Should I be concerned about this book?


I am reading a book recently that takes quotes from the book The Divine Milieu by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.

I understand that some of de Chardin’s ideas were condemned by the Church, which concerns me because this book I am reading quotes from this book and I don’t want to learn theological ideas that could be flawed.

This is the line in question which quotes de Chardin:

“In his splendid spiritual meditation The Divine Milieu, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin speaks of the “divinization of human activities”. He bemoans the pious tendency to deingrate our activities, accomplishments, and achievements in the interest of greater “spiritualization,” as if a concentration on what human beings can do is tantamount to pride. On the contrary, he argues, we glorify God inasmuch as we cooperate with God’s creation of the universe through our inventiveness, our curious intelligence, our bold dreams. In fact, “the cultivation of the garden” in which God has placed us constitutes an intense spiritualization of our humanity.”

The author later goes on to say how by being “at work and at play in the world” is to give glory to God, as is seen in our “flowers of civilization” like poetry and architecture (which I think is true). He also later states that while this is true, there is the prohibition, in reference to the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in Eden.

What are your thoughts? Should this worry me, or is this an idea that can be safely read?


I don’t know what book you are reading, but I would avoid any book that draws heavily from writers whose writings have been condemned or criticized by the Church.

There’s so much good stuff to read out there! My former spiritual director had a great guideline for choosing spiritual writing: stick to authors whose names begin with “S” (that is, “Saint”). Of course, that is a bit of an exaggeration, but we are always safe in sticking with the classics.



I’ve wondered about this, myself. Does anyone know if a “List” of condemned writings (authors/books) still exists? I know at one time, the Church had some sort of “List”.

How are we to know, which books are “ok” and which aren’t? :shrug:


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