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Archive for the ‘Pierre Teilhard De Chardin’ Category

Every dorm has a story – Bulletin

Posted: August 9, 2017 at 10:43 pm

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Its going to be about 80 degrees during orientation weekend and youll quickly regret overpacking.

Your dad might show off and take a big load of your stuff from the trunk through the front doors of your residence hall, perhaps down some stairs or up an elevator but the destination doesnt really matter in the end.

Wherever your stuff ends up, that space will become yours. So before you move in, get to know your home away from home.


Originally constructed as an all-male dorm, Alliance House is currently one of the only all-female dorms on Gonzagas campus. Built in 1962, this dorm was initially erected as an experiment in foreign relations. Twenty international students were housed there each year along with 25 American upperclassmen, with the goal of educating international students on the American lifestyle. This experiment ended around 1966, when students expressed an interest in other dorms as to integrate themselves further into the Gonzaga community.


Catherine-Monica (C/M) has been on GUs campus map since the Fall of 1962. Costing nearly $1 million to construct, C/M was initially built to increase the number of women Gonzaga could accommodate. Prior to this, GU rejected over 250 female applicants annually due to the lack of facilities. Now a coed dorm, C/M houses around 370 students each year.

The dormitory was named after two female saints. Saint Catherine of Alexandria is the patroness of students, teachers, librarians, and lawyers. Saint Monica of Hippo, mother of Saint Augustine, was the patroness of wives and abuse victims.

Nowadays, C/M is known as the social dorm of Gonzaga. Apart from an unspoken open-door policy, C/M is part of the annual C/MDeSmet football game, Bulldog Bowl, and the Midwest Block Prom.


Directly in the heart of Gonzagas campus rests the oldest dorm on campus, DeSmet Hall. Named for Fr. Pierre Jean DeSmet, the first Jesuit missionary to come to the Northwest, DeSmet Hall was built as a senior hall to provide housing and classroom facilities for a greater influx of students in 1923. That year, Gonzaga broke its own record by having a freshman class of more than 100 students. Housing 140 male students, DeSmet has and will continue to be a staple of the Gonzaga community.


Constructed in 1963, Lincoln House was named for President Abraham Lincoln. This dorm was originally adorned with a large mosaic of Lincolns head above the main door, which has since been removed due to deterioration. Lincoln House offers a small community of close and supportive residents.


Located two blocks off of central campus, Marian Hall was purchased in 2005 by the University. This dorm was originally used to house nuns, but is now used for students who want to engage with Gonzaga Outdoors. This outdoor-themed dormitory offers residents the chance to engage in adventure with their community. Primarily housing students who share a passion for outdoor recreation and environmental issues, Marian offers residents the chance to engage in regularly scheduled hall trips that focus on different outdoor experiences, such as hiking, skiing, and rafting.


Constructed in 1957, Welch Hall is another all-female dorm which was once all-male. This dorm was named after Patrick Welch, a prominent railroad builder who resided in Spokane for most of his life. After his death, his two daughters generously funded the construction of this building. Presently, this dorm houses around 150 female students. Located directly across from DeSmet Hall, Welch Hall is also a central staple of the Gonzaga campus.

Welch Hall is one of the only dorms that has an elevator, so students have a lot easier time moving in than the residents of other multiple storied dorms, such as DeSmet. Another benefit of living here is the smell of fresh-baked cookies on Wednesday nights, as the sandwich shop located on the first level of the building has a cookie event each week.


Constructed in 2009, Coughlin Hall houses roughly 330 first and second year students. The coed dorm has four floors plus a lobby. Being the main Learning Center on Gonzagas Campus, the dorm is lively and social, but courteous to those focused on their studies. The second, third and fifth floor accommodates those who want a quiet study room. The building is named after the Universitys 23rd president, Fr. Bernard J. Coughlin, S.J. who served from 1974 to 1996.


The three-story coed dorm is located at 1321 N. Standard St. and mainly houses first year students. Named after Joseph Raphael Crimont, S.J., president to the University from 1900 to 1903, the first Crimont Hall was a large home located at 526 E. Sinto Ave. The second, and main hall, was opened in 1965. During the short time he was president, Crimont ruled with a bite the bullet kind of attitude, requiring military uniforms and parent signatures for those wishing to participate in intramural activities. One of his decisions was built into College Hall. Crimont expanded the administration building to include a gym, pool, and the students chapel. The gym has since been converted into the Magnuson Theatre, while the pool has since been removed after being closed for health reasons.


Named after philosopher, theologian, geologist Pierre Teilhard De Chardin, Chardin House accommodates about 50 first- and second-year students. Chardin served in the French army during WWI, was member of an expedition in China that led to the discovery of the Peking Man, a subspecies of Homo Erectus, and wrote several works that were published and became famous after his death in 1955. He was a man of great personal charm, as is Chardin House. The three-floor coed dorm has common areas on each floor.


Designed just like Crimont and located at 428 E. Sharp Ave. the three-story dorm houses first and second-year students in a suite style fashion. The coed hall was named after Cardinal Richard Cushing. He was known for his resilience in creating facilities for education, the sick, and the poor.


Madonna Hall has three floors with a prime location across the street from the Hemmingson Center and Mulligan Field. Located at 1020 N. Cincinnati St., Madonna Hall houses around 120 freshman students. Never did anyone think it would house a serial killer. About 40 years ago, a couple students met Ted Bundy at a party and let him crash in their dorm room for a few days while he checked out Gonzagas law school. According to associate professor of business law Don Hackney, The room is all the way to the left, to the north, facing west. The story was told to him by his wifes friend, who let Bundy stay in his dorm. Hackney uses it as a warning to his female students to not get into a car with someone you dont know, after a girl hitched a ride from Bundy to Pullman. He believes the only reason she made it there alive was because people knew his name and car.


One of the all-male halls, Roncalli House is located at 711 E. Boone Ave. Though second-year students are eligible to apply, it predominately houses freshmen. It has three floors plus a basement, with a corridor style layout. Roncalli House was name after Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, better known as Pope John XXIII. He was unexpectedly elected and thought to become a caretaker pope, but he set in motion major church reforms.

Molly Gianerelli and Marissa Kneisel are a staff writers.

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Every dorm has a story - Bulletin

Written by simmons

August 9th, 2017 at 10:43 pm

Religion notes 8.5.17 – Times Record

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Times Record staff

Transitional pastor named

Central Presbyterian Church announces that the honorably retired Rev. Rita Wilson will serve as transitional pastor while the congregation searches for a permanent pastor. Wilson joined Central in 1971 and served as director of Christian education for seven years. She retired in 2015 after 37 years of active service.

St. Scholastica offers several retreats

St. Scholastica Retreat Center, 1205 S. Albert Pike, will offer a weekend retreat Sept. 22-24 titled "Seven Sacred Pauses." Using themes drawn from Sr. Macrina Wiederkehr's book, "Seven Sacred Pauses: Living Mindfully" and Velma Frye's accompanying CD, "Seven Sacred Pauses: Singing Mindfully," the presenters will lead participants into the contemplative practice of deep listening.

Cost is $245. A $50 nonrefundable, nontransferable deposit is required at time of registration. Lodging and meals are included.

Additionally, the center will offer two ways to practice the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius.

Retreat in Daily Life will be held both in St. Scholastica Monastery and in northwest Arkansas. Participants will meet weekly in small groups from October through April, meet with a spiritual director twice monthly and spend time in daily prayer, scripture reading, and journaling.

Cost is $560 plus the cost of twice monthly spiritual direction at $20 per session.

Ignatius Transposed! Retreat in Daily Life "transposes" the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius for the 21st century, according to the teachings of the great mystic and scientist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Biweekly meetings will be held between Aug. 29 and May 1 in northwest Arkansas and possibly Fort Smith, and can also be attended through Zoom conferencing.

Participants will meet from 6:30-8:30 p.m. every other Tuesday evening, meet with a spiritual director once a month and participate in 30-45 minutes daily of prayer, scripture reading and journaling.

Cost is $480 plus $20 per month for spiritual direction.

Scholarships are available.

Call (479) 783-1135 or (479) 651-1616 or email or to register or for information on these retreats.

Religion Notes is published each Saturday as a free public service. All items must reach the Times Record, 3600 Wheeler Ave., by noon Wednesday of the week the item is to be published. Photographs submitted cannot be returned but may be picked up at the office the week after they are published. Photographs will be kept for six months. The street address of the church and the name and phone number of a contact person must accompany each item submitted, or it will not be published. Email submissions to

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Religion notes 8.5.17 - Times Record

Written by simmons

August 9th, 2017 at 10:43 pm

What Trump’s Foreign Policy Ignores – YaleGlobal Online

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Primacy and death: The US president promotes America First policies, but the presidents of Syria and Russia, Bashar al-Assad and Vladimir Putin also promote their interests

LAFAYETTE, INDIANA: Donald Trump's foreign policy is bereft of any overarching debate over the urgent threats confronting the United States and the entire global system. The most serious threats, easily identifiable, include war, terrorism and genocide. To counter such complex threats, whether as Americans or "world citizens, its vital to bear in mind that these two identifications overlap and are mutually reinforcing.

Taking a narrow "America First" stance on terrorism ignores the intersecting nature of major terrorist groups and organizations, quickly leading to unstable situations. For example, Trump's needlessly announced preference for certain Sunni dictatorships over Shiite dictatorships, or for selected Sunni dictatorships like Saudi Arabia over other Sunnis like Qatar, introduces more instability in the Middle East. If US foreign policy were conceptualized, originally, from a broadly system-wide perspective rather than from a self-defeating stance of America First, Washington could establish a single plausible criterion of support and intervention. Such an unwavering standard would benefit the US and its allies, while simultaneously countering the core strategic interests of relevant adversaries.

The Trump administration recently signed a southern Syria ceasefire agreement with Russia, underscoring a particularly visceral America First strategy for dealing with Damascus. Among other liabilities, this agreement perpetuates Iran's unhelpful presence in Syria. Taken together with Trump's soon-to-be expected endorsement of the Allen Plan for Palestinian statehood a plan, that would inter alia, replace Israeli troops in the Jordan Valley with UN forces the new ceasefire calls upon Moscow to secure Israel's border with Syria, undermining regional order in general and Israel in particular.

