This blog is dedicated to the ideas of the 20th Century French Jesuit and geologist, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Teilhard de Chardin was a complex person who was misunderstood both during his lifetime and in the present day. Teilhard was criticized by his religious superiors for being “unorthodox”. Teilhard was criticized by the secular scientific establishment for being too religious.
In the face of hostility from the religious and secular leaders of his time, Teilhard remained faithful to both his religious vows and his scientific studies in his pursuit of the truth. Moreover, despite relentless intellectual persecution, Teilhard remained a very positive and optimistic person in large part due to his religious faith and belief that the Universe is evolving towards a higher consciousness in the form of the Cosmic Christ.
Although Teilhard’s ideas are more widely accepted today than they were 50 years ago, Teilhard is still a polarizing figure whose ideas are selectively used or criticized by people to support their philosophical, theological and scientific agendas. This blog will attempt to cut through the “spin” and discuss Teilhard’s ideas in a contemporary setting, focusing on the following themes:
- Theology and Science and complementary avenues to discover our Creator and our purpose in life.
- The Universe was created by God and is continuing to evolve, both in the realm of matter and the realm of spiritual consciousness.
- Christianity, despite all of the inherent problems of the institutional Catholic Church, remains the best way of describing the ultimate Truth.
- Catholicism, while embracing the science of evolution and cosmology, has not yet fully integrated the implications that these revelations have about the nature of God.
- Other theological and scientific ideas and practices also can reflect the broader Truth and should be discussed and explored with an openness for the beauty and truth contained in those traditions.
Teilhard’s ideas are perhaps even more relevant today than they were during his lifetime. Current Western society is plagued by two fundamentalist ideologies, which both oppose the search for reason and truth. The first is a scientific, materialism that denies the reality of those things that can not me measured, including God, resulting in a primacy of scientism in areas that science is not qualified to handle (e.g. philosophy) and a relativism in non-scientific areas (the dictatorship of relativism). The second prevalent ideology in our times is a religious fundamentalism that worships a small God while ignoring God’s revelation through science, art and other measures. Teilhard actively opposed these forces during his lifetime and was viciously attached by both sides for doing so.