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The Emergent Christ: Exploring the Meaning of Catholic in an Evolutionary Universe [Paperback]

Ilia Delio
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 18 2011
Ilia Delio makes fascinating sense of the universe, beginning with the story of cosmic evolution, coursing through the meaning of God in evolution and the emergence of Christ, and concluding with new ways of seeing Christ in all things. As Teilhard de Chardin did in The Divine Milieu, Ilia Delio reveals the sacrament of God at work in the world.

She also explores the spiritual evolution within each of us and suggests that it will change the cosmos as well as the church. She shows that we are at a stage in evolution where our choices will determine what happens next. "Love," she writes, "always seeks the best for the beloved but God is a beggar of love who waits at the soul's door without daring to force it open. The question of Christ emerging as the personal center of the universe is not a question of yes or no but a question of how that love will evolve." She makes one thing perfectly clear: it is happening and the evidence is astounding.

The Emergent Christ is an antidote to the new atheism that says there is no place in evolution for God, let alone a God of love. It is also a spiritual tonic for Christians interested in understanding their place and purpose in this evolving universe.

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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I belong to a group which is using this book for a book study. We are all very interested in the Christian Aspect of the New Cosmology. I have seen and heard Ilia Delio in a DVD which I found excellent. Hence, I purchased my personal copy and to date have used some of it in presentations.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am studying this book with a group. Found the first chapter hard to get through but the rest of the book is great.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  31 reviews
37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars awakenes and revitalizes HOPE for the human venture Jan. 6 2012
By Hector Lasala - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
THIS book is informative as well as being so panoramic in breath and depth
that often--while reading it--one feels wondrously ecstatic.

MS DELIO gathers TEILHARD de CHARDIN's insights and infuses them with the latest scientific findings
as well as the wealth of thought from PROCESS THEOLOGIANS like WHITEHEAD and HAUGHT.

THE greatest gift this book offers is an awakened and revitalized HOPE for the human venture:
cynicism and despair are replaced by enthusiasm and reverence.

HERE's a taste from a book within which almost every paragraph sends one into joyous contemplation.

If there is a movement towards wholeness in the universe,
then it is first a movement toward wholeness of soul.
Wholeness is the integrated field of energy whereby
all bodies are joined together by a luminous thread of love.

This can take place only when each soul discovers its own power to expand
and hence its power to unite.
Cosmic-unity is first self-unity; this is the core of the Christian spiritual journey.
To participate in the flourishing of life in the universe is to discover first the inner universe;
indeed, the secret of the universe lies within.


Human action is to help evolution advance in every field of enterprise--
business, science, education, law, agriculture, social sciences, cultural and artistic pursuits--
all of which are involved in a transforming process much greater than ourselves.
We are not called to relate to a God without a world.
To love God we must also love what God loves.

We are called to love this created world as God loves it.
We are to help transform this universe in Christ by seeing Christ in the universe
and loving Christ in the heart of the universe.
32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Contemporary Meditation Dec 5 2011
By Harry - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The Emergent Christ will appeal to readers who are interested in exploring how one can be religious in a world that is being redefined by the discoveries of modern science. While the context of the book is framed by Catholicism, its discussion is much broader in that it explores the synthesis of evolution and quantum physics with traditional religious teachings. The strength of the book is that it will comfort those who are troubled by the implications of modern science on their deeply held religious beliefs. Sr. Delio is an expert on the writings of Fr. Teilhard de Chardin SJ and presents his ideas as an extended meditation on the centrality of "love" as an engine of evolution.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book, ahead of the curve... Feb. 29 2012
By Michael G. Leach - Published on Amazon.com
I love this book. It's ahead of the curve on the intersection of science and religion. The author sheds light on the spiritual insights of Chardin and Bonaventure found in the new learnings we're getting from physics and cosmology, and she does it better than anyone I've read so far. I appreciate her clarity when writing about science and her lyricism when writing about spirituality. She writes with the authority of someone who knows what she's talking about. The idea of an evolving spiritual universe, as well as the physical one, is intriguing and hopeful, and that's what this book is about.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking March 1 2013
By Michael - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
For Christians trying to fit religion into a story of the universe as antiquated as Nietzsche's dead god, or atheists attempting to fit the earth into a reductionism as dualistically mechanistic as Descartes' thinking and being, this book is a real paradigm challenging trip down the rabbit hole.
The advent of science as a major voice in defining the nature of reality has forced religions of all stripes to look at their assumptions with a wider lens. Being informed by the power of scientific inquiry and discovery has, as this book demonstrates, opened an ongoing and profoundly creative dialogue between science and religion, offering religion an alternative between aping the methods of science to prove a God which cannot be "proven" with standard methodology, or, the even more disturbing and all too common practice of religions around the world retreating into the rigidity of fundamentalism.

This book is part of that still-in-its-infancy dialogue and its author is an impressive voice along the way. Articulate and complex, she never dumbs down her explorations and remains true to the major motifs of Christianity and most important, (least Christianity itself eventually become an example of natural selection and in clinging to a static universe, finds not the Kingdom, but extinction), she adds the necessary wider vision of possibilities given what we've learned about the universe in the last two thousand years.
While she offers little on how these innovative ideas may be dispensed to the larger Christian community (many of whom are Biblical literalists still searching for the garden where Eve's appetite led to the fall of humanity), to say nothing of non-Christian peoples, ultimately that's not the purpose of the book as I understand it.
Dante's universe evaporated long ago, a mist of dream and dogma with a God fashioned in the image of a Middle Eastern tribal chieftain. Delio writes: "Just as the psalmist marvels at the expanse of the heavens, we too must ask, how wide is our vision of God?"

Similarly, our understanding of what we have called God necessarily depends on our understanding of the universe. It would be unthinkable therefore to assume that even "...the creator God of an evolutionary, interrelated universe..." as Delio puts it, is the last word. Our ever growing knowledge of the universe will continue to change our models which ultimately inform religion. From Picasso's cubism to Einstein's E=mc2, the image of a static, if not complacent and anthropocentric universe has been disintegrating for over a century.

Emergent Christ provides a feast of ideas contributing not perfectly, but diligently, to an ongoing dialogue about the implications of being human in this vast and unfathomable universe within which we find ourselves wondering, discovering and creating ourselves anew with each epoch.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read Dec 3 2012
By Hildegard2002 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you're trying to wrap your brain around the whole questoin of emerging consciousness from a Christian context, you must read this book. It's excellent.
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