The president and his counselors must cope with such intersecting perils that require far more than "common sense." Many might ask, what would a suitably more thoughtful American foreign policy actually look like. Answers depend on a myriad of individual human needs and expectations. Demonstrably global elucidation, either intellectually or "operationally," is not easy.

Determinative factors include aloneness, not fully belonging to a specific tribe, nation or faith, and the primal human fear of simply "not being. Individual fear of death can contribute to collective violence, yet the insight also reveals an overlooked opportunity for widening human empathy.

Only a serious attempt to understand an imperative global oneness can save the United States from irremediable hazards. Significantly, Trump's America First orientation represents the opposite of this sorely needed global effort and could undermine any remaining chances for meaningful safety. As for the planet's physical environment, Trump is indifferent to climate change studies and the global ecology. US withdrawal from the Paris accord on climate change is a retrograde abrogation that undermines US and global interests while placing billions of people on an unalterable trajectory of human declension.

Instead, national security is about collective human growth and species survival. In global politics, true remediation requires sincere depth of analytic thought and a fully imaginative and broadly global set of policy understandings. Power over death is the most eagerly sought-after form of power in world politics. Perhaps this is why science and technology notwithstanding, cruelty still reigns throughout the world unreformed, undimmed and proudly undiminished. Historically, a juxtaposition of healing and murder is not without precedent. In Syria, dictator Bashar al-Assad is a trained ophthalmologist. During the Holocaust, death camp gassings were identified as a "medical matter," supervised by physicians.

More than many might care to admit, education and enlightenment have had precious little tangible bearing on the "human condition." Prima facie, too, steadily expanding technologies of mega-destruction have done little to transform people into more responsible stewards of this endangered planet. Instead, with unhindered arrogance, whole nations continue to revel in virtually every conceivable form of mass neglect and violence. Most of the time, this ominously primal immersion is advanced as some sort of immutably zero-sum or us-versus-them struggle for domination.

Far too many often take delight in observing the sufferings of others. The specific German term for experiencing such twisted pleasure is schadenfreude. To what extent, if any, is this markedly venal quality related to our steadily-diminishing prospects for building modern global civilizations upon aptly resurrected premises of human oneness? To what extent, if any, does this corrosive trait derive from human death fear? a crucial question for rational formulation of American foreign policy and for certain corollary obligations of global consciousness.

Sigmund Freud argued that the human unconscious behaves as if it were immortal. Still, however widely disregarded, an expanded acceptance of personal mortality may represent the last best chance for the United States to endure as an enviable nation. This represents the very opposite of America First and the ongoing association of immortality with inflicting grave harms upon others.

Viable forms of wider cooperation represent the only credible path toward moving beyond schadenfreude. Such core orientations are not mutually exclusive, but rather mutually reinforcing. Death "happens" to us all, but acceptance is more than most humans can bear. At times, it is almost as if dying had somehow been reserved exclusively for "others."

Most of us do not choose when we should die. Still, we can choose to recognize our common fate, and thereby our unbreakable interdependence. This powerful intellectual recognition could carry with it an equally significant global promise.

Ironically, regardless of divergent views on what actually happens after personal death, the basic mortality shared by all could represent a chance for global coexistence. This requires the difficult leap from acknowledging a shared common fate to actually "operationalizing" more generalized feelings of needed empathy and caring. Across an entire planet, we can care for one another as humans, but only after accepting that the indisputable judgment of a resolutely common fate will not be waived by palpable harms deliberately inflicted upon "others" through war, terror and genocide. Always, our just wars, counterterrorism conflicts and anti-genocide programs must be fought as intricate contests of mind over mind and not just narrowly tactical struggles of mind over matter.

Ultimately, only a dual awareness of death as our common human destination and the associated futility of sacrificial violence can offer an accessible defense against the Islamic State, North Korea, Russia, Iran and other adversaries in the global "state of nature." This "natural" or structural condition of anarchy was well known to the founding fathers of the United States, and only this difficult awareness can relieve an otherwise incessant Hobbesian war of "all against all." Significantly, US advisers H.R. McMaster and Gary D. Cohn articulated a "Trump Doctrine" premised on fully Hobbesian perspectives: "President Trump has a clear-eyed outlook that the world is not a `global community,' but an arena where nations, nongovernmental actors and businesses engage and compete for advantage." They then added as a concessionary coda: "Rather than deny this elemental nature of international affairs, we embrace it."

American democracy was founded upon authentic learning and not flippantly corrosive clichs or abundantly empty witticisms. Human death fear has much to do with a better understanding of enemies. Reciprocally, only a people who can feel deeply within itself the unalterable fate and suffering of a broader global population can embrace genuine compassion and thereby reject collective violence.

America can never be truly "first" as long as its president insists upon achieving such misconceived status at the unavoidable expense of others. Inevitably, the Trump administration must recognize that American and global survival remain not only bewilderingly complicated, but also mutually interdependent and inextricably intertwined.

Global politics are never a "zero-sum" game or a furiously merciless contest wherein one country's expected gain requires another's loss. Apropos of French philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin's relevant wisdom, no single player in this grievously complex global system can expect to survive and prosper except "with and by all the others with itself." For President Donald Trump, there is still time for lucidity, but not a great deal of time.

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What Trump's Foreign Policy Ignores - YaleGlobal Online

Written by grays

August 9th, 2017 at 10:43 pm

Religion notes 8.5.17 – Entertainment & Life – Arkansas News … – Arkansas News

Posted: August 6, 2017 at 1:47 pm

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Times Record staff

Transitional pastor named

Central Presbyterian Church announces that the honorably retired Rev. Rita Wilson will serve as transitional pastor while the congregation searches for a permanent pastor. Wilson joined Central in 1971 and served as director of Christian education for seven years. She retired in 2015 after 37 years of active service.

St. Scholastica offers several retreats

St. Scholastica Retreat Center, 1205 S. Albert Pike, will offer a weekend retreat Sept. 22-24 titled "Seven Sacred Pauses." Using themes drawn from Sr. Macrina Wiederkehr's book, "Seven Sacred Pauses: Living Mindfully" and Velma Frye's accompanying CD, "Seven Sacred Pauses: Singing Mindfully," the presenters will lead participants into the contemplative practice of deep listening.

Cost is $245. A $50 nonrefundable, nontransferable deposit is required at time of registration. Lodging and meals are included.

Additionally, the center will offer two ways to practice the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius.

Retreat in Daily Life will be held both in St. Scholastica Monastery and in northwest Arkansas. Participants will meet weekly in small groups from October through April, meet with a spiritual director twice monthly and spend time in daily prayer, scripture reading, and journaling.

Cost is $560 plus the cost of twice monthly spiritual direction at $20 per session.

Ignatius Transposed! Retreat in Daily Life "transposes" the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius for the 21st century, according to the teachings of the great mystic and scientist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Biweekly meetings will be held between Aug. 29 and May 1 in northwest Arkansas and possibly Fort Smith, and can also be attended through Zoom conferencing.

Participants will meet from 6:30-8:30 p.m. every other Tuesday evening, meet with a spiritual director once a month and participate in 30-45 minutes daily of prayer, scripture reading and journaling.

Cost is $480 plus $20 per month for spiritual direction.

Scholarships are available.

Call (479) 783-1135 or (479) 651-1616 or email or to register or for information on these retreats.

Religion Notes is published each Saturday as a free public service. All items must reach the Times Record, 3600 Wheeler Ave., by noon Wednesday of the week the item is to be published. Photographs submitted cannot be returned but may be picked up at the office the week after they are published. Photographs will be kept for six months. The street address of the church and the name and phone number of a contact person must accompany each item submitted, or it will not be published. Email submissions to

See the article here:
Religion notes 8.5.17 - Entertainment & Life - Arkansas News ... - Arkansas News

Written by simmons

August 6th, 2017 at 1:47 pm

American Teilhard Association / biography

Posted: April 10, 2016 at 4:45 pm

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Written by John Grim and MaryEvelynTucker There is a communion with God, and a communion with the earth, and a communion with God through the earth. Writings in Time of War, New York, 1968, p. 14

These lines that conclude Pierre Teilhard de Chardin's essay, "The Cosmic Life," provide an appropriate starting point for a consideration of his life. They are of special interest because Teilhard wrote them in 1916 during his initial duty as a stretcher-bearer in World War I. In many ways they are an early indication of his later work. Yet the communion experiences emphasized here take us back to his early childhood in the south of France and ahead to his years of travel and scientific research. Throughout Teilhard's seventy-four years, then, his experience of the divine and his insight into the role of the human in the evolutionary process emerges as his dominant concerns. In briefly presenting the biography of Teilhard three periods will be distinguished: the formative years, the years of travel, and the final years in New York.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was born on May 1st, 1881 to Emmanuel and Berthe-Adele Teilhard de Chardin. While both of his parental lineages were distinguished, it is noteworthy that his mother was the great grandniece of Francois-Marie Arouet, more popularly known as Voltaire. He was the fourth of the couple's eleven children and was born at the family estate of Sarcenat near the twin cities of Clermont-Ferrand in the ancient province of Auvergne. The long extinct volcanic peaks of Auvergne and the forested preserves of this southern province left an indelible mark on Teilhard. He remarks in his spiritual autobiography, The Heart of Matter, that:

Drawn to the natural world, Teilhard developed his unusual powers of observation. This youthful skill was especially fostered by his father who maintained an avid interest in natural science. Yet Teilhard's earliest memory of childhood was not of the flora and fauna of Auvergne or the seasonal family houses but a striking realization of life's frailty and the difficulty of finding any abiding reality. He recollects:

It was but a short step for Teilhard to move from his "gods of iron" to those of stone. Auvergne gave forth a surprising variety of stones amethyst, citrine, and chalcedony just to name a few with which to augment his youthful search for a permanent reality. Undoubtedly his sensitive nature was also nurtured by his mother's steadfast piety. Teilhard's reflections on his mother's influence is striking, he writes:

This early piety was well established, so that when he entered Notre Dame de Mongre near Villefranche-sur-Saone, thirty miles north of Lyons, at twelve years of age, his quiet, diligent nature was already well-formed. During his five years at this boarding school Teilhard exchanged his security in stones for a Christian piety largely influenced by Thomas a Kempis's Imitation of Christ. Near the time of his graduation he wrote his parents indicating that he wanted to become a Jesuit.

