William Grassie

William Grassie is an interdisciplinary scholar, academic entrepreneur, social activist, and author. Grassie received a B.A. in political science from Middlebury College and then worked for ten years on nuclear disarmament, citizen diplomacy, community organizing, and sustainability issues in Washington, D.C, Jerusalem, Philadelphia, and West Berlin. He completed a Ph.D. in Religion from Temple University, where he wrote a dissertation entitled Reinventing Nature: Science Narratives as Myths for an Endangered Planet (1994). He has taught at Temple University, as well as at Swarthmore College, Pendle Hill, and the University of Pennsylvania. A recipient of academic awards and grants from the American Friends Service Committee, the Roothbert Fellowship, and the John Templeton Foundation, Grassie served as a Senior Fulbright Fellow in the Department of Buddhist Studies at the University of Peradeniya in Kandy, Sri Lanka in 2007–2008. He was the founding director of the Metanexus Institute, which promotes scientifically rigorous and philosophically open-ended exploration of foundational questions. Metanexus has worked with partners at some 400 universities in 45 countries and publishes an online journal. He has authored The New Sciences of Religion: Exploring Spirituality from the Outside In and Bottom Up (2010) and a collection of essays, Politics by Other Means: Science and Religion in the 21st Century (2010). He is currently working on a book entitled Applied Big History: A Guide for Investors and Other Living Things.

Participant In:

What principles of order underlie the ascent of complexity, from the simplest particles of physics heralding the birth of the universe, through biological forms, to the achievements of civilization? Has a recurrent theme of combination and integration led to multiple fundamental levels from quarks to culture? What do we learn from the ongoing creative process… read more »