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The Phenomenon of Man

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Item Number 161354  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   320
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 5.28" Width: 5.88" Height: 0.77"
Weight:   0.34 lbs.
Binding  CD
Release Date   Aug 16, 2005
Publisher   Harper Perennial
ISBN  006090495X  
EAN  9780060904951  
UPC  099455014953  

Availability  97 units.
Availability accurate as of May 26, 2017 01:25.
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Compact Disc $ 15.99 $ 13.59 161354 In Stock
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Item Description...

At a moment when the world is asking "Can the religions get along?" Abraham stands as the shared ancestor of Jews, Christians, and Muslims. He holds the key to our deepest fears -- and our possible reconciliation.

Bruce Feiler set out on a personal quest to better understand our common patriarch. Traveling in war zones, climbing though caves and ancient shrines, and sitting down with the world's leading religious minds, Feiler discovers the untold story of the man who defines faith for half the world.

Both immediate and timeless, Abraham is a powerful, universal story, the first ever interfaith portrait of the man God chose to be his partner. Thoughtful, perceptive, and inspiring in a way that has endeared Bruce Feiler to readers around the world, Abraham offers a rare vision of hope that will redefine what we think about our neighbors, our future, and ourselves.

Also includes an excerpt from the New York Times bestseller Walking the Bible.

Buy The Phenomenon of Man by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9780060904951 & 006090495X upc: 099455014953

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More About Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Bruce Feiler writes the -This Life- column for the Sunday New York Times and is the author of six consecutive New York Times bestsellers, including Walking the Bible, Abraham and The Secrets of Happy Families. He's also the writer/presenter of the PBS series -Walking the Bible- and -Sacred Journeys with Bruce Feiler.-

Bruce Feiler currently resides in Brooklyn, in the state of New York.

Bruce Feiler has published or released items in the following series...
  1. P.S.
  2. Wgbh Boston Specials

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > History > Americas > United States > 21st Century   [517  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Politics > General   [22730  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Teilhard de Chardin  Jan 12, 2008
I am just loving this book. This man is a genius. I am having to read every chapter twice because there's just so much to learn. I highly recommend this book. I've been interested in the subject of the "evolution of matter" for a while and I've finally come across this source. It is a look at the information within matter in its role as that which integrates and complexifies matter from subatomic particle to atom to molecule to cell to organism and so on. And so Chardin goes on to propose that the development or evolution of matter follows a direction and, this direction is "complexification", in other words, becoming increasingly more complex. Also deeply ingrained within this perspective is the notion that as smaller units integrate to form more complex ones, the larger units that result are "a unit" rather than a mere conglomeration of parts. And the reason behind this is that when several units of matter (i.e. subatomic particles) integrate to form a single larger unit (i.e. an atom) the information within each component comes to comprise a single fundamental unit, just as would occur in verbal information where a bunch of letters form a single word the latter of which only makes sense as a single unit. If you're curious about this subject read "The Phenomenon of Man".
The Phenomenon of Man  May 18, 2007
The theories of Omega presented in this book are still possibile to be true even though it was written before 1948. The book was an important one to read for me given my own scientific theories. The books theories like "Love as Energy" fit nicely with my own "Monogamy Theory" and "Boom-Arm or "Ray" Theory of Sexual Behavior. I was a little concerned that Teilhard de Chardin was going to say something racist a couple of times when he wrote about evolution(the book was written a while ago, and it is often necessary to think about race when thinking about evolution), but the resolution was good. When I bought the book, I was told the author was a Jesuit priest, but he was a scientist through and through and could not really talk about God or Jesus.
Teilhard Is More Relevant Today  Mar 3, 2007
Teilhard was ahead of his time by about fifty, more. We are just now beginning to understand the dazzling cosmology that existed in his brilliant, inspired mind. As we enter the new age he predicted, an age of technology bordering on wizardry, Teilhard is our great prophet and patron saint. Joseph Dispenza is author of "God On Your Own: Finding a Spiritual Path Outside Religion."
A Shining Proclamation of Hominisation  Aug 15, 2006
Of all places, I was first directed to Teilhard de Chardin by a reference thereto in a work of Joseph Ratzinger (later known as Pope Benedict XVI). Given my general interest in the biological sciences as well as anthropology, I decided to investigate this matter. I am ever so thankful that I took that step into The Phenomenon of Man. Teilhard's work is a beautiful synthesis of paleontology, philosophy, and even theology, standing as a beacon to the members of all three branches of knowledge. It is a testimony to the greatness of his work that it still influences the Pope to this very day, who used evolutionary language to discuss the resurrection, a concept no doubt influenced by Teilhard's work.

The general path of this text is an investigation into the development of consciousness within creation. This is done in light that consciousness must be latent in creation in order for it to exist at all within the context of evolution. It is furthermore acknowledged by the findings of relativity which point to the fact that the various spheres of the physical world are not separate but related, although only slightly at slow speeds. So too must consciousness not be fully unknown within the earlier forms of life, although it may have had much less influence on the activity of that life.

