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  #1  
Old Mar 1, '12, 3:02 pm
flameburns623 flameburns623 is offline
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Default Status of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin?

Once popular among the Catholic left, and mentioned favorably in the past decade or so by His Holiness (JPII? B16? Sorry, can't recollect which). Otherwise, rarely mentioned. His ideas had some potentially-negative theological implications, but de Chardin, I think, was widely agreed to be personally orthodox, even if his theories opened a Pandora's Box of possible issues. What is the standing of his work nowadays?
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  #2  
Old Mar 1, '12, 4:44 pm
Pfaffenhoffen Pfaffenhoffen is offline
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Default Re: Status of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin?

Quote:
Originally Posted by flameburns623 View Post
Once popular among the Catholic left, and mentioned favorably in the past decade or so by His Holiness (JPII? B16? Sorry, can't recollect which). Otherwise, rarely mentioned. His ideas had some potentially-negative theological implications, but de Chardin, I think, was widely agreed to be personally orthodox, even if his theories opened a Pandora's Box of possible issues. What is the standing of his work nowadays?


Sincerely, I do not care about what today's fashion tells me about Teilhard de Chardin.
For me, it is a great man.
The other day, an atheist psychiatrist friend of mine told that he offered a friend a book of Teilhard de Chardin as an extraordinary holistic meaning of Science.
I enjoyed doing a 25 page essay on a comparison of him and St. Paul.
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  #3  
Old Mar 1, '12, 5:31 pm
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Jerusha Jerusha is offline
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Default Re: Status of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin?

I was raised in an area where there was a negative attitude towards the future of this world. When many Protestants look at Revelation, they see end times, gloom and doom. The "Left Behind" series. De Chardin said that if man follows in the path set by God, there is another end. Man has free will. Let us look at the positive fork of prophecy, rather than dwelling on fear and the negative fork of prophecy.

If anything, de Chardin led me back. We can do what we can do as individuals to make this a better world. Just a little lefty Catholic thought to lighten up your day.
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  #4  
Old Mar 1, '12, 5:36 pm
flameburns623 flameburns623 is offline
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Default Re: Status of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin?

I"m a trad-Cath too, but if de Chardin is a 'fad', he's yesterday's fad. If he's something more than a fad, and the official position of the Church is that scientific evolutionary theory is not automatically contrary to Faith--de Chardin may offer some insights into how to reconcile faith and evolution. Unless his ideas are implicitly fraught with theological error, which was the concern with him during his lifetime.
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  #5  
Old Mar 1, '12, 5:48 pm
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Default Re: Status of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin?

Trained in biology, and working in China, so rich in the fossil record, he faced many challenges to his faith. He kept his faith, and brought it forward. He challenged many, but we can now see that there is nothing really new about his insights. We now have a better understanding of the interaction between faith and science.

Just a reminder-- there were other great people who were both deeply committed Catholics and scientists. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregor_Mendel
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  #6  
Old Mar 6, '12, 2:06 pm
nkbeth nkbeth is offline
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Default Re: Status of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin?

In past times (at least through the 60's) the Church repeatedly condemned Teilhard De Chardin's writings

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre_Teilhard_de_Chardin
Quote:
1939 : Rome banned his work L’Energie Humaine.

He then stayed in France, where he was immobilized by malaria. During his return voyage to Beijing he wrote L'Energie spirituelle de la Souffrance (Spiritual Energy of Suffering) (Complete Works, tome VII).

1941 : de Chardin submitted to Rome his most important work Le Phenomena Humaine.

1947 : Rome forbade him to write or teach on philosophical subjects.

1948 : de Chardin was called to Rome by the Superior General of the Jesuits who hoped to acquire permission from the Holy See for the publication of his most important work Le Phénomène Humain. But the prohibition to publish it issued in 1944, was again renewed. Teilhard was also forbidden to take a teaching post in the College de France.

1949 : Permission to publish Le Groupe Zoologique was refused.

1950: de Chardin was named to the French Academy of Sciences.

1955 : de Chardin forbidden by his Superiors to attend the “International Congress of Paleontology”.

