Cult books revisited: Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s The Phenomenon of Man

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Teilhard’s The Phenomenon of Man was posthumously published and has been retranslated as The Human Phenomenon. It presents humankind in unity with an evolving world, locates parts in relation to the whole, and balances the perspectives of the outside and the inside. Key aspects include the tangential–radial energy distinction, axes of evolution, the noosphere and personalization. Although Teilhard regarded it as a scientific work, he leaves space for the theological notions of ensoulment, monogenism and the supernatural, and derives his hypothesis that Omega is a point of evolutionary convergence from scripture. Today, Teilhard’s cosmic vision appeals to some and the global context he defines is ecologically significant, but his dense theorizing may obscure or detract from basic elements of Christian belief.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)404-411
Number of pages8
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • complexity
  • convergence
  • energy
  • evolution
  • noosphere
  • Omega
  • theology


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