CHRIST THE SACRED CENTER: A STUDY OF COSMOLOGY AND CHRISTOLOGY IN BONAVENTURE AND TEILHARD

DENNIS JAMES CASEY, Fordham University

Abstract

This dissertation examines Christ as a sacred center in the thought of Bonaventure and Teilhard. Their treatment of Christ as the universal center of man and the cosmos provides a significant point for comparison and integration. The dissertation focuses on (1) the importance of the notion of the sacred center in primitive religions and (2) the changes in the static cosmological perspective that is seminally present in Bonaventure's treatment of Incarnational Christocentricity and then explicit in Teilhard's analysis of Christ as dynamic center of an evolving cosmos.^ The dissertation begins with a study of the sacred center in primitive religions, drawing from the work of Eliade. An analysis is then made of Bonaventure's theology of the Trinity where Christ, as Logos, functions as the center of the Trinitarian processions and as center of an exemplaristic vision of creation. This is followed by an examination of Bonaventure's Incarnational Christocentricity, revealing a parallel between the symbols he employs to depict Christ as center and the symbols of the center in primitive religions. In his latter writings, Bonaventure's treatment of Christ the center begins to take on a dynamic character that has seminal affinity with Teilhard.^ The next section approaches Teilhard's conception of Christ as center by first analyzing his view of the evolving cosmos. Through a movement of centro-complexity there is convergence towards a cosmic center which Teilhard calls Omega and which he relates to the Christ of revelation. Although Teilhard's treatment of the cosmic Christ is extensive, he deals only briefly and in passing with the Trinity. This is in sharp contrast with Bonaventure, for whom the Trinity is his major explicit theological theme. Also unlike Bonaventure, Teilhard devotes little explicit attention to Christ as center of the individual psyche.^ The dissertation concludes that if Bonaventure's and Teilhard's positions are integrated, they provide a complementary Christological vision which is both very traditional and very contemporary. Christ is seen as the center of the Trinity and also as the center of the interior dimensions of the human person. At the same time Christ is the center of a dynamic, evolving cosmos. ^

Subject Area

Theology

Recommended Citation

DENNIS JAMES CASEY, "CHRIST THE SACRED CENTER: A STUDY OF COSMOLOGY AND CHRISTOLOGY IN BONAVENTURE AND TEILHARD" (January 1, 1982). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI8221801.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8221801

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