Self-Help Movement (1983, 1985); Despair and Personal Power in the Nuclear Age (1983).
In addition, with her co-translator and co-editor, Anita Barrows, Joanna has brought forth three volumes devoted to the poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke: Rilke’s Book of Hours (1996, 2005), In Praise of Mortality: Selections From The Duino Elegies and Sonnets to Orpheus (2005, 2016), A Year With Rilke: A Book of Daily Readings (2009).
Based in Berkeley, California, near her children and grandchildren, Joanna has been traveling widely in the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Many thousands of people around the world have participated in Joanna’s workshops and training. Her group methods, known as the Work That Reconnects, have been adopted and adapted yet more widely in classrooms, churches, and grassroots organizing. Her work helps people transform despair and apathy, in the face of overwhelming social and ecological crises, into constructive, collaborative action. It brings a new way of seeing the world, as our larger living body, freeing us from the assumptions and attitudes that now threaten the continuity of life on Earth.