THE EVOLUTIONARY ECCLESIOLOGY OF TEILHARD DE CHARDIN

ANTHONY MICHAEL BUONO, Fordham University

Abstract

The aim of this dissertation is to set forth the various ideas of Teilhard de Chardin on the Church and to arrange them under headings that correspond roughly with the parts of a still-emerging modern ecclesiology. In so doing, the study seeks to show that Teilhard's major insights on the Church played an important role in the development of the ecclesiology of the 20th Century culminating in the ecclesiological teaching of the Second Vatican Council. At the same time, it attempts to point out that the major Teilhardian themes harmonize well with the best teachings of our contemporary ecclesiologists and offer excellent possibilities for further theological investigation and deeper ecclesiological understanding.^ The method followed is a study of primary as well as secondary Teilhardian sources and the unraveling of ecclesiological themes found therein. In this process, the study sets forth some of the important corollaries that flow from Teilhard's ecclesiological ideas and offers extrapolations that can legitimately be predicated from them.^ Teilhard's basic ecclesiological models are explored. As a phylum, the Church is subject to the laws of growth. For all her divine nature and immortality, the Church cannot entirely escape the universal necessity of undergoing periodic periods of rejuvenation. The Church is indispensable for the progress of the universe's evolutionary thrust.^ The Church is also the Body of Christ, the community of love founded by Christ. By incorporating human beings in Christ, the Church personalizes them and prepares the earth for the second coming. It is the Eucharist that effects the Christian current into the Body of Christ, his fullness. And it is humanity as a whole which is transformed.^ Finally, the Church is a servant Church--the vehicle through which the world is loved and built up by Christians. Through the Church, the world must flourish to the uttermost of its natural powers, for the Church is the true carrier of evolution toward Christ-Omega between the Resurrection-Ascension and the Pleroma. Hence, it is the service the Church renders to the world that will both bring the world to completion and save it in Christ.^

Subject Area

Theology

Recommended Citation

ANTHONY MICHAEL BUONO, "THE EVOLUTIONARY ECCLESIOLOGY OF TEILHARD DE CHARDIN" (January 1, 1982). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI8219230.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8219230

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