The narrative itself is translated well and is readable without a great deal of difficulty. I must say that the author is a bit overly-flowery at times. However, just as I began to become vexed with this floweriness, I would hit passages which were such stunning expositions of his thesis that I would nearly have chills. Teilhard was the first person to ever make almost cry over the final jump to reflection found in the simian branch of the tree of life.

His other, just as important, theme is that of complexification. The author puts forth the justifiable analysis of the unitive aspect of creation. The groping of life comes to be only by the unification of atomic units. This remains his theme and ultimately drives his theories for a united humanity, particularly in his views with respect to Christ. While his ideas here are somewhat radical, they are not as unorthodox as they appear to many at a quick glance. Instead, his work is an affirmation that Christ has pushed the evolutionary trend to its Omega point, a point which must in all actuality autonomously exist.

The problem of pain is relatively unaddressed in this text and remains a reason for the Church's wariness with the work. I think that he handles it well enough, passing the torch to theologians, acknowledging his own shortfalls in developing this theme.

The Phenomenon of Man is a gigantic step in a beautiful understanding of the person, world, and God. Although it is not a complete breeze of a read, it is most definitely well worth the time to read it. I put off reading it for far too long and do not suggest that you do the same. I heartily suggest it to you if you have any interest in human evolution, the birth and deployment of consciousness, or any inkling of theological/philosophical interest.
Deeply Influential, Deeply Flawed  May 15, 2006
Teilhard de Chardin was a Jesuit Father, and a highly regarded palaeontologist. This was an enormously influential book, which is still very much alive in theological circles today.

Teilhard de Chardin accepts Darwinian evolution as a given. However, classic Darwinian evolution proceeds by "chance". It is a blind operation, which offers no meaning or hope.

Therefore he proposes a purposive process of evolution, which he refers to as "cosmogenesis". Within such cosmogenesis, the emergence of mind takes place -- a process which he refers to as "noogenesis". Together with noogenesis, there is an evolving of the collective sphere of mind on the planet, which he refers to as the "noosphere". This leads utimately to a goal, a final state, which he refers to as the "Omega point" or "peace" (one might suggest: shalom). At this point, the noosphere (all conscious beings) will be intensely unified, having achieved a "hyper-personal" organisation.

There is a twist in the tale, however. Teilhard de Chardin then defines "the conditions for advance". Cosmogenesis proceeds only "on condition that we increase our knowledge and our love".

Let us apply this briefly to contemporary theology. In keeping with his ideas, one may posit a kingdom of God -- rather, a reign of God, since a kingdom is "too static" (Guder 1998:94) -- a reign which marches forward with "impelling force" towards shalom (Van Engen 1991:26). As might be anticipated, this would entail the notion of "no privatized eschatology" (Newbigin 1989:113), and the need for our own participation towards the "final outcome" (Watson 2001:39). I offer these parallels merely as fleeting suggestions for further study.

Teilhard de Chardin has great breadth of thought, and an extraordinary talent for expressing his ideas clearly. However, I found that I ran into a great many obstacles of thought, among them the following:

1. He points out that science, by and large, would oppose his views: "The majority of `scientists' would tend to contest the validity of [my views]". Yet the book is intended to "reconcile Christian theology with this evolutionary philosophy". What would be the purpose of such reconciliation, if his views are largely denied by science?

2. He continually expresses fundamental doubt or reserve about his own ideas. He states: "The views I am attempting to put forward are . . . largely tentative". In fact, he posits them "in spite of all evidence to the contrary". Surely one would desire more of a "science" one is to stake one's life upon.

3. On the one hand, he writes about "mankind in its march" of emergent evolution. On the other, this evolution "can give itself or refuse itself". In fact, if our own attitude is wanting, "the whole of evolution will come to a halt". On what basis, then, should we assume that such evolution is anything more than a contingent or surface phenomenon?

4. He clearly does not know what to do with suffering. As though as an afterthought, he relegates this to an Appendix. He writes: "Necessarium est ut scandala eveniant. . . . Suffering and failure, tears and blood: so many by-products . . . begotten by the noosphere on its way." At best, he states cryptically that suffering may "add precision and depth" to theology.


~ Guder, Darrell L. (Ed.). Missional Church: A Vision for the Sending of the Church in North America. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1998.
~ Newbigin, Lesslie. The Gospel In A Pluralist Society. Geneva, Switzerland: WCC Publications, 1989 .
~ Van Engen, Charles. God's Missionary People: Rethinking the Purpose of the Local Church. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1991.
~ Watson, David Lowes. "The Mystery of Evangelism: Mission in an Age of Cosmic Discovery." In Global Good News: Mission in a New Context, ed. Howard A. Snyder. Pp. 26-40. Nashville, Tennessee: Abingdon Press, 2001.

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