|Teilhard for Beginners|
The purpose of this website is to present the spirituality of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. We hope to make it accessible—clearly, simply, and understandably—to those who wish to experience it. We are dedicated to helping you set out to explore the spiritual path of the divine milieu that Teilhard pioneered.
THE DIVINE MILIEU
Teilhard, as he is called by those who know him, offers a truly 21st Century spiritual path to God that few people know about. The basic ideas of this approach to God are found in his book, The Divine Milieu. Although the manuscript for this book was completed in 1929, his revolutionary spirituality has remained relatively unknown to this day.
While Teilhard referred to this book as a “simple book of piety,” most readers find it hard going and can’t figure out how to apply it to their own lives. So, we are all really Teilhardian beginners in putting his spirituality into practice.
WHO WAS TEILHARD?
If you wish to read a short summary of his life and a list of Teilhard biographies, click on “Teilhard’s Life.” Many of the titles referred to at the end of that section are out of print, so you may have to use a search engine like Yahoo or Google to find copies.
If you have access to a copy of The Divine Milieu, it contains an excellent 50-page biography of Teilhard up front written by one of his fellow Jesuit priests.
TEILHARD’S REVOLUTIONARY SPIRITUALITY
Teilhardian spirituality and his path to God are fresh and new in many ways. Here are a few that will be discussed in greater detail later on:
1. A New Starting Point
Teilhard’s spirituality takes a different starting point from most classic approaches to God. Unlike those approaches which require that you spurn the world in order to love God, Teilhard wrote The Divine Milieu for those who love passionately both God AND the world.
2. Picturing God
In addition to the two classical ways of picturing God—either far away in heaven (transcendent) or living within your heart (immanent)—Teilhard’s spirituality presents a third, much more comprehensive way to view our relationship with God. God is the One in whom we live and move and have our being. This is a way that was recognized in ancient times but never emphasized by formal religions.
3. Evolution and Science
Teilhard’s spirituality embraces and accepts the findings of modern science, especially the laws of evolution, which are at the roots of his thought. His approach does not distance itself from science, progress, complexity, modern life, information technology, or the media, as traditional spiritualities tend to do.
4. A Shared Destiny
Teilhard takes traditional individual spirituality—my personal relationship to God and my personal enlightenment or salvation—and expands it to become part of the grand project envisioned by God for humanity—a shared planetary destiny.
5. Role of Human Effort
Teilhard shows how all our human efforts to create a better world are really ways to further God’s planetary project, and so our actions are much more significant than just ways for us to get higher grades on our heavenly report card, as some traditional spiritualities would infer.
6. Valuing Suffering
Teilhard offers a powerful way of interpreting human suffering.
7. Enriching Interpersonal Life
Teilhard offers a new way to, and motivation for, inter-human communion, in addition to communion with God.
8. The Eucharist
Teilhard offers an expanded understanding of the Eucharistic mystery.
There are many other new aspects of Teilhard’s spirituality to learn about, but these will get you started on his revolutionary path to God.
|Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J.|
|Teilhard's Evolutionary Spirituality|
|The Divine Milieu explained|
|American Teilhard Association|
|Excerpts from "the Phenomenon of Man"|