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State of Emergence is a new podcast about how we respond to the urgency of our world crises & catalyze human transformation. Hosted by @TerryPatten.

Oct 10, 2020

Prominent eco-theologian and “post-gloom collapsologist” Michael Dowd shines the light of evolutionary and ecological wisdom on this time of plagues, fires, floods, corruption, and collapse. He and Terry explore the psychological and relational journey into accepting our sobering predicament, living with accountability to the future, and even discovering lightheartedness amidst their heartbreak. They also consider how to balance certainty with epistemic humility (knowing we don’t know) in a way that keeps us realistic while still open to emergent possibilities. Ultimately, they each share their commitment to live at a depth that is never post-grief or post-gratitude — positively alive to the agony and the ecstasy of our moment in evolutionary time.

Michael Dowd is a teacher, speaker, and bestselling author, whose book, Thank God for Evolution, was endorsed by many Nobel Laureates, science luminaries, skeptics, and religious leaders across the spectrum. He is also a prominent speaker and teacher, having delivered programs for TEDx, the United Nations, and Caltech, as well as three acclaimed online conversation series: “The Advent of Evolutionary Christianity” (2011), “The Future Is Calling Us to Greatness” (2015) and his current project, Post-doom: Regenerative Conversations Exploring Overshoot Grief, Grounding, and Gratitude” (2020). 

Here are some of the questions he and Terry explore in the episode:

  • Which evolutionary, historical and, ecological patterns can help us understand our civilizational challenges?
  • How might we ground ourselves in appropriate certainty of what we know about our predicament — and live with a sense of possibility that inspires us to be of benefit?
  • How can we live with our individual and collective mortality as a close advisor? 
  • How can embracing some gallows humor release us into gratitude for this very moment of life and breath?
  • Why have “post-doom” conversations like this? Can they give us belonging and healing? Can they even prepare us to hold others amidst our looming mass mental health crisis? 
  • How might we use the “denser energies” of societal disruption to serve gentler transitions (“softer landings”) into sustainable relationships to the body of life?

For more information on Michael Dowd and Terry Patten, check out the following resources:


We hope you appreciate this week’s episode with Michael Dowd on State of Emergence. If you believe these conversations are important and want to support them, please join us as a monthly contributor and become part of our community of listeners. Thank you so much.