Teilhard and the Environment


  • Thomas M. King Georgetown University




Teilhard, earth, evolution, ecology


Many people concerned with the environment have taken an interest in the writings of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881–1955): Al Gore has quoted him in this context and short passages of Teilhard’s writings have served as mottos for conferences on the ecology. At the same time, other environmentally concerned people have expressed strong reservations. Teilhard worked as both a priest and geologist doing extensive research on the geology of Asia; he was much involved with the fossils known as Peking Man. His scientific writings are collected in ten volumes and his religious-philosophic writings are collected in thirteen; ten volumes of his letters have been published. This essay will try to explain Teilhard’s basic concern with the earth and the two processes he found in it: evolution and entropy. He favored the first over the second.

Author Biography

Thomas M. King, Georgetown University

Professor, Department of Theology, Georgetown University, Washington, DC 20057


Carson, Rachel 1962 The Silent Spring (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, Riverside Press).

Teilhard de Chardin, Pierre 1955 Unpublished Letter to LeMaitre (may be seen at the Georgetown University Library).

The Future of Man (trans. Norman Denny; New York: Harper Colophon).

The Making of a Mind (trans. Rene Hague; New York: Harper & Row).

a Writings in Time of War (trans. Rene Hague; New York: Harper & Row).

b Science & Christ (trans. Rene Hague; New York: Harper & Row).

a The Phenomenon of Man (trans. Bernard Wall; New York: Harper & Row).

b Human Energy (trans. J.M. Cohen; New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich).

c Letters to Two Friends (New York/Cleveland: World Publishing).

Christianity & Evolution (trans. Rene Hague; New York: Harcourt Brace).

Towards the Future (trans. Rene Hague; New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich).

The Heart of Matter (trans. Rene Hague; New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich).

Lettres à Jeanne Mortier (Paris: Seuil).



How to Cite

King, T. M. (2005). Teilhard and the Environment. Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, 10(1), 88–98. https://doi.org/10.1558/ecot.