Re: [asa] Evolution Conference Washington, DC - language confusion

From: <>
Date: Mon Sep 14 2009 - 21:57:00 EDT

I'll respond later to the rest of Gregory's post but here just comment on Teilhard. I certainly consider him to be a Christian who intended to set out a faithful understanding of the Christian, and specifically Roman Catholic, faith. (I don't have his writings at hand now but in one place where he's talking about the Body of Christ as the future of evolution, he explicitly speaks of the Roman church as the core - I can't remember the exact wording - of the church.) It is perhaps easier for a non-Roman Christian to see how in many ways his views are closer to those of traditional RC theology than to, e.g., the Lutheran or Reformed traditions. This is not to say that Rome & the Jesuits were not, from their standpoint, right to silence him as a theologian. But it's not because he was a crypto-protestant! (Traditional Lutheran & Reformed ideas about original sin are stronger than those of Trent & even more remote from Teilhard's than the RC position.)

Some of Teilhard's ideas - e.g., what I mentioned above about the Body of Christ - are valuable, though in that case not very thoroughly worked out (in part just because he couldn't publish & get hepful criticism. OTOH his ideas about original sin are a problem, & not just because he realized that the traditional formulations wouldn't work.


---- Schwarzwald <> wrote:
> Heya all,
> Jumping in here on one point.
> > And then you named Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, who was disciplined for his
> > views by the Roman Catholic Church because they were possibly inconsistent
> > with Christian theology, while you suggest they *are* consistent with
> > Christian theology. We will have to have this out one day George because
> > Teilhard is a controversial figure and his process-orientation is *huge* in
> > his approach.
> >
> Catholic as I am, I have to mention that the Roman Catholic Church is
> concerned with Catholic theology, not simply Christian theology. If Chardin
> was promoting salvation by faith alone, his view would still be 'Christian
> theology'. It would not be Catholic theology. And even the condemnation was
> not complete - as in, not every idea that Chardin discussed was necessarily
> incompatible even with Catholic theology.
> Either way, the result is that Teilhard's case is complicated. That the RCC
> condemned him does not mean he wasn't promoting a Christian theological
> concept, nor does it mean that all of his writing/understanding is
> incompatible with more specifically Catholic theological concepts. On the
> other hand, it doesn't mean that everything Chardin wrote was distinctively
> Christian, or compatible with orthodox Christianity/Catholicism either.
> I will say that Chardin's view of evolution puts him in sharp opposition to
> Darwin's view of evolution. But then, as I've said before on this list, who
> cares what Darwin thinks?

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Received on Mon Sep 14 21:57:42 2009

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