Catholic Christianity in Evolution
The Spiritual Prophecy of Teilhard de Chardin
Alan B. Sage
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.