Teilhard's training as a Jesuit provided him with the thoughtful stimulation to continue his devotion both to scientific investigation of the earth and to cultivation of a life of prayer. He entered the Jesuit novitiate at Aix-Provence in 1899. Here he further developed the ascetic piety that he had learned in his reading at Mongre. It was also at Aix-en-Provence that he began his friendship with Auguste Valensin who had already studied philosophy with Maurice Blondel. In 1901, due to an anti-clerical movement in the French Republic, the Jesuits and other religious orders were expelled from France. The Aix-en-Provence novitiate that had moved in 1900 to Paris was transferred in 1902 to the English island of Jersey. Prior to the move to Jersey, however, on March 26, 1902 Pierre took his first vows in the Society of Jesus. At this time the security of Teilhard's religious life, apart from the political situation in France, was painfully disturbed by the gradual sickness that incapacitated his younger sister, Marguerite-Marie, and by the sudden illness of his oldest brother, Alberic.

Alberic's death in September, 1902, came as Pierre and his fellow Jesuits were quietly leaving Paris for Jersey. The death of this formerly successful, buoyant brother, followed in 1904 by the death of Louise, his youngest sister, caused Teilhard momentarily to turn away from concern for things of this world. Indeed, he indicates that but for Paul Trossard, his former novice master who encouraged him to follow science as a legitimate way to God, he would have discontinued those studies in favor of theology.

From Jersey Pierre was sent in 1905 to do his teaching internship at the Jesuit college of St. Francis in Cairo, Egypt. For the next three years Teilhard's naturalist inclinations were developed through prolonged forays into the countryside near Cairo studying the existing flora and fauna and also the fossils of Egypt's past. While Teilhard carried on his teaching assignments assiduously he also made time for extensive collecting of fossils and for correspondence with naturalists in Egypt and France. His collected Letters from Egypt reveal a person with keen observational powers. In 1907 Teilhard published his first article, "A Week in Fayoum." He also learned in 1907 that due to his finds of shark teeth in Fayoum and in the quarries around Cairo a new species named Teilhardia and three new varieties of shark had been presented to the Geological Society of France by his French correspondent, Monseur Prieur. From Cairo Pierre returned to England to complete his theological studies at Ore Place in Hastings. During the years 1908 to 1912 Teilhard lived the rigorously disciplined life of a Jesuit scholastic. Yet the close relation he maintained with his family is evident in the depth of feeling expressed at the death in 1911 of his elder sister, Francoise, in China. This sister, who was the only other family member in religious life, had become a Little Sister of the Poor and worked among the impoverished of Shanghai. For Teilhard her death was particularly poignant because of the selfless dedication of her life.

His letters during this period at Hastings indicate that the demands of his theological studies left little time for geological explorations of the chalk cliffs of Hastings or the clay of nearby Weald. Yet his letters also reveal his enthusiasm for both of these types of study. In summary, three different but interrelated developments occurred during this period which significantly affected the future course of Teilhard's life. These are the reading of Henri Bergson's Creative Evolution, the anti-Modernist attack by Pope Pius X, and his discovery of a fossil tooth in the region of Hastings.

In reading Henri Bergson's newly published Creative Evolution Teilhard encountered a thinker who dissolved the Aristotelian dualism of matter and spirit in favor of a movement through time of an evolving universe. Teilhard also found the word evolution in Bergson. He connected the very sound of the word, as he says, "with the extraordinary density and intensity with which the English landscape then appeared to me -especially at sunset - when the Sussex woods seemed to be laden with all the fossil life that I was exploring, from one quarry to another, in the soil of the Weald" (from The Heart of Matter, in Robert Speaight, The Life of Teilhard de Chardin, New York, 1967, p. 45). From Bergson, then, Teilhard received the vision of on-going evolution. For Bergson, evolution was continually expanding, a "Tide of Life" undirected by an ultimate purpose. Teilhard would eventually disagree with Bergson with respect to the direction of the universe. Later he put forward his own interpretation of the evolutionary process based on the intervening years of field work.

In 1903 while Pierre was in Egypt, Pius X succeeded Leo XIII as Pope. The forward-looking momentum of Leo was abandoned by the conservative Italian Curia in favor of retrenchment and attacks on a spectrum of ideas labelled "modernism" in the encyclical Pascendi (1907) and the decrees of Lamentabili (1907). Among the many new works eventually placed on the Index of Forbidden Works was Henri Bergson's Creative Evolution, although it was not yet suspect when Teilhard read it at Hastings. It is in this ecclesiastical milieu that Teilhard endeavored to articulate his emerging vision of the spiritual quality of the universe.

It was also during his years at Hastings that Teilhard and other Jesuits met Charles Dawson, an amateur paleontologist. Because of Pierre's years of collecting in Cairo he had acquired a growing interest in fossils and prehistoric life, but he was not an accomplished paleontologist, nor did his studies allow him the time to develop the skills needed to accurately date or determine pre-historic fossils. In his very limited association with Dawson, Teilhard discovered the fossil tooth in one of the diggings that caused his name to become known to the scientific community. Moreover, Teilhard's enthusiasm for the scientific study of prehistoric human life now crystallized as a possible direction after his ordination in August 1911.

Between 1912 and 1915 Teilhard continued his studies in paleontology. But because of his initiative in meeting Marcellin Boule at the Museum of Natural History and in taking courses at this Paris museum and at the Institute Catholique with Georges Boussac, Teilhard now began to develop that expertise in the geology of the Eocene Period that earned him a doctorate in 1922. In addition, Pierre also joined such accomplished paleontologists as the Abbe Henri Breuil, Father Hugo Obermaier, Jean Boussac and others in their excavations in the Aurignacian period caves of southern France, in the phosporite fossil fields of Belgium and in the fossil rich sands of the French Alps. While Teilhard was developing a promising scientific career he also renewed his acquaintance in Paris with his cousin Marguerite Teilhard Chombon. Through Marguerite, Teilhard entered into a social milieu in which he could exchange ideas and receive critical comment from several perspectives. In these surroundings Teilhard developed his thought until the outbreak of World War I in 1914.

When the war came in August, Teilhard returned to Paris to help Boule store museum pieces, to assist Marguerite turn the girl's school she headed into a hospital, and to prepare for his own eventual induction. August was a disastrous month for the French army; the German forces executed the Schlieffen Plan so successfully that by the end of the month they were about thirty miles from Paris. In September the French rallied at the Marne and Parisians breathed easier. Because Teilhard's induction was delayed, Teilhard's Jesuit Superiors decided to send him back to Hastings for his tertianship, the year before final vows. Two months later word came that his younger brother Gonzague had been killed in battle near Soissons. Shortly after this Teilhard received orders to report for duty in a newly forming regiment from Auvergne. After visiting his parents and his invalid sister Guiguite at Sarcenat, he began his assignment as a stretcher bearer with the North African Zouaves in January 1915.

The powerful impact of the war on Teilhard is recorded in his letters to his cousin, Marguerite, now collected in The Making of a Mind. They give us an intimate picture of Teilhard's initial enthusiasm as a "soldier-priest," his humility in bearing a stretcher while others bore arms, his exhaustion after the brutal battles at Ypres and Verdun, his heroism in rescuing his comrades of the Fourth Mixed Regiment, and his unfolding mystical vision centered on seeing the world evolve even in the midst of war. In these letters are many of the seminal ideas that Teilhard would develop in his later years. For example during a break in the fierce fighting at the battle of Verdun in 1916 Teilhard wrote the following to his cousin, Marguerite:

Through these nearly four years of bloody trench fighting Teilhard's regiment fought in some of the most brutal battles at the Marne and Epres in 1915, Nieuport in 1916, Verdun in 1917 and Chateau Thierry in 1918. Teilhard himself was active in every engagement of the regiment for which he was awarded the Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur in 1921. Throughout his correspondence he wrote that despite this turmoil he felt there was a purpose and a direction to life more hidden and mysterious than history generally reveals to us. This larger meaning, Teilhard discovered, was often revealed in the heat of battle. In one of several articles written during the war, Pierre expressed the paradoxical wish experienced by soldiers-on-leave for the tension of the front lines. He indicated this article in one of his letters saying:

Teilhard's powers of articulation are evident in these lines. Moreover, his efforts to express his growing vision of life during the occasional furloughs also brought him a foretaste of the later ecclesiastical reception of his work. For although Teilhard was given permission to take final vows in the Society of Jesus in May 1918, his writings from the battlefield puzzled his Jesuit Superiors especially his rethinking of such topics as evolution and original sin. Gradually Teilhard realized that the great need of the church was, as he says, ". . . to present dogma in a more real, more universal, way -a more 'cosmogonic' way" (The Making of a Mind, pp. 267/8). These realizations often gave Teilhard the sense of "being reckoned with the orthodox and yet feeling for the heterodox" (The Making of a Mind, p. 277). He was convinced that if he had indeed seen something, as he felt he had, then that seeing would shine forth despite obstacles. As he says in a letter of 1919, "What makes me easier in my mind at this juncture, is that the rather hazardous schematic points in my teaching are in fact of only secondary importance to me. It's not nearly so much ideas that I want to propagate as a spirit: and a spirit can animate all external presentations" (The Making of a Mind, p. 281).

After his demobilization on March 10, 1919, Teilhard returned to Jersey for a recuperative period and preparatory studies for concluding his doctoral degree in geology at the Sorbonne, for the Jesuit provincial of Lyon had given his permission for Teilhard to continue his studies in natural science. During this period at Jersey Teilhard wrote his profoundly prayerful piece on "The Spiritual Power of Matter."

After returning to Paris, Teilhard continued his studies with Marcellin Boule in the phosphorite fossils of the Lower Eocene period in France. Extensive field trips took him to Belgium where he also began to address student clubs on the significance of evolution in relation to current French theology. By the fall of 1920, Teilhard had secured a post in geology at the Institute Catholique and was lecturing to student audiences who knew him as an active promoter of evolutionary thought.

