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Hurley and Teilhard de Chardin

Introduction


We have reproduced on this webpage three major addresses on Teilhard de Chardin given by Archbishop Hurley in the 1960s and 1970s, as well as a brief but brilliant mini-biography of this famous French scientist and mystic. These have not previously been published but certainly deserve a wide audience.

Denis Hurley had a lifelong fascination with Teilhard whom he regarded as ‘a great hero' who was much wronged by his religious order and by the Church. He was greatly disappointed not to have met Teilhard when the latter was briefly in Durban in 1951. It was only in the late 1950s and early 1960s, after Teilhard's death that Hurley was able to read his famous works Le Milieu Divin, Hymn of the Universe and The Phenomenon of Man because, while Teilhard was alive, the Vatican had prevented publication of his writings.

Hurley said that Teilhard won ‘ my heart completely'. He seemed to provide the all-embracing view of creation and redemption for which Hurley had been searching perhaps even from the time of his studies in Rome in the 1930s. Teilhard proved that it was possible to speak about theological dichotomies such as this world and the next, matter and spirit, body and soul, nature and grace, science and faith, Christ and the universe, in their essential unity rather than in dualistic opposition.

Hurley described himself as ‘furious' about the Holy Office's suppression of Teilhard's writings and committed himself to speak out in his favour if ever the opportunity arose. This happened at the Second Vatican Council when Hurley praised "the splendid vision, religious and scientific, evolutionary and eschatological of that illustrious son of the Church, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin" before all 2,500 bishops gathered in plenary session. Read Preparing for the Council.



Links and Downloads 

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Preparing for the Council
 Preparing for the Council
A biography of Pierre Teilhard De Chardin
 A biography of Pierre Teilhard De Chardin
Science and Faith in the vision of Teilhard 
 Science and Faith in the vision of Teilhard 
The Spiritual Vision of Teilhard De Chardin
 The Spiritual Vision of Teilhard De Chardin
The Future of Man: Man and Evil
 The Future of Man: Man and Evil