1957 : The Supreme Authority of the Holy Office in a decree dated 15 Nov 1957, forbade the works of de Chardin to be retained in libraries, including those of religious institutes. His books were not to be sold in Catholic bookshops and were not to be translated in other languages.

1958 : In April of this year, all Jesuit publications in Spain (“Razón y Fe”, “Sal Terrae”, “Estudios de Deusto”) etc., carried a notice from the Spanish Provincial of the Jesuits, that de Chardin’s works had been published in Spanish without previous ecclesiastical examination and in defiance of the decrees of the Holy See.

1962 : A decree of the Holy Office dated 30 June, under the authority of Pope John XX III. warned that “. . . it is obvious that in philosophical and theological matters, the said works (de Chardin’s) are replete with ambiguities or rather with serious errors which offend Catholic doctrine. That is why ... the Rev. Fathers of the Holy Office urge all Ordinaries, Superiors, and Rectors ... to effectively protect, especially the minds of the young, against the dangers of the works of Fr. Teilhard de Chardin and his followers”. (AAS, 6 Aug 1962).

1963 : The Vicariate of Rome (a diocese ruled in the name of Pope Paul VI by his Cardinal Vicar) in a decree dated 30 September, required that Catholic booksellers in Rome, should withdraw from circulation the works of de Chardin, together with those books which favour his erroneous doctrines. The text of this document was published in daily L’Aurore of Paris, dated 2 Oct 1963, and was reproduced in Nouvelles de Chretiente, l0 Oct 1963, p. 35.
From the Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office http://www.catholicculture.org/cultu...TOKEN=66204630

Surely Catholics should be strongly discouraged from reading Teilhard de Chardin. Or is what was error now truth?
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  #7  
Old Mar 7, '12, 5:43 am
flameburns623 flameburns623 is offline
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Default Re: Status of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nkbeth View Post
In past times (at least through the 60's) the Church repeatedly condemned Teilhard De Chardin's writings

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre_Teilhard_de_Chardin


From the Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office http://www.catholicculture.org/cultu...TOKEN=66204630

Surely Catholics should be strongly discouraged from reading Teilhard de Chardin. Or is what was error now truth?
Preliminary findings of error are sometimes, upon quiet reflection, found to have been mistaken/shortsighted/imperfect. I repeat that it is my impression that His Holiness John-Paul II and/or Benedict XVI have spoken with a cautious note of favor re: the ideas of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Just a reminder.
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Shut the eyes that flame and hush the heart that burns:
In quiet we may hear the old primeval cry:
God gives wisdom to the spirit that upturns:
Let us adore now, you and I.

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  #8  
Old Mar 7, '12, 6:18 am
Orangebookbag Orangebookbag is offline
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Default Re: Status of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin?

Chardin was a passionately unique thinker in the Church.
His scientific investigation was a form of prayer, a disposition that many of today's scientists would do well to emulate.

Interestingly enough, I find two of my heroes (whose writings I value more than Chardin's) on either side of this issue. To say the man is polarizing is an understatement.

In the one corner, Malachi Martin. Adviser to three Popes, professor of the Pontifical Biblical Institute, exorcist, and theologian. Martin devotes an entire chapter in his book The Jesuits to the "heresies" of Teilhard de Chardin.

In the other corner, Henri de Lubac. Both Blessed John Paul II and Benedict XIV expressed their indebtedness to de Lubac, and he was even made Cardinal by JPII (though Pope Paul VI offered him the cardinalate decades earlier). De Lubac was a close friend of Chardin's, and wrote an overview and defense of his work.

I think if you approach him properly, de Chardin is sound. He is not infallible, and thus needs to be read with a healthy dose of prudential judgment.
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  #9  
Old Mar 7, '12, 10:16 am
flameburns623 flameburns623 is offline
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Default Re: Status of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orangebookbag View Post
Chardin was a passionately unique thinker in the Church.
His scientific investigation was a form of prayer, a disposition that many of today's scientists would do well to emulate.