The conservative reaction in the Catholic Church initiated by the Curia of Pius X had abated at his death in 1914. But the new Pope, Benedict XV renewed the attack on evolution, on "new theology," and on a broad spectrum of perceived errors considered threatening by the Vatican Curia. The climate in ecclesiastical circles towards the type of work that Teilhard was doing gradually convinced him that work in the field would not only help his career but would also quiet the controversy in which he and other French thinkers were involved. The opportunity for field work in China had been open to Teilhard as early as 1919 by an invitation from the Jesuit scientist Emile Licent who had undertaken paleontological work in the environs of Peking. On April 1, 1923, Teilhard set sail from Marseille bound for China. Little did he know that this "short trip" would initiate the many years of travel to follow.

Teilhard's first period in China was spent in Tientsin, a coastal city some eighty miles from Peking where Emile Licent had built his museum and housed the fossils he had collected in China since his arrival in 1914. The two French Jesuits were a contrast in types. Licent, a northerner, was unconventional in dress, taciturn and very independent in his work. He was primarily interested in collecting fossils rather than interpreting their significance. Teilhard, on the other hand, was more urbane; he enjoyed conversational society in which he could relate his geological knowledge to a wider scientific and interpretive sphere. Almost immediately after his arrival Teilhard made himself familiar with Licent's collection and, at the latter's urging, gave a report to the Geological Society of China. In June 1923 Teilhard and Licent undertook an expedition into the Ordos desert west of Peking near the border with Inner Mongolia. This expedition, and successive ones during the 1920s with Emile Licent, gave Teilhard invaluable information on Paleolithic remains in China. Teilhard's correspondence during this period gives penetrating observations on Mongolian peoples, landscapes, vegetation, and animals of the region.

Teilhard's major interest during these years of travel was primarily in the natural terrain. Although he interacted with innumerable ethnic groups he rarely entered into their cultures more than was necessary for expediting his business or satisfying a general interest. One of the ironies of his career is that the Confucian tradition and its concern for realization of the cosmic identity of heaven, earth and man remained outside of 'Teilhard's concerns. Similarly tribal peoples and their earth-centered spirituality were regarded by Teilhard as simply an earlier stage in the evolutionary development of the Christian revelation. Teilhard returned to Paris in September 1924 and resumed teaching at the Institute Catholique. But the intellectual climate in European Catholicism had not changed significantly. Pius XI, the new Pope since 1922, had allowed free reign to the conservative factions. It was in this hostile climate that a copy of a paper that Teilhard had delivered in Belgium made its way to Rome. A month after he returned from China Teilhard was ordered to appear before his provincial Superior to sign a statement repudiating his ideas on original sin. Teilhard's old friend Auguste Valensin was teaching theology in Lyon, and Teilhard sought his counsel regarding the statement of repudiation. In a meeting of the three Jesuits, the Superior agreed to send to Rome a revised version of Teilhard's earlier paper and his response to the statement of repudiation.

In the interim before receiving Rome's reply to his revisions, Teilhard continued his classes at the Institute. Those students who recalled the classes remembered the dynamic quality with which the young professor delivered his penetrating analysis of homo faber. According to Teilhard the human as tool-maker and user of fire represents a significant moment in the development of human consciousness or hominization of the species. It is in this period that Teilhard began to use the term of Edward Suess, "biosphere," or earth-layer of living things, in his geological schema. Teilhard then expanded the concept to include the earth-layer of thinking beings which he called the "noosphere" from the Greek word nous meaning "mind." While his lectures were filled to capacity, his influence had so disturbed a bloc of conservative French bishops that they reported him to Vatican officials who in turn put pressure on the Jesuits to silence him.

The Jesuit Superior General of this period was Vladimir Ledochowski, a former Austrian military officer who sided openly with the conservative faction in the Vatican. Thus in 1925 Teilhard was again ordered to sign a statement repudiating his controversial theories and to remove himself from France after the semester's courses.

Teilhard's associates at the museum, Marcellin Boule and Abbe Breuil, recommended that he leave the Jesuits and become a diocesan priest. His friend, Auguste Valensin, and others recommended signing the statement and interpreting that act as a gesture of fidelity to the Jesuit Order rather than one of intellectual assent to the Curia's demands. Valensin argued that the correctness of Teilhard's spirit was ultimately Heaven's business. After a week's retreat and reflection on the Ignatian Exercises, Teilhard signed the document in July 1925. It was the same week as the Scopes "Monkey Trial" in Tennessee which contested the validity of evolution.

In the spring of the following year Teilhard boarded a steamship bound for the Far East. The second period in Tientsin with Licent is marked by a number of significant developments. First, the visits of the Crown Prince and Princess of Sweden and later that of Alfred Lacroix from the Paris Museum of Natural History, gave Teilhard new status in Peking and marked his gradual movement from Tientsin into the more sophisticated scientific circles of Peking. Here American, Swedish, and British teams had begun work at a rich site called Chou-kou-tien. Teilhard joined their work contributing his knowledge of Chinese geological formations and tool-making activities among prehistoric humans in China. With Licent Teilhard also undertook a significant expedition north of Peking to DalaiNor. Finally, in an effort to state his views in a manner acceptable to his superiors Teilhard wrote The Divine Milieu. This mystical treatise was dedicated to those who love the world; it articulated his vision of the human as "matter at its most incendiary stage."

Meanwhile Teilhard had been in correspondence with his superiors who finally allowed him to return to France in August 1927. But even before Teilhard reached Marseille a new attack was made on his thought due to a series of his lectures which were published in a Paris journal. While Teilhard edited and rewrote The Divine Milieu in Paris, he was impatient for a direct confrontation with his critics. Finally in June 1928 the assistant to the Jesuit Superior General arrived in Paris to tell Teilhard that all his theological work must end and that he was to confine himself to scientific work. In this oppressive atmosphere Teilhard was forced to return to China in November 1928.

For the next eleven years Teilhard continued this self-imposed exile in China, returning to France only for five brief visits. These visits were to see his family and friends who distributed copies of his articles and to give occasional talks to those student clubs in Belgium and Paris who continued to provide a forum for his ideas. These years were also very rich in geological expeditions for Teilhard. In 1929, Teilhard traveled in Somaliland and Ethiopia before returning to China. He played a major role in the find and interpretation of "Peking Man" at Chou-kou-tien in 1929-1930. In 1930 he joined Ray Chapman Andrew's Central Mongolian Expedition at the invitation of the American Museum of Natural History. The following year he made a trip across America which inspired him to write The Spirit of the Earth. From May 1931 to February 1932 he traveled into Central Asia with the famous Yellow Expedition sponsored by the Citroen automobile company. In 1934, with George Barbour he traveled up the Yangtze River and into the mountainous regions of Szechuan. A year later he joined the Yale-Cambridge expedition under Helmut de Terra in India and afterwards von Koenigswald's expedition in Java. In 1937 he was awarded the Gregor Mendel medal at a Philadelphia Conference for his scientific accomplishments. That same year he went with the Harvard-Carnegie Expedition to Burma and then to Java with Helmut de Terra. As a result of this extensive field work Teilhard became recognized as one of the foremost geologists of the earth's terrain. This notoriety, in addition to his original theories on human evolution, made him a valuable presence for the French government in intellectual circles east and west. His professional accomplishments are even more noteworthy when one recalls the profound tragedies that he experienced in the years between 1932 and 1936 when his father, mother, younger brother, Victor, and his beloved sister, Guiguite, all died during his absence.

The final years of exile in China, 1939 to 1946, roughly correspond to the years of World War II and the disintegration of central control in Chinese Republican politics. During this period, Teilhard and a fellow Jesuit and friend, Pierre Leroy, set up the Institute of Geobiology in Peking to protect the collection of Emile Licent and to provide a laboratory for their on-going classification and interpretation of fossils. The most significant accomplishment of this period, however, was the completion of The Phenomenon of Man in May of 1940. An important contribution of this work is the creative manner in which it situates the emergence of the human as the unifying theme of the evolutionary process. The Phenomenon of Man in its presentation of the fourfold sequence of the evolutionary process (the galactic evolution, earth evolution, life evolution and consciousness evolution) establishes what might almost be considered a new literary genre.

With the war's end Teilhard received permission to return to France where he engaged in a variety of activities. He published numerous articles in the Jesuit journal, Etudes. He reworked The Phenomenon of Man and sent a copy of it to Rome requesting permission for publication, a permission never granted in his lifetime. He was also asked to stand as a candidate for the prehistory chair at the Sorbonne's College de France soon to be vacated by his long-time friend, the Abbe Henri Breuil. By May of 1947 Teilhard had exhausted himself in the attempt to restate his position and to deal with the expectations of his sympathetic readers. His exhaustion caused a heart attack on June 1st, 1947. For Teilhard this illness meant a postponement in joining a University of California expedition to Africa sponsored by the Viking Fund of the Wenner-Gren Foundation in New York. Teilhard had looked forward to the trip as an interlude before the confrontation with Rome over The Phenomenon of Man and the teaching position at the Sorbonne. While recovering from this illness, Teilhard was honored by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs for his scientific and intellectual achievements and was promoted to the rank of officer in the Legion of Honor.

In October 1948, Teilhard traveled to the United States. At this time he was invited to give a series of lectures at Columbia University. Permission was refused by the local Jesuit Superior. Suddenly, in July 1948, Teilhard received an invitation to come to Rome to discuss the controversies surrounding his thought. Gradually Teilhard realized that the future of his work depended on this encounter and he prepared himself as he said, "to stroke the tiger's whiskers."

Rome in 1948 was a city just beginning its recovery from the war's devastation. The Vatican Curia was also beginning its reorganization, for Pius XII who had assumed the Pontificate in March 1939 had been in relative isolation during the war years. In the late 1940s he developed his plans for the holy year of 1950. As a former Vatican diplomat, Pius XII continued the Curia's conservative stance with a more sophisticated and more intellectual effort.

