The Divine Milieu
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin's spiritual masterpiece, The Divine Milieu, in a newly-revised translation by Siôn Cowell, is addressed to those who have lost faith in conventional religion but who still have a sense of the divine at the heart of the cosmos. "The heavens declare the glory of God," sings the Psalmist. Teilhard would agree. "We are surrounded," he says, "by a certain sort of pessimist who tells us continually that our world is foundering in atheism. But should we not say rather that what it is suffering from is unsatisfied theism?" He sees a universe in movement where progress is the spiritualisation of matter and its opposite is the materialisation of spirit. Teilhard opts for progress. The Divine Milieu is both the divine centre and the divine circle, the divine heart and the divine sphere.
The Divine Milieu is an essay on the notion of grace. It is written for those who listen primarily to the voices of the Earth: its purpose is to provide a link to traditional Christianity (as expressed in Baptism, Cross and Eucharist) in order to demonstrate that the fears prevalent in contemporary world society as it abuses its very foundation - Mother Earth - may be better understood by the Gospel path. Teilhard's primary purpose is to show a way forward which he sees as the "Christian religious ideal."
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Second read from Chardin. His synthesis on the complexities of growth for the world is unique (so far). There is a valid sense of optimism about what may yet be for creation. Really great stuff. Read an older translation than 2004.