Teilhard de Chardin Quote of the Week (October 21, 2013): Universe and Incarnation



“[I]t appears contradictory (to the nature of participated being) to imagine God creating an isolated thing. Only one being can exist in isolation: Ens a se (Being which exists only in itself). Everything which is not God is essentially multitude—multitude organized in itself, and multitude organizing around itself. If God, then, is to make a soul, there is only one way open to his power: to create a world. In consequence, man includes among his fully realized conditions of possibility more than just ‘animality and rationality’; the notion of man implies also ‘mankind, earth, universe … This takes us a long way from the facile ‘possibility’ which the logicians imagine for things. But at the same time it adds to our stature—and, most of all, when applied to our Lord, it suggests the idea of an astonishing unity in creation. For now at last we can see that if God wished to have Christ incarnate, to launch a complete universe and scatter life with a lavish hand was no more than he was obliged to do. Strictly speaking, then, is there, in all that moves outside God, anything else in act today, other than the actualizing of Jesus Christ, for which each fragment of the world is, proximately or distantly, necessary (ex necessitate medii—as a necessary means)? We need have no hesitation in saying that there is not.”

Teilhard de Chardin, Pierre (2002-11-18). Christianity and Evolution (Harvest Book, Hb 276) (Kindle Locations 364-374). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.

About William Ockham

I am a father of two with eclectic interests in theology, philosophy and sports. I chose the pseudonym William Ockham in honor of his contributions to philosophy, specifically Occam's Razor, and its contributions to modern scientific theory. My blog (www.teilhard.com) explores Ignatian Spirituality and the intersection of faith, science and reason through the life and writings of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (pictured above).
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1 Response to Teilhard de Chardin Quote of the Week (October 21, 2013): Universe and Incarnation

  1. Lynda says:

    Teilhard packs more into a few sentences that I can ever imagine or comprehend; however, in this quote there are two phrases that stand out for me – “an astonishing unity in creation” and “the actualizing of Jesus Christ”. These two thoughts are incredibly powerful. What a gift Teilhard has left us! Thanks for researching and sharing.

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