Corpus Christi: Sanctifying matter

A lot of people are familiar with the name of the French Jesuit scientist-priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881–1955), but few know in any detail what he had to say. Teilhard, as he is often known, was born in the Auvergne region of France and became a very well-known scientist in biology and palaeontology in the first part of the 20th century, when the theory of evolution was gaining prominence. He joined the Jesuits early in his life and forged an important connection in popular thinking between science and religion, particularly evolution and the ‘cosmic Christ’. For Teilhard, the process by which the material world was ‘evolving into consciousness’ was fundamentally linked with God and Christ, whom he saw as present in creation in the process of the sanctification or divinisation of material or matter…

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