Zygon: Journal of Religion & Science
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Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science
30 (1), March 1995

Table of Contents

Editorial

March 1995 Editorial by Philip Hefner

The Thirtieth Year, which with this issue has finally arrived, has assumed almost mythic proportions for the Zygon staff. This anniversary reminds us of the sheer accomplishment of three decades of unbroken publication, serving a movement, an interest, and a discipline that were scarcely noticeable when Ralph Wendell Burhoe and his colleagues began in March 1966. It also brings to keen awareness the persons—an impressively large number of them—who poured out their ideas, their time, and their energy over the decades to forge the intellectual and religious enterprise that this journal represents.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1995.tb00046.x

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin Revisited

Guest Editor’s Introduction by James F. Salmon

Over twenty-five years ago, Lippincott published The Promise of Teilhard, a book which was reviewed widely and positively at the time. Since the author was Philip Hefner, it is not inappropriate for Zygon to revisit Pierre Teilhard de Chardin forty years after his death in 1955. Today wide acclaim for Teilhard so evident twenty-five years ago has subsided. Professor Hefner requested of me that this issue be an authoritative and somewhat comprehensive survey and interpretation of critical work of the last quarter century “and an assessment of just what status Teilhard holds for us today, particularly (but not exclusively) for persons whose concern is the interrelationship of religious faith/theology and the sciences.” In attempting to fulfill this request the issue also endeavors to respond to Zygon’s hypothesis that religious insight, when yoked with updated scientific discoveries about the world and human nature, can provide valid and effective guidance for enhancing human living. Teilhard’s life and work, addressed in this volume, manifest the wisdom of this sentiment. …
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1995.tb00047.x

