Teilhard and Struggle: Drawn to the Road of Fire
While on retreat on the island of Jersey in 1919, Teilhard experienced a transfiguration-like vision that he shares in his allegorical essay, “The Spiritual Power of Matter.” During this vision, Teilhard encounters Matter in all its physical and spiritual power. In response to his interaction with Matter, Teilhard commits himself to struggle in every aspect of his life without yet knowing what these struggles might be.
In this program, we will explore the details of some of Teilhard’s major life challenges—as a scientist, as a believer, as a lover, as a Jesuit, as a mystic, and as a faithful member of the Church, noticing the profound influence his evolutionary worldview had on his approach as well as his deep spirituality. Focusing on Teilhard’s responses—especially on his acts of surrender—we will attempt to learn from his fidelity better ways of managing struggle in our personal lives, in the life of our Church, and in the life of today’s World.
This program will include time to explore the powerful imagery that pervades Teilhard’s essay, “The Spiritual Power of Matter,” as well as opportunities for input, prayer, contemplative dialogue, sharing of experiences, and ritual.
Resource Person: Sr. Kathleen Duffy, SSJ, PhD, Professor of Physics at Chestnut Hill College is editor of Teilhard Studies, and Director of the Institute for Religion and Science at Chestnut Hill College. She serves on the advisory boards of the American Teilhard Association and Cosmos and Creation. Kathleen is also editor of Teilhard Studies, a biannual publication of the American Teilhard Association. She has edited a volume of essays about Teilhard’s life and works entitled Rediscovering Teilhard’s Fire (St. Joseph’s University, 2010). Her new book “Teilhard’s Struggle: Embracing the Work of Evolution”, published by Orbis is due out in April 2019.
Duffy, Kathleen. “The Eucharist as Liturgical Drama: Teilhard’s ‘The Mass on the World’,” in Delio, Ilia, ed., From Teilhard to Omega: Co-creating an Unfinished Universe. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2014.
Teilhard’s Mysticism: Seeing the Inner Face of Evolution. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2014.
Teilhard’s Struggle: Embracing the Work of Evolution. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2019.
King, Ursula. Spirit of Fire: The Life and Vision of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2015.
Teilhard de Chardin, Pierre, The Divine Milieu. Translated by Bernard Wall. New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1960.
The Making of a Mind: Letters from a Soldier-Priest 1914-1919. Translated by René Hague. New York: Harper & Row, 1965.
“The Heart of Matter,” In The Heart of Matter. Translated by René Hague. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., 1978.
“The Spiritual Power of Matter,” In The Heart of Matter. Translated by René Hague. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., 1978.
“The Mass on the World,” In The Heart of Matter. Translated by René Hague. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., 1978.