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Catholic Christianity in Evolution

The Spiritual Prophecy of Teilhard de Chardin

Alan Sage, now retired, has worked in Further and Higher Education and in parish catechesis for more than 30 years. With a Master of Theology degree from Glasgow University he has taught a wide range of topics within theology and religious studies , and has specialised in Catholic theology and spirituality. His particular interest has been in the work of the French Jesuit priest-scientist Teilhard de Chardin whose theological and spiritual thinking he has introduced to various audiences, including undergraduates and parish groups.


Christianity, and its theological and spiritual underpinnings, does not fulfil the needs of people living in a rapidly changing world. For all its good intention, the Catholic Church has failed to provide the necessary religious tools to its congregants and wider Catholic community to confront the ecological and environmental problems that confront mankind. This book sets out the required parameters of spirituality within an evolutionary world context, linking the theological with the practical, under the aegis of the Jesuit Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. His writings promote a concept of God at the centre of the world we live in – a Christian way of living, fully engaged.

At the heart of Teilhard’s world view are creation, evolution, and the environment. He provides the spiritual tools to understand a God that is, in real effect, our evolving world and our actions toward it. In looking after God’s world through our daily commitment we meet the needs of the whole of creation. And this makes Christian faith truly meaningful and of direct relevance to our living in the world. Indeed, the second encyclical of Pope Francis (Laudato si’) with its "care for our common home" message, is Teilhardian in its outlook. Likewise the Pope’s “sacrament of the brother” teaching.

Because of the inextricable link between human activity and the creative work of God, Teilhard saw all human endeavour as holy. Herewith the Ignatian theme of ‘finding God in all things’, coupled with a cosmic approach to redemption and the notion of ongoing divine creativity. Teilhard’s vision is a template for understanding our place in the world, our intimate relationship to the whole of creation and our responsibilities to the environment and to each other. Teilhard asks us to face the challenges of a rapidly changing world as co-creators with God – a tremendous privilege but also an awesome responsibility. An Appendix lists all of Teilhard’s writings and their publication sources, divided into five main sections, and further subdivided by topic – an indispensable resource tool for Teilhard scholars, and for readers familiar with The Divine Milieu and The Human Phenomenon.


Paperback ISBN: 978-1-78976-131-3
Paperback Price: £19.95 / $27.95
Release Date: June 2021
   
Page Extent / Format: 108 pp. 229 x 152 mm
Illustrated: No
   

e-Book



Contents

 

Introduction                                                                                                  

Ch 1: Living in a Changing World: Challenges and Rewards                  

Ch 2: A Prophetic Voice: Teilhard and Evangelism                                  

Ch 3: A Century of Change in Church and World                                   

Ch 4: Where on Earth?  God in an Evolutionary World                                                  

Ch 5:  All Change: Living in a Dynamic World                                          

Ch 6: Who was Pierre Teilhard de Chardin?                                              

Ch 7:   Teilhard's Spirituality                                                                        

Ch 8: Toward the Future: A Summary                                                       

Appendix: Reading Teilhard on The Christian in the World                               

Glossary                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

References

 


The French Jesuit geologist and paleontologist Teilhard de Chardin was arguably the greatest religious thinker of the twentieth century. His thought was revolutionary but difficult. Most Catholics and other Christians still have little awareness of the relevance and richness of Teilhard’s work. Alan Sage, however, provides in this readable book a gentle and informed introduction to some of Teilhard’s most important ideas. It is a work that should lead Christians to appreciate and explore further the consonance of faith and evolutionary science.
John F. Haught, Prof. Emeritus, Georgetown University, author of The New Cosmic Story (Yale)

For many Christians of my generation Teilhard is taken as a given – one of those foundations of the modern spiritual and theological worldview whom we take, frankly, for granted. Alan Sage has given us a refreshing refresher on the major lines of investigation in the work and life of Teilhard. In doing so Alan invites us to revisit this giant of the modern theological project whose work is as relevant to our times as it was revolutionary in his.
Father Jim Lawlor, M.A. (Oxon.), M.Th.

An accessible reflection on the life, times and vision of a remarkable Christian thinker and his relevance today.
Dr. David Grummett, B.A. (Hons), M.Phil., Ph.D., FHEA Senior Lecturer in Theology and Ethics, University of Edinburgh


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