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Philosophy and Theology

Volume 29, Issue 1, 2017

John P. Slattery
Pages 69-82
DOI: 10.5840/philtheol201611971

Dangerous Tendencies of Cosmic Theology
The Untold Legacy of Teilhard de Chardin

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin loved the world, but, theologically and spiritually, he often tried to leave it behind. This essay shows that from the 1920s until his death in 1955, Teilhard de Chardin unequivocally supported racist eugenic practices, praised the possibilities of the Nazi experiments, and looked down upon those who he deemed "imperfect" humans. These ideas explicitly lay the groundwork for Teilhard’s famous cosmological theology, a link which has been largely ignored in Teilhardian research until now. This study concludes that such support requires a reconsideration of how Teilhard is used in twenty-first century theology.