When Teilhard came to Rome he stayed at the Jesuit residence in Vatican City. After several meetings with the Jesuit general, Fr. Janssens, Teilhard realized that he would never be allowed to publish his work during his lifetime; furthermore, that he would not be granted permission to accept the position at the College de France. Those who spoke with Teilhard when he returned to Paris could sense the frustration that enveloped him as he groped to understand the forces against which he was so powerless. During the next two years Teilhard traveled extensively in England, Africa and the United States trying to determine an appropriate place to live now that China was no longer open. In December of 1951 he accepted a research position with the Wenner-Gren foundation in New York.

Teilhard's decision to live in New York was approved by his Jesuit Superiors and this resolved his uncertainty with regard to a place of residence. He lived in the following years with the Jesuit fathers at St. Ignatius Church on Park Avenue and walked both to his office at the Wenner-Gren Foundation and to the apartment of his self-appointed secretary and friend, Rhoda de Terra. Teilhard's correspondence with Father Pierre Leroy during these final years, recently published in English as Letters From My Friend, are remarkable in their lack of bitterness and for their single-minded scientific focus.

In 1954 Teilhard visited France for the last time. He and his friend Leroy drove south together to the caves at Lascaux. Prior to visiting Lascaux they stopped at Sarcenat together with Mrs. de Terra who had joined them. Wordlessly they walked through the rooms until they came to his mother's room and her chair. Only then did Teilhard speak, saying half to himself, "This is the room where I was born." Hoping to spend his final years in his native country, Teilhard applied once more to his superiors for permission to return to France permanently. He was politely refused and encouraged to return to America.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin died on Easter Sunday, April 10, 1955 at six o'clock in the evening. His funeral on Easter Monday was attended by a few friends. Father Leroy and the ministering priest from St. Ignatius accompanied his body some sixty miles upstate from New York City where he was buried at St. Andrews-on-Hudson, then the Jesuit novitiate.

Teilhard's life with its simple, quiet ending unfolds like the tree of life in his own description, slowly, seemingly half opened at points yet bearing within it an enduring dignity. As he wrote of the tree of life:

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Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ –

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Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was a Jesuit paleontologist who worked to understand evolution and faith. He was born May 1, 1881, and died on April 10, 1955.Between these days Teilhard fully participated in a life that included priesthood, living and working in the front lines of war, field work exploring the early origins of the human race, and adventurous travels of discovery in the backlands of China. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin also participated fully in an intellectual life through the development of his imaginative, mystical writings on the evolutionary nature of the world and the cosmos.

Teilhard suffered from the rejection of his writings by ecclesiastical authorities andperhaps felt more severely by himby the Jesuit leadership. In his thinking and writing Teilhard studied the intimate relationship between the evolutionary development of the material and the spiritual world, leading him to celebrate the sacredness of matter infused with the Divine presence.

Teilhards interest in the world of nature began when he was a child. As he grew up he studied geology and the natural sciences. After he entered the Jesuits, he was ready to give up these interests in order to devote himself to his spiritual vocation. But Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was dissuaded by his wise Jesuit spiritual director, who advised him that following his intellectual interests also gave glory to God. Through his theological studies and continued studies in the natural sciences, Teilhard sought to create intellectual space in which the physical and spiritual world could be appreciated for their unique contribution to human life.

Teilhards thinking was tested in the midst of the first great tragedy of the 20th century, World War I. Although he was ordained a priest in 1911, Pierre was drafted into the French army in 1914. He turned down a commission in order to serve as a stretcher bearer, serving in many of the major battles including Champaign, Verdun, and the second Battle of the Marne. Teilhard served heroically, winning the Croix the Guerre and the Chevalier de la Legion dHonneur. In the midst of this slaughter and crippling of millions of men, Teilhards faith was shaken. But his insight into the evolving flow of history helped him to see, even in the midst of human tragedy, a sense of communion with the world and communion with God united in the crucified Christ.

After the war, Teilhard went on to receive a doctorate in geology from the Sorbonne. His developing insights on the nature of evolution did not sit well with a hierarchy uncomfortable with the idea of evolution and its spiritual consequences. So in 1923 Teilhard was given permission to go to China to do paleontological work in the backcountry around Beijing (Peking). Teilhard spent many of the 23 years between 1923 and 1946 doing fieldwork in China under the most primitive conditions.

Expeditions took him to difficult areas where he endured blistering heat, icy blizzards, poor food, sandstorms, snakes, flash floods, marauding bandits, civil war, political intrigue, bribery, and maddening policy changes leveled by unstable governments.

(Foreword to The Divine Milieu, Thomas King , SJ, newly revised translation by Sion Cowell, xvii)

No matter how trying the times, Teilhard continued to develop his positive vision by writing some of his most important works: The Divine Milieu (1927), The Vision of the Past (1935), Building the Earth (1937), The Phenomena of Man (1940), and The Future of Man (1941). Teilhards efforts to receive ecclesiastical approval for the publication of The Phenomena of Man failed, and he was also denied the opportunity to teach in France. With his health failing, Teilhard traveled to South America and South Africa tracing further discoveries of the evolutionary journey. He finally settled at St. Ignatius Parish in New York City where he died peacefully Easter Sunday, April 10, 1955.

By Jim Campbell

It is through the collaboration which he solicits from us that Christ, starting from all creatures, is consummated and attains his plenitude. St. Paul himself tells us so. We may, perhaps, imagine that Creation was finished long ago. But that would be quite wrong. It continues in still more magnificent form in the highest zones of the world.Our role is to help complete it, if only by the humble work of our hands. This is the real meaning and the price of our acts. Owing to the interrelation between matter, soul, and Christ, we lead part of the being which he desires back to God in whatever we do. With each of our works, we labor automatically but really to build the Pleroma, which is to say we help towards the fulfillment of Christ. (The Divinization of Our Activities in Modern Catholic Thinkers [Vol. 1], New York: Harper 1960.)

Lord Christ, you who are divine energy and living irresistible might: since of the two of us it is you who are infinitely the stronger, it is you who must set me ablaze and transmute me into fire that we may be welded together and made one. Grant me, then, something even more precious than that grace for which all your faithful followers pray: to receive communion as I die is not sufficient: teach me to make a communion of death itself. (Hymn of the Universe, NY: Harper and Row 1965.)

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More Being: The Emergence of Teilhard de Chardin / Teilhard at Vespers (PDF)

By John F. Haught / Editors at America Magazine

Haught shows how Teilhards ideas about the future of the cosmos influenced the evolutionary vision of the Vatican II document The Church in the Modern World (1965).

The PDF also includes a reflection by the editors of America on Teilhards vision of human work contributing to the consecration of the world to God.

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Pierre Teilhard de Chardin Quotes :: Quoteland …

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Belief We have only to believe. And the more threatening and irreducible reality appears, the more firmly and desperately we must believe. Then, little by little, we shall see the universal horror unbend, and then smile upon us, and then take us in its more than human arms. -Pierre Teilhard de Chardin Duty Our duty, as men and women, is to proceed as if limits to our ability did not exist. We are collaborators in creation. -Pierre Teilhard de Chardin Evolution Evolution is gaining the psychic zones of the world... life, being and ascent of consciousness, could not continue to advance indefinitely along its line without transforming itself in depth. The being who is the object of his own reflection, in consequence, of that very doubling back upon himself becomes in a flash able to raise himself to a new sphere. -Pierre Teilhard de Chardin Friends The world is round so that friendship may encircle it. -Pierre Teilhard de Chardin Generosity The most satisfying thing in life is to have been able to give a large part of one's self to others. -Pierre Teilhard de Chardin Humanity We are not human beings on a spiritual journey. We are spiritual beings on a human journey. -Pierre Teilhard de Chardin Life In the final analysis, the questions of why bad things happen to good people transmutes itself into some very different questions, no longer asking why something happened, but asking how we will respond, what we intend to do now that it happened. -Pierre Teilhard de Chardin Love Love is the affinity which links and draws together the elements of the world... Love, in fact, is the agent of universal synthesis. -Pierre Teilhard de Chardin Love alone can unite living beings so as to complete and fulfill them... for it alone joins them by what is deepest in themselves. All we need is to imagine our ability to love developing until it embraces the totality of men and the earth. -Pierre Teilhard de Chardin Someday, after mastering winds, waves, tides and gravity, we shall harness the energy of love; and for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire. -Pierre Teilhard de Chardin Potential It is our duty as men and women to proceed as though the limits of our abilities do not exist. -Pierre Teilhard de Chardin Spirituality You are not a human being in search of a spiritual experience. You are a spiritual being immersed in a human experience. -Pierre Teilhard de Chardin Unity We are one, after all, you and I. Together we suffer, together exist, and forever will recreate each other. -Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

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Pierre Teilhard de Chardin Born (1881-05-01)1 May 1881 Orcines, Auvergne, France Died 10 April 1955(1955-04-10) (aged73) New York City, New York, U.S. Nationality French Fields Paleontology, philosophy, theology, cosmology, evolutionary theory Knownfor The Phenomenon of Man, The Divine Milieu, the synthesis of theology and science Influences St. Paul, St. John the Evangelist, Origen, St. Gregory of Nyssa, St. Ignatius of Loyola, Henri Bergson, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Friedrich Schleiermacher Influenced Henri de Lubac, Thomas Berry, Theodosius Dobzhansky, Lopold Sdar Senghor, Pope Benedict XVI

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin SJ (French:[pj teja d ad]; 1 May 1881 10 April 1955 was a French philosopher and Jesuit priest who trained as a paleontologist and geologist and took part in the discovery of Peking Man. He conceived the idea of the Omega Point (a maximum level of complexity and consciousness towards which he believed the universe was evolving) and developed Vladimir Vernadsky's concept of noosphere.

During his lifetime, many of Teilhard's writings were censored by the Catholic Church because of his views on original sin. However, Teilhard was praised by Pope Benedict XVI, and he was also noted for his contributions to theology in Pope Francis' 2015 encyclical Laudato si'.[1][2][3]

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was born in the Chteau of Sarcenat at Orcines, close to Clermont-Ferrand, France, on May 1, 1881. On the Teilhard side he is descended from an ancient family of magistrates from Auvergne originating in Murat, Cantal, and on the de Chardin side he is descended from a family that was ennobled under Louis XVIII. He was the fourth of eleven children. His father, Emmanuel Teilhard (18441932), an amateur naturalist, collected stones, insects and plants and promoted the observation of nature in the household. Pierre Teilhard's spirituality was awakened by his mother, Berthe de Dompiere. When he was 12, he went to the Jesuit college of Mongr, in Villefranche-sur-Sane, where he completed baccalaureates of philosophy and mathematics. Then, in 1899, he entered the Jesuit novitiate at Aix-en-Provence, where he began a philosophical, theological and spiritual career.

