Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952453 | Print ISBN: 9780761930297 | Online ISBN: 9781412952453| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Teilhard de Chardin, Pierre (1881–1955)
H. James Birx
Are science and theology reconcilable in terms of evolution? As both an eminent geopaleontologist and cosmic mystic, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin presented a dynamic worldview. He argued that the human species does occupy a special place within a spiritual universe, and that humankind is evolving toward an Omega Point as the end goal of converging and involuting consciousness on this planet. With his steadfast commitment to evidence of pervasive evolution, Teilhard, as natural scientist and Jesuit priest, became a very controversial figure within the Roman Catholic Church during the first half of the 20th century. Because of his bold interpretation of the human species within earth history and this cosmos, he was silenced by his religious superiors for taking an evolutionary stance at a time when this scientific theory was a serious threat to an entrenched orthodox theology. Going beyond Charles Darwin, Teilhard even maintained that evolution discloses the meaning, ...