Pierre Teilhard de Chardin's Omega Point
This chapter profiles the life and work of Jesuit priest and paleontologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Born in France, the priest worked for much of his adult life as a scientist in China, including participation on the dig that uncovered “Peking Man.” Merging Catholicism and science, Teilhard asserted that evolution was God's ongoing creative act, that matter and spirit were one, and that all was converging into one complete, harmonious whole. Though controversial, his organismic ideas offered an alternative to reductionistic, dualistic, mechanistic evolutionary views. They satisfied many who were looking for ways to reconnect with nature and one another; who wanted to revitalize and make personal the spiritual part of life; and who hoped to tame, humanize, and spiritualize science. In the 1960s many Americans found his book The Phenomenon of Man and other mystical writings appealing. He attracted Catholics seeking to reconcile religion and evolution, and he proved to be one of the most inspirational voices for the human potential movement and New Age religious worshipers. Outlining the contours of Teilhard's holistic synthesis in this era of high scientific achievement helps explain how some Americans maintained a strong religious allegiance.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.