As of the summer 1901, the Waldeck-Rousseau laws, which submitted congregational associations' properties to state control, prompted some of the Jesuits to exile themselves in the United Kingdom. Young Jesuit students continued their studies in Jersey. In the meantime, Teilhard earned a licentiate in literature in Caen in 1902.

From 1905 to 1908, he taught physics and chemistry in Cairo, Egypt, at the Jesuit College of the Holy Family. He wrote "... it is the dazzling of the East foreseen and drunk greedily ... in its lights, its vegetation, its fauna and its deserts." (Letters from Egypt (19051908) ditions Aubier)

Teilhard studied theology in Hastings, in Sussex (United Kingdom), from 1908 to 1912. There he synthesized his scientific, philosophical and theological knowledge in the light of evolution. His reading of L'volution Cratrice (The Creative Evolution) by Henri Bergson was, he said, the "catalyst of a fire which devoured already its heart and its spirit." His views on evolution and religion particularly inspired the evolutionary biologist Theodosius Dobzhansky. Teilhard was ordained a priest on August 24, 1911, at age 30.

From 1912 to 1914, Teilhard worked in the paleontology laboratory of the Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle, in Paris, studying the mammals of the middle Tertiary period. Later he studied elsewhere in Europe. In June 1912 he formed part of the original digging team, with Arthur Smith Woodward and Charles Dawson at the Piltdown site, after the discovery of the first fragments of the (fraudulent) "Piltdown Man", with some even suggesting he participated in the hoax.[4][5] Professor Marcellin Boule (specialist in Neanderthal studies), who so early as 1915 astutely recognised the non-hominid origins of the Piltdown finds, gradually guided Teilhard towards human paleontology. At the museum's Institute of Human Paleontology, he became a friend of Henri Breuil and took part with him, in 1913, in excavations in the prehistoric painted caves in the northwest of Spain, at the Cave of Castillo.

Mobilised in December 1914, Teilhard served in World War I as a stretcher-bearer in the 8th Moroccan Rifles. For his valour, he received several citations including the Mdaille militaire and the Legion of Honour.

Throughout these years of war he developed his reflections in his diaries and in letters to his cousin, Marguerite Teillard-Chambon, who later edited them into a book: Gense d'une pense (Genesis of a thought). He confessed later: "...the war was a meeting ... with the Absolute." In 1916, he wrote his first essay: La Vie Cosmique (Cosmic life), where his scientific and philosophical thought was revealed just as his mystical life. He pronounced his solemn vows as a Jesuit in Sainte-Foy-ls-Lyon, on May 26, 1918, during a leave. In August 1919, in Jersey, he would write Puissance spirituelle de la Matire (the spiritual Power of Matter). The complete essays written between 1916 and 1919 are published under the following titles:

Teilhard followed at the Sorbonne three unit degrees of natural science: geology, botany and zoology. His thesis treated of the mammals of the French lower Eocene and their stratigraphy. After 1920, he lectured in geology at the Catholic Institute of Paris, then became an assistant professor after being granted a science doctorate in 1922.

In 1923, he travelled to China with Father Emile Licent, who was in charge in Tianjin of a significant laboratory collaboration between the Natural History Museum in Paris and Marcellin Boule's laboratory. Licent carried out considerable basic work in connection with missionaries who accumulated observations of a scientific nature in their spare time. He was known as (pinyin: Drjn) in China.

Teilhard wrote several essays, including La Messe sur le Monde (the Mass on the World), in the Ordos Desert. In the following year he continued lecturing at the Catholic Institute and participated in a cycle of conferences for the students of the Engineers' Schools. Two theological essays on Original Sin sent to a theologian at his request on a purely personal basis were wrongly understood.[citation needed]

The Church required him to give up his lecturing at the Catholic Institute and to continue his geological research in China.

Teilhard traveled again to China in April 1926. He would remain there more or less twenty years, with many voyages throughout the world. He settled until 1932 in Tientsin with Emile Licent then in Beijing. From 1926 to 1935, Teilhard made five geological research expeditions in China. They enabled him to establish a general geological map of China.

In 1926, Teilhards superiors in the Jesuit Order forbade him to teach any longer. In 19261927 after a missed campaign in Gansu, he traveled in the Sang-Kan-Ho valley near Kalgan (Zhangjiakou) and made a tour in Eastern Mongolia. He wrote Le Milieu Divin (the divine Medium). Teilhard prepared the first pages of his main work Le Phnomne Humain (The Human Phenomenon). The Holy See refused the Imprimatur for Le Milieu Divin in 1927.

He joined the ongoing excavations of the Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian as an advisor in 1926 and continued in the role for the Cenozoic Research Laboratory of the Geological Survey of China following its founding in 1928.

He resided in Manchuria with Emile Licent, then stayed in Western Shansi (Shanxi) and northern Shensi (Shaanxi) with the Chinese paleontologist C. C. Young and with Davidson Black, Chairman of the Geological Survey of China.

After a tour in Manchuria in the area of Great Khingan with Chinese geologists, Teilhard joined the team of American Expedition Center-Asia in the Gobi Desert organised in June and July, by the American Museum of Natural History with Roy Chapman Andrews.

Henri Breuil and Teilhard discovered that the Peking Man, the nearest relative of Pithecanthropus from Java, was a faber (worker of stones and controller of fire). Teilhard wrote L'Esprit de la Terre (the Spirit of the Earth).

Teilhard took part as a scientist in the Croisiere Jaune (Yellow Cruise) financed by Andr Citron in Central Asia. Northwest of Beijing in Kalgan, he joined the Chinese group who joined the second part of the team, the Pamir group, in Aksu. He remained with his colleagues for several months in Urumqi, capital of Sinkiang. The following year the Sino-Japanese War (19371945) began.

In 1933, Rome ordered him to give up his post in Paris.

Teilhard undertook several explorations in the south of China. He traveled in the valleys of Yangtze River and Sichuan in 1934, then, the following year, in Kwang-If and Guangdong. The relationship with Marcellin Boule was disrupted; the museum cut its financing on the grounds that Teilhard worked more for the Chinese Geological Service than for the museum.[citation needed]

During all these years, Teilhard strongly contributed to the constitution of an international network of research in human paleontology related to the whole Eastern and south Eastern zone of the Asian continent. He would be particularly associated in this task with two friends, the English/Canadian Davidson Black and the Scot George B. Barbour. Many times he would visit France or the United States only to leave these countries to go on further expeditions.

From 1927 to 1928, Teilhard stayed in France, based in Paris. He journeyed to Leuven, Belgium, to Cantal, and to Arige, France. Between several articles in reviews, he met new people such as Paul Valry and Bruno de Solages, who were to help him in issues with the Catholic Church.

Answering an invitation from Henry de Monfreid, Teilhard undertook a journey of two months in Obock, in Harrar and in Somalia with his colleague Pierre Lamarre, a geologist, before embarking in Djibouti to return to Tianjin. While in China, Teilhard developed a deep and personal friendship with Lucile Swan.[6]

From 19301931, Teilhard stayed in France and in the United States. During a conference in Paris, Teilhard stated: "For the observers of the Future, the greatest event will be the sudden appearance of a collective humane conscience and a human work to make."

From 19321933, he began to meet people to clarify issues with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, regarding Le Milieu divin and L'Esprit de la Terre. He met Helmut de Terra, a German geologist in the International Geology Congress in Washington, DC.

Teilhard participated in the 1935 YaleCambridge expedition in northern and central India with the geologist Helmut de Terra and Patterson, who verified their assumptions on Indian Paleolithic civilisations in Kashmir and the Salt Range Valley. He then made a short stay in Java, on the invitation of Professor Ralph van Koenigswald to the site of Java man. A second cranium, more complete, was discovered. This Dutch paleontologist had found (in 1933) a tooth in a Chinese apothecary shop in 1934 that he believed belonged to a giant tall ape that lived around half a million years ago.

In 1937, Teilhard wrote Le Phnomne spirituel (The Phenomenon of the Spirit) on board the boat the Empress of Japan, where he met the Raja of Sarawak. The ship conveyed him to the United States. He received the Mendel Medal granted by Villanova University during the Congress of Philadelphia in recognition of his works on human paleontology. He made a speech about evolution, origins and the destiny of Man. The New York Times dated March 19, 1937 presented Teilhard as the Jesuit who held that man descended from monkeys. Some days later, he was to be granted the Doctor Honoris Causa distinction from Boston College. Upon arrival in that city, he was told that the award had been cancelled.[citation needed]

1939: Rome banned his work Lnergie Humaine.

He then stayed in France, where he was immobilized by malaria. During his return voyage to Beijing he wrote L'Energie spirituelle de la Souffrance (Spiritual Energy of Suffering) (Complete Works, tome VII).

1941: Teilhard submitted to Rome his most important work, Le Phnomne Humain.

1947: Rome forbade him to write or teach on philosophical subjects.

1948: Teilhard was called to Rome by the Superior General of the Jesuits who hoped to acquire permission from the Holy See for the publication of his most important work Le Phnomne Humain. But the prohibition to publish it issued in 1944, was again renewed. Teilhard was also forbidden to take a teaching post in the College de France.

1949: Permission to publish Le Groupe Zoologique was refused.

1950: Teilhard was named to the French Academy of Sciences.

1955: Teilhard was forbidden by his Superiors to attend the International Congress of Paleontology.

1957: The Supreme Authority of the Holy Office, in a decree dated 15 November 1957, forbade the works of de Chardin to be retained in libraries, including those of religious institutes. His books were not to be sold in Catholic bookshops and were not to be translated into other languages.

1958: In April of this year, all Jesuit publications in Spain (Razn y Fe, Sal Terrae,Estudios de Deusto) etc., carried a notice from the Spanish Provincial of the Jesuits, that de Chardins works had been published in Spanish without previous ecclesiastical examination and in defiance of the decrees of the Holy See.