List of Abbreviations

The following works by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin have been cited in the texts of the various articles [in this issue] using the abbreviations listed below. -
AEActivation of Energy. Trans. Rene Hague. New York: Harvest Books, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1963. 1st American ed. 1971.
AE[a]Activation of Energy. Trans. Rene Hague. London: Collins, 1970.
CEChristianity and Evolution. Trans. Rene Hague. London: Collins, 1971.
CHLe Christique (The Christic), In OV, vol. 13, Le Cœur de la Matiere, 93-117.
CPQLes carnassiers de phosphorites du quercy. In OS, vol. 1, 89-197.
DC“L’ Homme devant les enseignements de l’Eglise et devant las philosophie spiritualiste.” In Dictionnaire apologetique de la foi catholique, ed. Adhemard D’Ales, vol. 2, 501-14. Paris: Beauchesne, 1924.
DMThe Divine Milieu: An Essay on the Interior Life. Gen. ed. Bernard Wall. New York: Harper Torchbooks, Harper & Row, 1960.
FCLes felides de Chine. Publications de l’Institut de Geobiologie 11: 4095-4158. Beijing: Institut de Geobiologie, 1945.
FMThe Future of Man. Trans. Norman Denny. New York: Harper & Row, 1964.
GGGeobiologia. “Geobiologie et geobiologia.” Publications de l’Institut de Geobiologie 11: 3753-60. Beijing: Institut de Geobiologie, 1943.
HEHuman Energy. Trans. J. M. Cohen. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1969, 1971, 1979 (identical printings).
HMThe Heart of Matter. Trans. Rene Hague. New York: Helen & Kurt Wolff Books, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1969.
HMAThe Heart of Matter. Trans. Rene Hague, London: Collins, 1978.
JNJournal I, 1915-1919. Ed. Nicole Schmitz-Moormann and Karl Schmitz-Moormann. Paris: Fayard, 1975.
JTJournal Tome I (Cahiers 1-5). Paris: Fayard, 1977 (See JN).
LFTLetters from a Traveller. Trans. Rene Hague et al. London: Collins, 1962.
LGBLettre al’Abbe Gaudefroy et l’Abbe Breuil. Paris: Editions du Rocher, 1988.
LILettres intimes a Auguste Valensin, Bruno de Solages, Henri de Lubac, Andre Ravier (1919-1950). Introduction and notes by Henri de Lubac. Paris: Aubier-Mantaigne, 1972, 1974 (identical printings).
LJMLettres a Jeanne Mortier. Paris: Editions du Seuil, 1984.
LLZLetters to Leontine Zanta. Trans. Bernard Wall. Introduction by Robert Garric and Henride Lubac. London: Collins, 1969.
LLZ[a]Lettres a Leontine Zanta. Introduction by Robert Garric and Henri de Lubac. Paris and Bruges: Esclee de Brauwer, 1965.
LTSThe Letters of Teilhard de Chardin and Lucile Swan. Preface by Pierre Leroy. Ed. Thomas M. King, S.J., and Mary Wood Gilbert. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown Univ. Press, 1993.
LVLettres de voyages (1923-1955). Recueillies et presentees par Claude Arragones. Paris: Bernard Grasset, 1956.
MPNMan’s Place in Nature. New York: Harper & Row, 1970.
MRE“The Antiquity and World Expansion of Human Culture.” In Man’s Role in Changing the Face of the Earth, ed. William Thomas, Jr. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1956.
OSL’Oeuvre Scientifique. Ed. and comp. Nicole Schmitz-Moormann and Karl Schmitz-Moormann. Preface by Jean Piveteau. 11 vols. Olten and Freiburg, Germany: Walter-Verlag, 1971.
OVOeuvres, vols. I-XIII. Paris: Editions du Seuil, 1955-76.
PIG“New Rodents of the Pliocene and Lower Pleistocene of North China.” Publications de l’Institut de Geobiologie 9: 1-101 (3635-3746). Beijing: Institut de Geobiologie, 1943.
PMThe Phenomenon of Man. Gen. ed. Bernard Wall. New York: Colophon Books, Harper & Row, 1959, 1968 (identical printings).
PM[a]The Phenomenon of Man. Introduction by Sir Julian Huxley. Gen. ed. Bernard Wall. London: Collins, 1959.
PM[b]The Phenomenon of Man. Gen. ed. and trans. Bernard Wall. London, Glasgow: Collins-Fontana Books, 1974.
PM[c]The Phenomenon of Man. New York: Harper & Row, 1961.
PM[d]Le phénomène humain. Ed. Jeanne Mortier. Paris: Editions du Seuil, 1955.
PT“Sur un cas remarquable de’orthogenese de groupe: L’evolution des Sipheneides de Chine.” In Paleontologie et transformisme: Rapports et discussions du colloque international de Paleontologie, ed. Jean Piveteau. Paris: Albin Michel, 1949.
SCScience and Christ. Trans. Rene Hague. New York: Harper & Row, 1968; London: Collins, 1968 (probably identical printings).
SCFThe Spiritual Contribution of the Far East. In OV, vol. 2, Le Directions de la Avenir. 147-60.
TCATeilhard de Chardin Album. Preface by Andre George. Ed. Jeanne Mortier and Marie-Louise Abouv. London: Collins, 1966.
TFToward the Future. Trans. Rene Hague. London: Collins, 1975; New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1975 (probably identical printings).
VPThe Vision of the Past. Trans. J. M. Cohen. New York: Harper & Row, [1966] 1968.
WTWWritings in Time of War. Trans. Rene Hague. New York: Harper & Row, 1968.

DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1995.tb00048.x

Teilhard’s Vision of the World and Modern Cosmology by Michael Heller

Abstract:
Some physical aspects of Teilhard’s synthesis are focused upon and confronted with the recent achievements of physics and cosmology. The stuff of the universe, according to modern physical theories, has become something more similar to a structure or form than to inert pieces of material substratum. Directedness of time and history no longer seems to be an ontological a priori of any existence, but rather an outcome of finely tuned initial conditions. And the growth of complexity is now regarded as a process emerging out of physical laws rather than a foreign element in the body of physics. The question is considered of how these results affect Teilhard de Chardin’s vision of the world.
Keywords:
complexification • cosmology • evolution • matter • Pierre Teilhard de Chardin • time
Michael Heller is Professor in the Faculty of Philosophy of the Pontifical Academy of Theology, Craców, Poland; a Member of the Papal Academy of Science; and Adjunct Member of the Vatican Astronomical Observatory. His mailing address is u 1, Powstancow Warszawy 13/94, 33-110 Tarnów, Poland.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1995.tb00049.x

How Does the Teilhardian Vision of Evolution Compare with Contemporary Theories? by Lodovico Galleni

