Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Why are Canadians Falling In and Out of Love With Pierre Teilhard de Chardin?

As the sixtieth anniversary of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s death approaches this April, a renewed interest in his thought has found its way into the popular consciousness. A play praising the life of Teilhard, titled The De Chardin Project, ran from November 20 until December 14 in Toronto, Canada. Additionally, a two-hour biography on Teilhard’s life, tentatively titled The Evolution of Teilhard de Chardin, is scheduled to be released this year. The purpose of this documentary is expressed clearly on The De Chardin Project website: “The time is ripe to introduce Pierre Teilhard de Chardin to a new generation—the man, the paleontologist, the visionary French Jesuit priest, whose relentless effort to reframe his beliefs in the light of evolution led to a paradigm shift in the relationship of science and religion.”

Such praise for Teilhard’s attempt to amalgamate evolutionary thought with theological concepts is justified only to the extent that we see him as a pioneer within a historical context and not as someone whose work has any contemporary relevance. Indeed, there are many approaches that may or may not include evolutionary thought, the majority of which transcend what Teilhard envisioned with respect to the harmony between science, philosophy and theology. For example, the late nuclear physicist and theologian, Ian Barbour, published more recent ground-breaking studies on the relationship between science and religion that stands as a distinct alternative to Teilhard’s own limited, and ultimately outdated, approach. So aside from a relevant historical context, the science and religion interaction has advanced far beyond Teilhard’s thought.  (more...)

Background from Msgr. Vincent Foy:

No comments:

Post a Comment