French Jesuit Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955), theologian and scientist, was renowned for his pioneering fieldwork in paleontology. His visionary writings on the reconciliation of faith and evolutionary theory aroused the suspicions of Vatican officials; as a result Teilhard was forbidden to publish on religious matters during his lifetime.
After his death the rapid publication of his many books—among them The Hymn of the Universe and The Divine Milieu—marked him as one of the most influential Catholic thinkers of the 20th century—a mystic whose holistic vision speaks with growing relevance to contemporary spiritualty and theology today.
Ursula Kingis Professor Emerita of Theology and Religious Studies and Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies, University of Bristol. Educated in Germany, France, India and England, she has lectured all over the world and published numerous books and articles, especially on gender issues in religions, method and theory, modern Hinduism, interfaith dialogue, spirituality, and on the French thinker Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. She has held several visiting chairs in the USA and Norway, and been awarded honorary doctorates by the universities of Edinburgh (1996), Oslo (2000), and Dayton, Ohio (2003). In 2000 she organised the Colston Research Symposium on Spirituality and Society in the New Millennium at the University of Bristol, and subsequently published its papers as a book (2001). Among more recent publications are the edited volume Gender, Religion and Diversity: Cross-Cultural Perspectives (2005) and The Search for Spirituality: Our Global Quest for Meaning and Fulfilment (2009).
This splendid selection of Teihard’s writings is an invaluable contribution: indeed, it is one of a kind. Ursula King’s introduction gives the reader a superb biographical and intellectual background for appreciating this seminal thinker.
- Mary Evelyn Tucker, The Forum on Religion and Ecology, Yale University