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 firstname.lastname@example.org