Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin written by Ursula King

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Writings Selected with an Introduction by Ursula King

“The true summons of the cosmos is a call to consciously share in the great work that goes on within it . . .”

For those who have been inspired by Teilhard de Chardin, as well as those who wish to understand the mystique that surrounds him, Ursula King has created the ultimate synthesis in Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.

Teilhard de Chardin (1881–1955) a Jesuit priest and paleontologist, is widely recognized as one of the most influential spiritual thinkers of the contemporary world. Though he was censored by the Catholic Church during his lifetime, he has been cited by numerous popes and church leaders since, including Pope Francis in his 2015 encyclical, Laudato si’.

Ursula King, an internationally renowned scholar and leading expert on Teilhard de Chardin, captures in this single volume Teilhard’s inspirational power. She crystalizes for the reader some of his most complex ideas and shares her keen insights to his vision, his spiritual evolution and his thought. She also humanizes him in a way that enriches our appreciation of him as a true mystic.

This was a Catholic priest, for instance, who joined a North African regiment during the First World War to serve as a stretcher-bearer at the front. Though he was awarded several war decorations for his dedicated service, his most cherished acknowledgement came from the North African Muslim soldiers who described him as a man so closely bound to God he was protected from injury by divine grace. Ursula King takes us into the trenches with this humble Jesuit as he lies in the company of his fellow soldiers staring at the night sky and experiences for the first time the oneness of all humanity and the true nature of the cosmos.

Why have the ideas of this single man, a devout priest and distinguished scientist, been a source of provocation in both of the worlds he inhabited? The worlds of “fact” and of “faith?” As Ursula King makes clear, at the heart of Teilhard’s philosophy was a profound belief in the harmony between religion and science, the harmony he knew intimately because it lived within him. It was Teilhard’s passion about the tremendous compatibility between scientific thought and religious faith that made him a controversial figure in both realms.

What devout Christians will find in Teilhard de Chardin is a man who saw divinity in all things, who viewed the Christian God as a God of love and who devoted his life to being an instrument of Christ.

What religious persons of all faiths will find in him is a man who delved deeply into the world’s great spiritual traditions and whose ultimate hope for humanity was the emergence of “a religion of humankind and the earth,” a religion based in the recognition of love and compassion as the true forces that drive all of life in the universe.

For those who seek a transcendent, unifying worldview, “a unique synthesis that brings together elements of science, philosophy, religion and spirituality,” Teilhard de Chardin is a great source of hope for humanity and the world.

The Gleam of Light Team

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
Ursula King
1999, Orbis Books
Modern Spiritual Masters Series

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