Search of a God for Evolution: Paul Tillich and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Zygon 37 (3):539-554 (2002)
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Abstract

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin challenged theology to reach for an understanding of God that would take into account the reality of evolution. Paul Tillich's notion of New Being goes a long way toward meeting this challenge, and a theology of evolution can gain a great deal from Tillich's religious thought. But Teilhard would still wonder whether the philosophical notion of being, even when qualified by the adjective new, is itself adequate to contextualize evolution theologically. To Teilhard a theology attuned to a post–Darwinian world requires nothing less than a revolution in our understanding of what is ultimately real. It is doubtful that Tillich's rather classical theological system is radical enough to accommodate this requirement. For Teilhard, on the other hand, a metaphysics grounded in the biblical vision, wherein God is understood as the future on which the world rests as its sole support, can provide a more suitable setting for evolutionary theology

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