Pierre Teilhard de Chardin's spiritual masterpiece, The Divine Milieu, in a newly revised translation by Sion Cowell, is addressed to those who have lost faith in conventional religion but who still have a sense of the divine at the heart of the cosmos. The heavens declare the glory of God,' sings the Psalmist. Teilhard would agree. We are surrounded,' he says, by a certain sort of pessimist who tells us continually that our world is foundering in atheism. But should we not say rather that what it is suffering from is unsatisfied theism?' He sees a universe in movement where progress is the spiritualisation of matter and its opposite is the materialisation of spirit. Teilhard opts for progress. The Divine Milieu is the divine centre and the divine circle, the divine heart and the divine sphere. The Divine Milieu is written for those who listen primarily to the voices of the Earth: its purpose is to provide a link to traditional Christianity (as expressed in Baptism, Cross and Eucharist) in order to demonstrate that the fears prevalent in contemporary world society as it abuses its very foundation -- Mother Earth -- may be better understood by the Gospel path. Teilhard's primary purpose is to show a way forward, which he sees as the Christian religious ideal'.
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"Reading this work reminds us that the 'secular' realm is usually constructed by religious people in an attempt to gain exemption from the task of attentive seeking." -- David Grumett, Times Literary Supplement, May 28, 2004. "Reflections of the spiritualisation of matter move beyond gravity to remind us of physical exuberance and the joy of growth...There is a beautiful limpidity about the translation...A great contribution to Teilhard Literature." -- The Scientific and Medical Network Review. "The volume includes a scholarly and most helpful Foreword by Jesuit scholar Thomas M. King, who outlines the life of Teilhard de Chardin and helps the reader to understand the context in which The Divine Milieu was written. He writes of a Jesuit Priest whose work did not sit easily with the Roman Catholic hierarchy of the early twentieth century. He portrays a man in some spiritual turmoil, living through events of great magnitude, who is seeking to make sense of all that is around him and of his own reaction to those events. The Divine Milieu was not written for those who were comfortable in their Catholic faith, but for the doubters and waverers - those for whom classical expressions of religious faith had long lost their meaning. I commend this volume." -- Rev. Adrian Burdon, Reviews in Religion and Theology.About the Author:
Sioc;n Cowell, President of The British Teilhard Association, is author of The Teilhard Lexicon ("Provides great assistance in deciphering Teilhard's terminology and interpreting his thought. Extremely friendly to the user," Choice), and has been involved with Teilhardian studies for more than 30 years. He is currently working towards his doctorate on Teilhard and the Greek Fathers.
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