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Toward the Future Paperback – December 16, 2002

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 228 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books (December 16, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0156028190
  • ISBN-13: 978-0156028196
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,501,628 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English, French (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955) was a Jesuit priest and paleontologist who studied chemistry, physics, botany, and zoology and received his doctorate in geology. The author of several works of philosophy and religion, he is considered by many to be among the foremost thinkers of our time. Toward the Future was first published in 1973.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ross James Browne on March 22, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book, like many of Teilhard's works, focuses on mysticism and pantheism in the sense that God is at work in every little thing, including tragedy and the shadow. In other words, Teilhard's pantheism is the idea of God in everything, while his idea of mysticism is that EVERYTHING IS ALL GOOD, including the seemingly tragic. Not only this, Christ is basically responsible for everything. This is what Teilhard would describe as "panchristism" or the idea that not only God but Christ is at work in every little thing. Some evangelical theologians find this concept of panchristism/ panthism to be too much of a departure from the orthodox concept that God and Christ are pure light and are not responsible for the shadow. But Teilhard believes that it is preferable to have God and Christ be in control of everything. "Toward the Future" helps to establish this idea of God and Christ in everything by making arguments that diminish evil. In other words, Teilhard eliminates the evangelical objection to pantheism (which is based on the complaint that pantheism attributes evil and the shadow to God) by eliminating the idea of evil. He does this by explaining the redemptive qualities of tragedy and evil in terms of creating higher consciousness. When we realize that tragedy leads directly to the evolution of compassion, it is not so difficult to connect everything - including the tragic - to God and Christ, especially if we wish to prove that God and Christ are responsible for creating higher consciousness. This is Teilhard's Christian mysticism, which has aspects of natural theology. Evangelical theologians: Please stop complaining and join the 21st century! God is in everything and everything is all good!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Edward J. Barton TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 2, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fr. Teilhard de Chardin was a Jesuit priest and scientist who lived and wrote during the first half of the 20th Century. His theological/philosophical works on the evolution of man and the role of both the "Man-Jesus" and "Cosmic Christ" brought both praise and condemnation from the Chruch and his contemporaries.

Viewing Christianity as the prime evolutionary vehicle for man, de Chardin explores the roles of other religions - especially those of the East - in the development of mankind. He also provides in this book a look at the role of chastity as the penultimate lifestyle. Finally, the book culminates in a short but dense magnum opus "My Fundamental Vision", where Fr. Teilhard summarizes his intellectual attitude to the world and to God.

Like the writings of many mystics, the essays are extremely dense, but profound. They are not easily absorbed in one sitting, but eviscerally feel directionally correct to this reader. The continuous evolution of man and the universe - including the complexity, breadth and rapidity of scientific discovery during Fr. Teilhard's life - lead him to be among the earliest modern writers to tackle the dichotomy of Church and Science, and made him one of the precursors to our modern theologians such as Matthew Fox and John Shelby Spong.

Worth a read, but it is a dense read to get through.
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