Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, (1881-1955), was a Jesuit priest, geologist, paleontologist, and paleoanthropologist. Throughout his life he sought to think the scientific theory of evolution together with the Christian faith. A Jesuit, Teilhard attempted to unify the consistency of matter revealed by science with the God revealed in Jesus Christ. In doing so de Chardin raised with great prescience insights into a question issue not considered by most and vexes the few who try to think it: What is the spiritual significance of evolution?

de Chardin thus tried to create a synthesis between the place of man and the sense of Christ in the evolving universe. It is a Christological spirituality, an enlarged vision of the place and role of Christianity. At the same time, it reflects back on the scientific understanding of evolutionary process and natural laws, and provides a thought-provoking spiritual re-thinking of the meaning of evolution. For example, the Teilhardian reworking of the Christian concept of “Omega” is understood not as a destination, but as deepening toward a more unified future. Omega is the revelation of God as the fullness of love, the dynamic center at the heart of all Creation, which proves to be nothing other than a fulfilment of the Alpha of the natural law of gravity (attraction between masses). Of course, that “fulfillment” is an eons-long process of evolutionary complexification.

To carry forward Teilhard de Chardin’s legacy that offered an integration of science and spirituality, the Center for Christogenesis‘ mission is to provide insights and practices to enkindle awareness of love at the heart of reality. They see that if evolution is the story of the physical reality, the cosmos, then the theory of evolution is essential to our understanding of God and God’s relationship to the physical world. Evolution marks the break from a closed, static, world of law and order to an open world of change and play (from “cosmos” to “cosmo-genesis”). Evolution tells us that nature is not a closed, causal system of events but a complex series of fluid, dynamic, interlocking, and communicative relationships. While scientists continue to research how evolution works for physical systems, the Center for Christogenesis seeks to understand how evolution works for religious systems, as physical reality and spiritual reality are intertwined.

Learn more:

American Teilhard Association

British Teilhard Network

Center for Christogenesis

The Teilhard de Chardin Center

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