America's Teilhard: Christ and Hope in the 1960s

America's Teilhard: Christ and Hope in the 1960s

2019 | ISBN: 0813231655 | English | 336 Pages | PDF | 1 MB

The period from 1959-1972 was the crucial years during which the French priest, paleontologist, and writer Pierre Teilhard de Chardin's writing and thought significantly impacted the spiritual thought of the United States. During this time his writings first became available in North America; indeed, over five hundred works concerning him were published in the US during these years.

America's Teilhard: Christ and Hope in the 1960s is a study of the reception of Teilhard in the United States during this period and contributes to an awareness of the thought of this important figure and the impact of his work. Additionally, it further develops an understanding of U.S. Catholicism in all its dimensions during these years, and provides clues as to how it has unfolded over the past several decades. Susan Sack argues that the manner and intensity of the reception of Teilhard's thought happened as it did at this point in history because of the confluence of the then developing social milieu, the disintegration of the immigrant Catholic subculture, and the opening of the church to the world through Vatican II. Additionally, as these social and historical events unfolded within U.S. culture during these years, the way Teilhard was read, and the contributions which his thought provided changed. This book considers his work as a carrier at times for an almost Americanist emphasis upon progress, energy and hope; in other years his teleological understanding of the value of suffering moves to center. Additionally, the stories of numerous persons - scientists, theologians, politicians, and scholars - who became involved in the American Teilhardian effort are detailed.

Finally America's Teilhard notes that in the end, it has been Teilhard's attempts to leap the interstice between the secular and the sacred, particularly in terms of Christology, that remain of value today. It is those which most had, and which continue to have impact upon U.S. Catholic theology.

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