1962: A decree of the Holy Office dated 30 June, under the authority of Pope John XXIII warned that ... it is obvious that in philosophical and theological matters, the said works [Teilhards] are replete with ambiguities or rather with serious errors which offend Catholic doctrine. That is why... the Rev. Fathers of the Holy Office urge all Ordinaries, Superiors, and Rectors... to effectively protect, especially the minds of the young, against the dangers of the works of Fr. Teilhard de Chardin and his followers. (AAS, 6 August 1962).

1963: The Vicariate of Rome (a diocese ruled in the name of Pope Paul VI (who had just become Pope in 1963) by his Cardinal Vicar) in a decree dated 30 September, required that Catholic booksellers in Rome should withdraw from circulation the works of Teilhard, together with those books which favour his erroneous doctrines. The text of this document was published in daily LAurore of Paris, dated 2 October 1963, and was reproduced in Nouvelles De Chrtient, 10 October 1963, p.35.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin died in New York City, where he was in residence at the Jesuit Church of St. Ignatius Loyola, Park Avenue. On March 15, 1955, at the house of his diplomat cousin Jean de Lagarde, Teilhard told friends he hoped he would die on Easter Sunday.[7] In the Easter Sunday evening of April 10 1955, during an animated discussion at the apartment of Rhoda de Terra, his personal assistant since 1949, the 73-year-old priest suffered a heart attack; regaining consciousness for a moment, he died a few minutes later.[8] He was buried in the cemetery for the New York Province of the Jesuits at the Jesuit novitiate, St. Andrew's-on-the-Hudson in Poughkeepsie, upstate New York.[9]

Teilhard de Chardin has two comprehensive works. The first, The Phenomenon of Man, sets forth a sweeping account of the unfolding of the cosmos and the evolution of matter to humanity to ultimately a reunion with Christ. Chardin abandoned literal interpretations of creation in the Book of Genesis in favor of allegorical and theological interpretations.

In his posthumously published book, The Phenomenon of Man, Teilhard writes of the unfolding of the material cosmos, from primordial particles to the development of life, human beings and the noosphere, and finally to his vision of the Omega Point in the future, which is "pulling" all creation towards it. He was a leading proponent of orthogenesis, the idea that evolution occurs in a directional, goal-driven way, argued in terms that today go under the banner of convergent evolution. Teilhard argued in Darwinian terms with respect to biology, and supported the synthetic model of evolution, but argued in Lamarckian terms for the development of culture, primarily through the vehicle of education.[10] Teilhard made a total commitment to the evolutionary process in the 1920s as the core of his spirituality, at a time when other religious thinkers felt evolutionary thinking challenged the structure of conventional Christian faith. He committed himself to what the evidence showed.[11]

Teilhard makes sense of the universe by its evolutionary process. He interprets complexity as the axis of evolution of matter into a geosphere, a biosphere, into consciousness (in man), and then to supreme consciousness (the Omega Point.)

Teilhards unique relationship to both paleontology and Catholicism allowed him to develop a highly progressive, cosmic theology which takes into account his evolutionary studies. Teilhard recognized the importance of bringing the Church into the modern world, and approached evolution as a way of providing ontological meaning for Christianity, particularly creation theology.[12] For Teilhard, evolution was the natural landscape where the history of salvation is situated.[13]

Teilhards cosmic theology is largely predicated on his interpretation of Pauline scripture, particularly Colossians 1:15-17 (especially verse 1:17b) and 1Corinthians 15:28. Teilhard draws on the Christocentrism of these two Pauline passages to construct a cosmic theology which recognizes the absolute primacy of Christ. He understands creation to be a teleological process towards union with the Godhead, effected through the incarnation and redemption of Christ, in whom all things hold together (Col. 1:17).[14] He further posits that creation will not be complete until participated being is totally united with God through Christ in the Pleroma, when God will be all in all (1Cor. 15:28).[15]

Teilhard's life work was predicated on the conviction that human spiritual development is moved by the same universal laws as material development. He wrote, "...everything is the sum of the past" and "...nothing is comprehensible except through its history. 'Nature' is the equivalent of 'becoming', self-creation: this is the view to which experience irresistibly leads us. ... There is nothing, not even the human soul, the highest spiritual manifestation we know of, that does not come within this universal law."[16] There is no doubt that The Phenomenon of Man represents Teilhard's attempt at reconciling his religious faith with his academic interests as a paleontologist.[17] One particularly poignant observation in Teilhard's book entails the notion that evolution is becoming an increasingly optional process.[17] Teilhard points to the societal problems of isolation and marginalization as huge inhibitors of evolution, especially since evolution requires a unification of consciousness. He states that "no evolutionary future awaits anyone except in association with everyone else."[17] Teilhard argued that the human condition necessarily leads to the psychic unity of humankind, though he stressed that this unity can only be voluntary; this voluntary psychic unity he termed "unanimization." Teilhard also states that "evolution is an ascent toward consciousness", giving encephalization as an example of early stages, and therefore, signifies a continuous upsurge toward the Omega Point,[17] which for all intents and purposes, is God.

Teilhard also used his perceived correlation between spiritual and material to describe Christ, arguing that Christ not only has a mystical dimension, but also takes on a physical dimension as he becomes the organizing principle of the universethat is, the one who holds together the universe (Col. 1:17b). For Teilhard, Christ forms not only the eschatological end toward which his mystical/ecclesial body is oriented, but he also operates physically in order to regulate all things[18] becoming the one from whom all creation receives its stability."[19] In other words, as the one who holds all things together, Christ exercises a supremacy over the universe which is physical, not simply juridical. He is the unifying centre of the universe and its goal. The function of holding all things together indicates that Christ is not only man and God; he also possesses a third aspectindeed, a third naturewhich is cosmic.[20] In this way, the Pauline description of the Body of Christ is not simply a mystical or ecclesial concept for Teilhard; it is cosmic. This cosmic Body of Christ extend[s] throughout the universe and compris[es] all things that attain their fulfillment in Christ [so that] . . . the Body of Christ is the one single thing that is being made in creation.[21] Teilhard describes this cosmic amassing of Christ as Christogenesis. According to Teilhard, the universe is engaged in Christogenesis as it evolves toward its full realization at Omega, a point which coincides with the fully realized Christ.[22] It is at this point that God will be all in all (1Cor. 15:28c).

In 1925, Teilhard was ordered by the Jesuit Superior General Wlodimir Ledchowski to leave his teaching position in France and to sign a statement withdrawing his controversial statements regarding the doctrine of original sin. Rather than leave the Jesuit order, Teilhard signed the statement and left for China.

This was the first of a series of condemnations by certain ecclesiastical officials that would continue until after Teilhard's death. The climax of these condemnations was a 1962 monitum (reprimand) of the Holy Office cautioning on Teilhard's works. It said in part:[23]

The above-mentioned works abound in such ambiguities and indeed even serious errors, as to offend Catholic doctrine... For this reason, the most eminent and most revered Fathers of the Holy Office exhort all Ordinaries as well as the superiors of Religious institutes, rectors of seminaries and presidents of universities, effectively to protect the minds, particularly of the youth, against the dangers presented by the works of Fr. Teilhard de Chardin and of his followers.

The Holy Office did not place any of Teilhard's writings on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum (Index of Forbidden Books), which existed during Teilhard's lifetime and at the time of the 1962 decree.

Shortly thereafter, prominent clerics mounted a strong theological defense of Teilhard's works. Henri de Lubac (later a Cardinal) wrote three comprehensive books on the theology of Teilhard de Chardin in the 1960s. While de Lubac mentioned that Teilhard was less than precise in some of his concepts, he affirmed the orthodoxy of Teilhard de Chardin and responded to Teilhard's critics: "We need not concern ourselves with a number of detractors of Teilhard, in whom emotion has blunted intelligence".[24] Later that decade Joseph Ratzinger, a German theologia who became Pope Benedict XVI, spoke glowingly of Teilhard's Christology in Ratzinger's Introduction to Christianity:[25]

It must be regarded as an important service of Teilhard de Chardins that he rethought these ideas from the angle of the modern view of the world and, in spite of a not entirely unobjectionable tendency toward the biological approach, nevertheless on the whole grasped them correctly and in any case made them accessible once again. Let us listen to his own words: The human monad can only be absolutely itself by ceasing to be alone. In the background is the idea that in the cosmos, alongside the two orders or classes of the infinitely small and the infinitely big, there is a third order, which determines the real drift of evolution, namely, the order of the infinitely complex. It is the real goal of the ascending process of growth or becoming; it reaches a first peak in the genesis of living things and then continues to advance to those highly complex creations that give the cosmos a new center: Imperceptible and accidental as the position they hold may be in the history of the heavenly bodies, in the last analysis the planets are nothing less than the vital points of the universe. It is through them that the axis now runs, on them is henceforth concentrated the main effort of an evolution aiming principally at the production of large molecules. The examination of the world by the dynamic criterion of complexity thus signifies a complete inversion of values. A reversal of the perspective...

This leads to a further passage in Teilhard de Chardin that is worth quoting in order to give at least some indication here, by means of a few fragmentary excerpts, of his general outlook. The Universal Energy must be a Thinking Energy if it is not to be less highly evolved than the ends animated by its action. And consequently ... the attributes of cosmic value with which it is surrounded in our modern eyes do not affect in the slightest the necessity obliging us to recognize in it a transcendent form of Personality.

Over the next several decades prominent theologians and Church leaders, including leading Cardinals, Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI all wrote approvingly of Teilhard's ideas. In 1981, Cardinal Agostino Casaroli, on behalf of Pope John Paul II, wrote on the front page of the Vatican newspaper, l'Osservatore Romano:

"What our contemporaries will undoubtedly remember, beyond the difficulties of conception and deficiencies of expression in this audacious attempt to reach a synthesis, is the testimomy of the coherent life of a man possessed by Christ in the depths of his soul. He was concerned with honoring both faith and reason, and anticipated the response to John Paul II's appeal: 'Be not afraid, open, open wide to Christ the doors of the immense domains of culture, civilization, and progress.[26]

Cardinal Avery Dulles, S.J. said in 2004:[27]

In his own poetic style, the French Jesuit Teilhard de Chardin liked to meditate on the Eucharist as the first fruits of the new creation. In an essay called The Monstrance he describes how, kneeling in prayer, he had a sensation that the Host was beginning to grow until at last, through its mysterious expansion, 'the whole world had become incandescent, had itself become like a single giant Host.' Although it would probably be incorrect to imagine that the universe will eventually be transubstantiated, Teilhard correctly identified the connection between the Eucharist and the final glorification of the cosmos.

