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Reaching for Oneness

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Fifty years before the Internet, a French Jesuit priest predicted a shift from biological evolution to theological evolution. That God, through technology, would wrap the earth inside a "thinking skin."

This article appeared in the Spring 2000 issue of Spirituality & Health.From the beginning of my pilgrimage in the Church I must have longed unconsciously for a way to integrate three dearly held convictions: faith in God, love of the world, and confidence in the future. In mid-career I discovered the writings of Teilhard (pronounced “Tayahr”) and spent two years in part-time graduate theological studies at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., devouring his translated works. Of all my heroes, he stands among the tallest. A stretcher-bearer decorated for bravery in the fiercest battles of World War I, Teilhard became a scientist and a soaring mystic. In his lifetime he was renowned as a research geologist and achieved fame as a loyal Jesuit, and yet he was held in suspicion by orthodox science, considered a bit daft, and scorned by the Church hierarchy as a threat to tradition. What got him crossways in the Church was his uncompromising “evolutionary” worldview. And what diminished his acceptability in scientific circles was his mystical sense that Christ is the energy and the goal of all …

Bennett J. Sims is the retired Episcopal bishop of Atlanta. He was the founder of the Institute for Servant Leadership in Asheville, North Carolina. This article originally appeared in the Institute’s newsletter, Turning Point

His writings, largely suppressed in his time, nevertheless gave shape to our world, inspiring Global Village visionary Marshall McLuhan to write: "The Christian concept of the mystical body — all men as members of the body of Christ — this becomes technologically a fact under electronic conditions." His name? Marie Joseph Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.


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