Interestingly enough, I find two of my heroes (whose writings I value more than Chardin's) on either side of this issue. To say the man is polarizing is an understatement . . . . .
Thanks for the balanced response and sorry your quote had to be truncated but my cellphone permits only a limited # of keystrokes per post. Am no theologian, am only lightly-trained in philosophy (a few undergrad courses)--but despite being a TradCath, I am disinclined to believe that my only acceptable option in terms of origins is to believe that God and Bishop Ussher co-created the Universe on a precise date and time some 6000 years ago.
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Shut the eyes that flame and hush the heart that burns:
In quiet we may hear the old primeval cry:
God gives wisdom to the spirit that upturns:
Let us adore now, you and I.

G. W. Russell, "Prayer"
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  #10  
Old Mar 7, '12, 10:22 am
Contarini Contarini is offline
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Default Re: Status of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin?

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Originally Posted by Pfaffenhoffen View Post
Sincerely, I do not care about what today's fashion tells me about Teilhard de Chardin.
Indeed. I find this to be one of the odder and less consistent rhetorical stances taken by conservative Catholics.

Who cares if liberal Catholics are "greying children of the 60s" or whatever? What matters is whether their ideas are right or wrong. And they would be very remarkable human beings indeed if they managed to be entirely one or the other.

One of the most damaging conservative mythologies is this idea that the 60s were the source of evil and if we just forget them we can all go back to the good old days.

They were a tumultuous decade in which a lot of things happened of varying value and relevance for us today. How about the good old-fashioned practice of examining ideas on their merits?

Edwin
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  #11  
Old Mar 7, '12, 10:27 am
Contarini Contarini is offline
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Default Re: Status of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orangebookbag View Post
Chardin was a passionately unique thinker in the Church.
His scientific investigation was a form of prayer, a disposition that many of today's scientists would do well to emulate.

Interestingly enough, I find two of my heroes (whose writings I value more than Chardin's) on either side of this issue. To say the man is polarizing is an understatement.

In the one corner, Malachi Martin. Adviser to three Popes, professor of the Pontifical Biblical Institute, exorcist, and theologian. Martin devotes an entire chapter in his book The Jesuits to the "heresies" of Teilhard de Chardin.

In the other corner, Henri de Lubac. Both Blessed John Paul II and Benedict XIV expressed their indebtedness to de Lubac, and he was even made Cardinal by JPII (though Pope Paul VI offered him the cardinalate decades earlier). De Lubac was a close friend of Chardin's, and wrote an overview and defense of his work.

I think if you approach him properly, de Chardin is sound. He is not infallible, and thus needs to be read with a healthy dose of prudential judgment.
It's kind of baffling to me how you can put Martin and de Lubac on the same level. I find it hard to see much value in Martin's work. But obviously people differ on which writers they find valuable.

I didn't actually know that de Lubac defended Chardin. Since de Lubac is one of my heroes (as Martin is not), that makes Chardin go up in my estimation.

My (Episcopal) parish in NJ had a supply priest for a while who was a huge Chardin fan. While I liked and respected this priest personally, he's the only Episcopal priest I've ever had as a pastor whose basic orthodoxy I was rather unsure about (I don't recall him ever saying anything I'd consider downright heretical--bear in mind that my definition of orthodoxy is going to be much broader than that of most folks on this forum, or I wouldn't still be Episcopalian--but I never got the sense that his sermons and religious conversation were fundamentally informed by the Rule of Faith).

So that put me off Chardin a bit, but it's probably an unfair judgment. I've wanted to read him for years.

Edwin
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  #12  
Old Mar 7, '12, 10:41 am
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DCNBILL DCNBILL is offline
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Default Re: Status of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin?

Quote:
Originally Posted by flameburns623 View Post
Preliminary findings of error are sometimes, upon quiet reflection, found to have been mistaken/shortsighted/imperfect. I repeat that it is my impression that His Holiness John-Paul II and/or Benedict XVI have spoken with a cautious note of favor re: the ideas of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Just a reminder.
You may be thinking of this?

http://ncronline.org/news/ecology/po...os-living-host
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