Teilhard de Chardin: Theology, Humanity, and Cosmos
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955) has been regarded for too long as an esoteric thinker who evacuates theology by subjecting it to scientific theory. There is an urgent need to reclaim him as a French catholic theologian with intellectual roots in the early twentieth century. Teilhard's imaginative and inspiring work is grounded in the constructive use of biblical and patristic motifs and in his own life experiences of war, exile and scientific endeavour. From these, he develops a distinctive philosophical theology which combines elements frequently assigned to the seperate domains of philosophy of religion, systematic theology and mysticism. Teilhard provides a detailed theology of human embodiment and natural substances, whilst his theories of human action, passion, vision and virtue offer suggestive resources to pastoral theology. His evolutionary cosmology and social democratic politics are discussed in their historical context, and the significance of his work for the ongoing dialogue between science and religion is assessed.
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