I started this blog in the Spring for several reasons. First, I had recently had a “reconversion” and wanted to more deeply explore my faith. Second, I was frustrated in some of my interactions with both agnostics and religiously-oriented people who believed there was somehow a conflict between faith and reason. Third, I had discovered the writings of Teilhard de Chardin and thought that his message needed to get out to a wider audience. Fourth, I wanted to correct some misconceptions of Teilhard de Chardin, both from “conservatives” who thought he was an “unorthodox” Christian and from “liberals” who wanted to strip the Christianity out of Teilhard de Chardin’s vision.
Shortly after I started this endeavor I found The Teilhard de Chardin Project. This is a large undertaking by Frank Frost Productions, in collaboration with numerous others. The highlight will be a documentary on Teilhard de Chardin’s life in 2015 but it also will include a robust web presence. I was fortunate to have a few brief communications with Mr. Frost and am very impressed with the effort and team he has built so far. Set forth below is information on the Project from the website. I encourage you to check out the website and to support to Teilhard de Chardin Project.
What is The Teilhard de Chardin Project?
The Teilhard de Chardin Project consists of a 2-hour television biography, The Evolution of Teilhard de Chardin, [working title] interpreting the life and philosophy of Teilhard, a contemporary of Einstein, and a powerful voice for both evolutionary science and religion in the 20th century, plus a robust interactive website. Produced by Frank Frost Productions, LLC, the documentary will be accompanied by a multifaceted internet outreach that provides opportunities for viewers to dialogue with one another and scholars from around the world on topics introduced by Teilhard’s sweep of ideas.
The Time is Right
The time is ripe to introduce Pierre Teilhard de Chardin to a new generation – the man, the paleontologist, the visionary French Jesuit priest, whose relentless effort to reframe his beliefs in the light of evolution led to a paradigm shift in the relationship of science and religion. He foresaw the evolutionary emergence of the internet, globalization, and today’s transhumanism movement, although he was perhaps overly optimistic in his vision. His legacy includes a strong environmental movement, and multiple movements in cosmic spirituality.
- A captivating human story (Indiana Jones meets Galileo) about scientific adventure (discovery of Peking Man), religious repression, and a love story, with a seemingly tragic end
- It engages a socio-political issue that swept this country in 1925 and has never gone away – evolution v. religious belief – which today shows up in politics, science education v. Creationism or Intelligent Design, and denial of global warming, among other issues. (Teilhard’s religious suppression in France was concurrent with the Scopes trial in U.S.)
- Teilhard’s evolutionary vision is closely associated with the internet; he foresaw 100 years ago the emergence of instant global communications, globalization, and the transhumanism movement.
- It has immense post-broadcast potential for interactive web pursuit of science education, the science-religion debate, environmental philosophy, revolution in religion, and transhumanism, among other thematic strands.
- It has cross-over between the 18-35 demographic and the 35+ demographic, both through its content and its audience promotion.
One might ask whether, given the rapid change society has experienced since Teilhard’s death 56 years ago, his insights have been rendered obsolete. On the contrary, they have become all the more relevant. Science and technology have been transformative in the past 80 years since he was writing, and grow at an exponential rate, revealing incredible new wonders of the universe, from galaxies opened up to us through the Hubble Space Telescope to the detection of ever smaller particles of matter, down to the Higgs boson. The deeper and more expansive our knowledge the more astonishing are the broad outlines of his vision and the more valuable they become in helping us navigate the present-becoming-future.
Teilhard’s riveting life story and expansive evolutionary vision invite fresh perspectives on:
- the persistent rancorous public debate between science and religion;
- our responsibility for preserving the planet we inhabit;
- the role of science in the promotion of human progress.
Reading like a “Who’s Who” in academic, theological, and scientific circles, the fledgling project has already gathered strong support from institutions and scholars.
The The Evolution of Teilhard de Chardin is a production of Frank Frost Productions, LLC, an award-winning company with a long history of nationally broadcast documentaries on subjects related to human and cultural values.
The story is told blending fresh HD footage with archival footage, evocative live action imagery, and vibrant CGI, interwoven with scholars’ commentary. Audio plays a critical role since the story is told mostly in Teilhard’s own words from his personal journals, essays, and books. Modern day imagery will be acquired in the locations Teilhard lived and worked in France, England, China, and the United States. Embedded in this rich milieu is archival footage from the considerable still and motion picture material available on Teilhard, as well as of contexts in which he lived, especially WWI where he served at the front in 67 battles over 5 years; 1920s Paris; 1930s China; and 1950s New York City.
2013 Fundraising, pre-production, shooting, editing, web development
2014 Shooting, editing, web development, promotion
2015 Promotion and broadcast, (60th anniversary of Teilhard’s death)