Abstract:
Teilhard de Chardin’s ideas about the mechanisms of biological evolution are revised and their connections with contemporary theories are reported. Teilhard de Chardin’s main contribution is the proposal of a new scientific discipline, geobiology—the science of the biosphere evolving as a whole. The main fields of interest of geobiology are reported, and its relationships with contemporary hypotheses, such as Lovelock’s Gaia, are discussed. The consequences of this kind of approach are the parallel evolution described as orthogenesis and the presence of canalization phenomena. These Teilhardian hypotheses are discussed in relation to those of the process structuralists and to the novelties of the molecular evolution of the genome. Conclusions are that the mechanisms discussed by Teilhard are presently taken into consideration by contemporary evolutionists in order to construct a new theory of biological evolution.
Keywords:
biosphere • complexity • evolution • evolutionary landscape • Gaia hypothesis • geobiology • noosphere • orthogenesis • Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
Lodovico Galleni is Professor of General Zoology, Faculty of Agricultural Science, University of Pisa, Via San Michele degli Scalzi 2, I 56124 Pisa, Italy.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1995.tb00050.x

Teilhard’s Reflections on Eastern Religions Revisited by Ursula King

Abstract:
References to Eastern religions are found throughout Teilhard’s work. Often considered to be mainly negative, these need to be critically reassessed within the wider context of Teilhard’s experience and thought. Primarily interested in the renewal of Christianity (criticized more sharply than Eastern religions), he emphasized the living branches of religion and the need for a gradual convergence toward a religion of action in order to bring about a global transformation of life and thought. He spoke of the “road of the West” or a “new mysticism” which, however, cannot come into existence without the contribution of Eastern religions.
Keywords:
Christianity in contemporary world • evolution of religion • new mysticism • “road of the West” • spiritual contribution of Eastern religions
Ursula King is Chair of the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Bristol, 36 Tyndall’s Park Road, Bristol BS8 1PL, U.K.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1995.tb00051.x

The Church as the Axis of Convergence in Teilhard’s Theology and Life by Mathias Trennert-Helwig

Abstract:
During the lifetime of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, the Roman Catholic Church passed through deep changes of doctrines as well as ecclesiastical structures, marked by the First and Second Vatican Councils. In that historical period, the perceived threat of the more and more encompassing theory of universal evolution was the main reason that Teilhard was forbidden to publish anything about its theological or philosophical significance. Teilhard survived these lifelong restrictions within his beloved church by embracing the paradigm of the church as “the axis of universal convergence.” His scientific background as a geobiologist gave him the necessary distance from the temporary statements of the magisterium of the Church. Over the whole of human history, however, he believed the Church to be the “phylum” whose development leads to the cosmic Christ as a guidance beam leads to a goal.
Keywords:
Christ-Omega • doctrine of the church • evolution • geobiology • heresy • Roman Catholic Church • Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
Mathias Trennert-Helwig is a Roman Catholic priest in the parish of Waldkirch in Germany. His address is Kirchplatz 9, D-79183, Waldkirch, Germany.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1995.tb00052.x

New Perspectives on Teilhard Publications by Nicole Schmitz-Moormann

Abstract:
Teilhard’s texts were published in two complementary publications, the more philosophical-theological ones in the Oeuvres (OV), the scientific ones in the L’Oeuvre Scientifique (OS). His letters were published in a nonsystematic way. The publication of the Oeuvres presented thematic compilations. The papers had their own production history, creating different versions. Scientific texts were published by Teilhard in widely dispersed journals and have been collected into L’Oeuvre Scientifique. The scientific status of Teilhard is related to his positions in the scientific world and the continued use of his publications. The influences causing different versions of theological and philosophical papers are analyzed. The present accessibility of the diaries and their importance for a full understanding of Teilhard is elaborated.
Keywords:
diary • history of publications • metaphysics • Oeuvres • science • scientist • Pierre Teilhard de Chardin • theology
Nicole Schmitz-Moormann has worked for the last thirty years on the Teilhard papers along with Karl Schmitz-Moormann. She can be reached at the Chicago Center for Religion and Science, 1100 East Fifty-Fifth St., Chicago, IL 60615.

