The Phenomenon of Man Paperback – Jan 1976
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"A most extraordinary book, of far-reaching significance for the understanding of man's place in the universe." -- Abraham J. Heschel
"Marks the most significant achievement in synthetic thinking since that of Aquinas." -- Bernard Towers, Blackfriars
About the Author
Pierre Teilhard De Chardin was born in Auvergne, France, in 1881.An ordained member of the Society of Jesus, Pierre Teilhard held positions as 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 lived in China for many years where he played a major role in the discovery of Pekin man. In 1951 he moved to New York where under the auspices of the Wenner-Gren Foundation he was enabled to continue his work until his death in 1955. Le PhÉnomÈne Humain, issued in France in December of that year, was immediately pronounced one of the outstanding publishing events of the century.
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Top Customer Reviews
Teilhard is a genius and the best modern example of the intellectual firepower that can come from the Catholic Church and the Jesuits in particular. Although he and the Church didn't always get along (most of his stuff was censored in some way) I think this is due to the fact that Teilhard was so far ahead of his time that the hierarchy really didn't know what to do with him. Surely, 50 or even 20 years from now Teilhard de Chardin will be regarded as one of the most prolific Catholic minds in the last few centuries.
Teilhard de Chardin starts with the Universe as primal gas and traces the evolution of "matter and consciousness" to the present day. He charts this development as a vector leading to higher consciousness. Man is only one more stepping stone along this path. What is next? He predicts the development of a "noosphere" existing between the biosphere (the thin, wet, green and flesh layer on the lithosphere) and the atmosphere.
When I read this book, 20 years ago, I thought the noosphere was the development of a collective consciousness and a precursor of mental telepathy. I now believe that the internet and widespread use of wireless communications already fulfills his prophecy.
Despite being a Jesuit (or perhaps because of it), Teilhard de Chardin develops his analysis without relying on the concept of God.
Brilliant and subtle. Not for the faint of heart or the speed reader.
"Think of a time when a collect consciousness includes and goes beyond what we have now to that of the theosphere --A time when objective and subjective reality merge to create an unfathomable experience of qualia and encounter."
That's what this author is pointing to.
This is a five star book no matter what side of the argument you are on. Listen to Teilhard de Chardin's words coming from Oskar Werner as Fr. David Telemond in "Shoes of the Fisherman (1968)"
Most recent customer reviews
Pierre Teilhard De Chardin was a Jesuit scientist, a brilliant paleontologist and evolutionist who attempted throughtout his life to reconcile Catholic belief with scientific... Read morePublished on March 5 2003 by Avid Reader
I stumbled across this site and was captured to read the reviews about Teilhard's book. I read this book 20+ years ago and had relegated it to my archives but these reviews have... Read morePublished on Dec 3 2002 by Arthur
Derek Bickerton, in "Language and Species," gives us an example of language creating concepts: a friend declares that, to evaluate a certain speech, he would really need his... Read morePublished on Oct. 16 2002 by Geoff Puterbaugh
The reviews here pretty much mirror the two camps out there regard PTdC - love him or hate him and little in between.
I think there is another way to approach the work. Read more
A few eminent figures in politics claim to have been profoundly moved by this book, but I admire them too much to tell you who they are! Read morePublished on Aug. 12 2001
As pointed out by another reviewer, Peter Medawar thoroughly demolished this book, and you can see for yourself that no modern thinker relies on this nonsensical babble.Published on June 9 2001 by Geoff Puterbaugh
Don't be expected to be blown away by the logic in this book, or the conclusions that are derived thereof. The logic gaps in much of this book are tremendous. Read morePublished on March 22 2001 by Neil McGillivray