Recommended Books

Teilhard de Chardin on Love: Evolving Human Relationships by Lou Savary and Patricia Byrne, Paulist Press 2017. “The authors have provided a valuable contribution in this book by clearly explaining Teilhard’s doctrine of love on every level of life, from God to friendship, marriage, parenting, and human community. Their book is less a scholarly exposition on a Teilhardian doctrine of love than a masterful illumination of love as the core energy of evolving life. Each chapter clearly explains Teilhard’s insights and then provides practical ways of incorporating these ideas into daily life.”

Enfolded in Christ by John-Francis Friendship explores the theme of contemporary religious life. Towards the end of the book the author draws on Teilhard’s thinking from The Hymn of the Universe and The Mass on the World …..”the Eucharist cannot be contained within the Church for it is greater than the liturgy we celebrate”.
Although Teilhard is mentioned in only three pages, it is another example of how his ground-breaking writings continue to be integrated into contemporary thinking about spirituality.

The Spirit of the Liturgy by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, later Pope Benedict XVI, Ignatius Press 2000. In this excellent book Cardinal Ratzinger cites Teilhard with approval, saying that he “depicted the cosmos as a process of ascent, a series of unions… In his view the Eucharist provides the movement of the cosmos with its direction…”

Teilhard de Chardin: The Search for the Light in Evolution by the award-winning author Bernard Fleury. See:

In the Beginning: a Catholic understanding of Creation and the Fall by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.
Five classic sermons preached in Munich Cathedral when he was the Archbishop there.

Toward the Future, a collection of essays from 1929 to 1954 by Teilhard de Chardin, one of which includes the “discovery of fire” quoted by Bishop Curry at the Royal Wedding. It is the concluding sentence from Teilhard’s essay “The Evolution of Chastity”, one of the most important essays in this book.  You can find it online at 

God and Evolution: Creation, Evolution and the Bible by R. J. Berry – Regent College Publishing 2001.
The author was Emeritus Professor of Genetics at University College, London. He was a former President of the Linnean Society, the European Ecological Federation and Christians in Science. For 20 years he served as a member of the General Synod of the Church of England, and in 1996 received the UK Templeton Award.

Through Mud and Barbed Wire: Paul Tillich, Teilhard de Chardin and God after the First World War
Mel Thompson, a member of the former British Teilhard Association, has written a book on Tillich and Teilhard, focusing on their experiences in the First World War:
“In June 1916, two religious thinkers, one a chaplain and the other a stretcher-bearer, found themselves on opposite sides of the front line to the west of Verdun. For each, the experience transformed his idea of God, his career and his life. The story of these two men – Paul Tillich and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin – and the impact of the First World War had on them, reflects a century of thinking about religion, politics, philosophy and the global future.”

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin: a selective summary of his life by John Cowburn S.J.
Fr. Cowburn was a Jesuit himself, so he writes about Teilhard from the inside, so to speak. His short biography of Teilhard is an extremely valuable supplement to other biographies.

The Rise and Fall of ADAM & EVE by Stephen Greenblatt, Bodley Head London, 2017. A fascinating book about the influence a few verses in Genesis have had on art, philosophy and science ever since they were written. Michelangelo, Milton and Darwin – they are all here, but not, as it happens, the famous Jesuit palaeontologist Teilhard de Chardin, even though his 1922 essay on Original Sin with its “there is no acceptable place for Adam” got him into deep trouble with the Vatican and led to his having to sign the notorious “Six Propositions”. Greenblatt’s book is a great read even so.

The Atom of the Universe: The Life and Work of GEORGES LEMAÎTRE by Dominique Lambert, Copernicus Center Press 2015. There were two great 20th century priest-scientists – Teilhard was one and Lemaître was the other. Lemaitre was the man who came up with the theory of “the primeval atom”, what we now call the Big Bang, and he also predicted that the expansion of the universe was accelerating, decades before it was proved. As it happens this excellent biography features Teilhard amongst others, and is in any case a good read, if at times requiring a spot of googling by the general reader.

Teilhard’s Mass: Approaches to “The Mass on the World” by Thomas King S.J., Paulist Press 2005. The Mass on the World is one of Teilhard’s most famous and inspirational essays.

From Teilhard to Omega: Co-creating an Unfinished Universe, essays edited by Ilia Delio, Orbis 2014. “Thirteen scholars ‘take off’ from where Teilhard de Chardin ‘left off’.

God’s Biologist – A Life of Alister Hardy by David Hay. The BTA has on several occasions organised joint conferences with the Alister Hardy Trust, as both Hardy and Teilhard were outstanding scientists with an intense interest in religion – Hardy founded the Religious Experience Research Centre at Oxford University. It is currently based at the University of Wales.

Teilhard in the 21st Century, essays by various authors, Orbis Books 2003 – “Thomas Berry offers reflections on Teilhard and ecology. Brian Swimme explores unsuspected depths of natural selection and its meaning for our age. Articles by Ursula King, Donald Gray, and Thomas King offer insights into Teilhard’s friendships with women, the way in which he strove to articulate the unity of knowledge, and his ever-deepening creation spirituality. A brief biography by John Grim and Mary Evelyn Tucker explores the key moments of Teilhard’s development and offers new readers a superb entrée into his life and thought. Other authors include William Rees, Arthur Fabel, John Haught, Eulalio Balthasar, Eleanor Rae, and Joseph Grau.” Click here

The Heart of Matter by Teilhard de Chardin. Teilhard’s books and and essays were not published in chronological order, which makes studying the evolution of his thought difficult. However there is a Chronological List of Works at the back of The Heart of Matter, Collins 1978, a book which is in any case required reading for anyone interested in Teilhard. Click here

Christianity in Evolution: An Exploration by Jack Mahoney. Bolder than Teilhard? Click here

Conscious Energy by Joe Provenzano, Authors Guild Backinprint, 1993, 2000. How the history of philosophy culminated in the work of Teilhard de Chardin. Click here

Journey of the Universe by Brian Thomas Swimme and Mary Evelyn Tucker, Yale University Press – click here

There is also a companion Journey of the Universe DVD.

See also Living Cosmology – Christian responses to Journey of the Universe, Orbis Books 2016. Essays, mainly by academics, including four on Teilhard de Chardin. Click here

You might also try Transhumanism and Teilhard de Chardin by Jean-Louis Schlegel. “Transhumanism borrows from the work of jesuit and scientist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1885-1955) by neglecting his cosmological depth and his faith…” Click here


MARCH 2017: the Fondation Teilhard de Chardin in Paris has a number of Teilhard books in English for sale. Several are not easy to find today. The following pdf file lists those available:
Fondation books for sale
If you would like to know more please email