Teilhard, the Six Propositions, and human origins: A response

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Abstract

Recent archival research has uncovered material that usefully explains why the French Jesuit Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was required to remain in China for so long, despite assenting to the Six Propositions. However, the context in Rome, existing narrative evidence, and aspects of the archival evidence make it more likely than not that the Holy Office had a role in his silencing. Proposition 4 advocated monogenism, whereas Teilhard was developing a monophyletic understanding of human origins, which is consistent with recent attempts to situate Adam and Eve within an evolutionary account of these. The content of Proposition 4 exceeded existing magisterial teaching and requiring Teilhard’s subscription to it suppressed legitimate theological debate.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)954-964
JournalZygon
Volume54
Issue number4
Early online date13 Nov 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019

Keywords

  • Christianity
  • evolution
  • original sin
  • origin of life
  • Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

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