Teilhard de Chardin's Evolutionary Natural Theology

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Abstract

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin develops, as is well known, a model of evolution as a convergent progression from primordial multiplicity through increasing degrees of complexity toward a final Omega point of spiritual consummation. I explore how Teilhard fuses Darwinian and Lamarckian theories of evolution in developing his own, and in particular his defense of the view that Lamarckism is fundamental to a proper understanding of evolution's human phase. Teilhard's scientific interpretation of evolution is inspired by Christian cosmological insights derived from patristic theology and contemporary Pauline scholarship and cannot be separated from them. His integration of science and theology provides the basis for a renewed evolutionary natural theology that supplants the traditional static models developed by William Paley and others. Teilhard's natural theology also provides a framework for theological ethical reflection on how humanity should act in its capacity as created co‐creator with God. In later work, he considers the implications of his evolutionary theology for the wider universe. Teilhard thus presents an invigorated natural theology grounded in evolution that confirms and completes a dynamic and teleological view of the cosmo
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)519-534
JournalZygon
Volume42
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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