Cardinal Christoph Schnborn wrote in 2007:[28]

Hardly anyone else has tried to bring together the knowledge of Christ and the idea of evolution as the scientist (paleontologist) and theologian Fr. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J., has done. ... His fascinating vision ... has represented a great hope, the hope that faith in Christ and a scientific approach to the world can be brought together. ... These brief references to Teilhard cannot do justice to his efforts. The fascination which Teilhard de Chardin exercised for an entire generation stemmed from his radical manner of looking at science and Christian faith together.

Pope Benedict XVI, in his book Spirit of the Liturgy incorporates Teilhard's vision as a touchstone of the Catholic Mass:[29]

And so we can now say that the goal of worship and the goal of creation as a whole are one and the samedivinization, a world of freedom and love. But this means that the historical makes its appearance in the cosmic. The cosmos is not a kind of closed building, a stationary container in which history may by chance take place. It is itself movement, from its one beginning to its one end. In a sense, creation is history. Against the background of the modern evolutionary world view, Teilhard de Chardin depicted the cosmos as a process of ascent, a series of unions. From very simple beginnings the path leads to ever greater and more complex unities, in which multiplicity is not abolished but merged into a growing synthesis, leading to the Noosphere, in which spirit and its understanding embrace the whole and are blended into a kind of living organism. Invoking the epistles to the Ephesians and Colossians, Teilhard looks on Christ as the energy that strives toward the Noosphere and finally incorporates everything in its fullness. From here Teilhard went on to give a new meaning to Christian worship: the transubstantiated Host is the anticipation of the transformation and divinization of matter in the christological "fullness". In his view, the Eucharist provides the movement of the cosmos with its direction; it anticipates its goal and at the same time urges it on.

in July 2009, Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi said, "By now, no one would dream of saying that [Teilhard] is a heterodox author who shouldnt be studied."[30]

Pope Francis cites Teilhard in his encyclical Laudato si'.[2]

Sir Julian Huxley, evolutionary biologist and contributor to the modern synthesis, praised the thought of Teilhard de Chardin for looking at the way in which human development needs to be examined within a larger integrated universal sense of evolution.[31]

In 1961, the Nobel Prize-winner Peter Medawar, a British immunologist, wrote a scornful review of The Phenomenon Of Man for the journal Mind,[32] calling it "a bag of tricks" and saying that the author had shown "an active willingness to be deceived": "the greater part of it, I shall show, is nonsense, tricked out with a variety of metaphysical conceits, and its author can be excused of dishonesty only on the grounds that before deceiving others he has taken great pains to deceive himself".

The evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins called Medawar's review "devastating" and The Phenomenon of Man "the quintessence of bad poetic science".[33] Similarly, Steven Rose wrote that "Teilhard is revered as a mystic of genius by some, but amongst most biologists is seen as little more than a charlatan."[34]

"Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution" by Theodosius Dobzhansky draws upon Teilhard's insistence that evolutionary theory provides the core of how man understands his relationship to nature, calling him "one of the great thinkers of our age". Key researchers credit Teilhard with the development of the modern evolutionary synthesis that accounts for natural selection in the light of Mendelian genetics.[citation needed]

Evolutionary biologist Jeremy Griffith described Teilhard as a "visionary" philosopher and a contemporary "truth-sayer" or "prophet".[35]

Brian Swimme wrote "Teilhard was one of the first scientists to realize that the human and the universe are inseparable. The only universe we know about is a universe that brought forth the human." [36]

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin is honored with a feast day on the liturgical calendar of the Episcopal Church (USA) on April 10.[37]George Gaylord Simpson named the most primitive and ancient genus of true primate, the Eocene genus Teilhardina.

Teilhard and his work continue to influence the arts and culture. Characters based on Teilhard appear in several novels, including Jean Telemond in Morris West's The Shoes of the Fisherman[38] (mentioned by name and quoted by Oskar Werner playing Fr. Telemond in the movie version of the novel) and Father Lankester Merrin in William Peter Blatty's The Exorcist.[39] In Dan Simmons' 198997 Hyperion Cantos, Teilhard de Chardin has been canonized a saint in the far future. His work inspires the anthropologist priest character, Paul Dur. When Dur becomes Pope, he takes Teilhard I as his regnal name.[40] Teilhard appears as a minor character in the play Fake by Eric Simonson, staged by Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre Company in 2009, involving a fictional solution to the infamous Piltdown Man hoax.

References range from occasional quotationsan auto mechanic quotes Teilhard in Philip K. Dick's A Scanner Darkly[41] to serving as the philosophical underpinning of the plot, as Teilhard's work does in Julian May's 198794 Galactic Milieu Series.[42] Teilhard also plays a major role in Annie Dillard's 1999 For the Time Being.[43] Teilhard is mentioned by name and the Omega Point briefly explained in Arthur C. Clarke's and Stephen Baxter's The Light of Other Days.[44] The title of the short-story collection Everything That Rises Must Converge by Flannery O'Connor is a reference to Teilhard's work. The American novelist Don DeLillo's 2010 novel Point Omega borrows its title and some of its ideas from Teilhard de Chardin. Robert Wright, in his book Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny, compares his own naturalistic thesis that biological and cultural evolution are directional and, possibly, purposeful, with Teilhard's ideas.

Teilhard's work also inspired philosophical ruminations by Italian laureate architect Paolo Soleri, artworks such as French painter Alfred Manessier's L'Offrande de la terre ou Hommage Teilhard de Chardin[45] and American sculptor Frederick Hart's acrylic sculpture The Divine Milieu: Homage to Teilhard de Chardin.[46] A sculpture of the Omega Point by Henry Setter, with a quote from Teilhard de Chardin, can be found at the entrance to the Roesch Library at the University of Dayton.[47]Edmund Rubbra's 1968 Symphony No. 8 is titled Hommage Teilhard de Chardin.

Several college campuses honor Teilhard. A building at the University of Manchester is named after him, as are residence dormitories at Gonzaga University and Seattle University.

The De Chardin Project, a play celebrating Teilhard's life, ran from November 20 to December 14, 2014 in Toronto, Canada.[48]The Evolution of Teilhard de Chardin, a documentary film on Teilhard's life, is expected to be released in 2015.[48]

The dates in parentheses are the dates of first publication in French and English. Most of these works were written years earlier, but Teilhard's ecclesiastical order forbade him to publish them because of their controversial nature. The essay collections are organized by subject rather than date, thus each one typically spans many years.

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Above all, trust in the slow work of God. We are quite naturally impatient in everything to reach the end without delay. We should like to skip the intermediate stages. We are impatient of being on the way to something unknown, something new. And yet it is the law of all progress that it is made by passing through some stages of instability and that it may take a very long time.

And so I think it is with you; your ideas mature graduallylet them grow, let them shape themselves, without undue haste. Dont try to force them on, as though you could be today what time (that is to say, grace and circumstances acting on your own good will) will make of you tomorrow.

Only God could say what this new spirit gradually forming within you will be. Give Our Lord the benefit of believing that his hand is leading you, and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself in suspense and incomplete. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

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By Anodea Judith Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was a visionary French Jesuit, paleontologist, biologist, and philosopher, who spent the bulk of his life trying to integrate religious experience with natural science, most specifically Christian theology with theories of evolution. In this endeavor he became absolutely enthralled with the possibilities for humankind, which he saw as heading for an exciting convergence of systems, an "Omega point" where the coalescence of consciousness will lead us to a new state of peace and planetary unity. Long before ecology was fashionable, he saw this unity he saw as being based intrinsically upon the spirit of the Earth:

"The Age of Nations is past. The task before us now, if we would not perish, is to build the Earth." Teilhard de Chardin passed away a full ten years before James Lovelock ever proposed the "Gaia Hypothesis" which suggests that the Earth is actually a living being, a collosal biological super-system. Yet Chardin's writings clearly reflect the sense of the Earth as having its own autonomous personality, and being the prime center and director of our future -- a strange attractor, if you will -- that will be the guiding force for the synthesis of humankind.

"The phrase 'Sense of the Earth' should be understood to mean the passionate concern for our common destiny which draws the thinking part of life ever further onward. The only truly natural and real human unity is the spirit of the Earth. . . .The sense of Earth is the irresistable pressure which will come at the right moment to unite them (humankind) in a common passion.

"We have reached a crossroads in human evolution where the only road which leads forward is towards a common passion. . . To continue to place our hopes in a social order achieved by external violence would simply amount to our giving up all hope of carrying the Spirit of the Earth to its limits."

To this end, he suggested that the Earth in its evolutionary unfolding, was growing a new organ of consciousness, called the noosphere.The noosphere is analogous on a planetary level to the evolution of the cerebral cortex in humans. The noosphere is a "planetary thinking network" -- an interlinked system of consciousness and information, a global net of self-awareness, instantaneous feedback, and planetary communication. At the time of his writing, computers of any merit were the size of a city block, and the Internet was, if anything, an element of speculative science fiction. Yet this evolution is indeed coming to pass, and with a rapidity, that in Gaia time, is but a mere passage of seconds. In these precious moments, the planet is developing her cerebral cortex, and emerging into self-conscious awakening. We are indeed approaching the Omega point that Teilhard de Chardin was so excited about.

This convergence however, though it was predicted to occur through a global information network, was not a convergence of merely minds or bodies -- but of heart, a point that he made most fervently.

"It is not our heads or our bodies which we must bring together, but our hearts. . . . Humanity. . . is building its composite brain beneath our eyes. May it not be that tomorrow, through the logical and biological deepening of the movement drawing it together, it will find its heart, without which the ultimate wholeness of its power of unification can never be achieved?"

In his productive lifetime, Teilhard de Chardin wrote many books, which include the following:


by Anodea Judith, Dec. 96.

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