Editor’s Note:
In this unique glimpse into scholarship, Nicole Schmitz-Moormann, transcriber and translator of the journals of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, allows the reader to “look over her shoulder” as she deciphers the multilingual, idiosyncratic notes of an erudite thinker. Although the journals have been her primary focus, Nicole Schmitz-Moormann also provides important information about the theological/philosophical work and the scientific writings, placing them in the context of Teilhard’s intellectual and spiritual journey.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1995.tb00053.x

An Explosion of Dazzling Flashes: Teilhard’s Unity of Faith and Science by Thomas M. King

Abstract:
Science and revelation have been presented as two books with the same “author,” their reconciliation being called “concordism.” Teilhard opposed concordism, insisting that supposed “revelations” be treated as scientific hypotheses to be verified or not in experience. Applying his criterion for truth (Does it bring “coherence and fecundity” to the phenomena?) to Christian revelation, he told of finding “an explosion of dazzling flashes.” So Teilhard spoke of the hypothesis as the supreme spiritual act wherein the dust of experience takes on form and is kindled at the fire of knowledge.
Keywords:
Archimedes • concordism • Galileo • Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
Thomas M. King, S.J. is Professor of Theology at Georgetown University, Washington, DC 20057.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1995.tb00054.x

The Future of Teilhardian Theology by Karl Schmitz-Moormann

Abstract:
The impossibility of predicting the future allows us only to indicate which theological developments seem to be needed. These developments concern our changing perception of the world, which requires a reversal in our understanding of God’s Creation, from its most imperfect beginnings to its unforeseeable future. The passing of evolution from the biological to the human level has opened moral dimensions that must be explored. Rather than return to the beginnings of the church, theology needs to try to understand Christian faith within evolution, to reinterpret the past in the light of the new. In evolution, no final doctrine is possible. The necessity for doctrine creates a constant tension with the necessity of its revision. New truth must be paid for by suffering. The need is for a coherent theological vision of Creation, Redemption, and God’s action in the world. Teilhard’s metaphysics of union may be the key to it. In this view love becomes the central force of creation, which in Teilhard’s view opens into an eternal future in God: in its final stage, evolution becomes Christogenesis.
Keywords:
anthropic principle • Book of Nature • Creation • doctrine • evolution • heresy and truth • order • rationality of the world • Redemption • science • Pierre Teilhard de Chardin • theology
Karl Schmitz-Moormann is Professor Emeritus, Fachhochschule Dortmund, Germany; Fellow at the Center of Theological Inquiry, Princeton, N.J.; and Visiting Professor at the Chicago Center for Religion and Science. He may be reached at the Chicago Center for Religion and Science, 1100 East Fifty-fifth Street, Chicago, IL 60615.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1995.tb00055.x

Works on Teilhard, 1980-1994: An Annotated Bibliography by James F. Salmon and Thomas M. King

This annotated bibliography is a selected list of works published during the recent past by and about Teilhard. It can be considered as supplemental to the bibliographic and reference listings by individual authors in this issue. The selected listings are grouped under headings of works by Teilhard and works about Teilhard. The latter are categorized into religion, philosophy, science, and miscellany. Finally, the location is given of some principal libraries containing collections of writings by Teilhard. The emphasis is on literature written in English and French. There have been publications in other languages but English has been the most common medium used. Dissertations have not been included in the listing. The period 1980-94 showed a decline in the number of publications relative to 1966-80, but the listing below indicates there is still considerable interest and scholarship regarding Teilhard. …
James F. Salmon, S.J., is Treasurer of the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus, 5704 Roland Avenue, Baltimore MD 21210. Thomas M. King, S.J., is Professor of Theology at Georgetown University, Washington, DC 20057.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1995.tb00056.x

Reviews

The Letters of Teilhard de Chardin and Lucile Swan by Thomas M. King, S.J., and Mary Wood Gilbert, reviewed by Winifred McCulloch

Winifred McCulloch; Editor, Teilhard Perspective; American Teilhard Association; 40 Hillside Lane; Syosset, NY 11791
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1995.tb00057.x

Die Urkraft des Kosmos: Dimensionen der Liebe im Werk Pierre Teilhards de Chardin by Mathias Trennert-Helwig, reviewed by Philip Hefner

Philip Hefner; Professor of Systematic Theology; Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago; 1100 East Fifty-fifth Street; Chicago, IL 60615
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.1995.tb00057.x



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