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Hymn of the Universe by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin


Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J., was professor of geology at the Catholic Institute in Paris, director of the National Geologic Survey of China, and director of the National Research Center of France. He died in New York City in 1955.

Hymn of the Universe was published in 1961 by Harper & Row. This book was prepared for Religion Online by Harry W. and Grace C. Adams.


Prefatory Letter, from H.M. Queen Marie-Jose (Belgium)

Translator's Note,by Simon Bartholomew
The translator offers a brief rationale of his task of presenting a rendering that is faithful to both the poetic and scientific natures of the text.

Introduction, by N.M. Wildiers
This preparatory word presents a broad framework for approaching the thought of Pere Teilhard, particularly his concept of the omnipresence of the divine Word.

Chapter 1: The Mass On The World
Using the Roman Catholic mass as a metaphor for his philosophical understanding of man in relation to the universe, the author explores in poetic prose the unity and sacredness of all creation using concepts like power, Word (logos), and fire to relate to ecclesiastical terms like communion and prayer, and emphasizing the simplicity, coherence and harmony of everything through the universal presence of the Word.

Chapter 2: Christ in the World of Matter
A mystical vision of Christ emanating from a painting on a church wall and blending into all humanity as well as the universe itself in a highly visionary description of the omnipresence of God as "all-in-all."

Chapter 3: The Spiritual Power of Matter
Behind the poetic language and imagery Chardin depicts creation as an evolutionary process with the existence of matter as the necessary precondition for the appearance on earth of spirit, and describes matter as the "matrix of spirit" in which life emerges and is supported.

Chapter 4: Pensees
A collection of short meditations. In a thoughtful way Chardin explores the omnipresence of God in the world, humans as supernatural beings in the natural evolutionary process, and the meaning of human endeavor as the realization of Christian charity.

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