Chapter Four. Cosmic Christ
Since Teilhard others have moved into this idea of a Cosmic Christ.
Since Teilhard these additional perspectives add new facets to the
whole conception of a universal Christ. However, I decided that I
needed to delve far more deeply into Teilhard's effort to unify his
faith in Jesus as the Christ with his conception of the Cosmic Christ.
If I may, I should like directly to quote a three-step approach that
Teilhard set forth when it came to this effort towards unity:
• "A first step would consist in developing (along the lines of the
"perennial philosophy;" primacy of being, act and potency) a
correct physics and metaphysics of evolution. I am convinced
that an honest interpretation of the recent achievements of scientific
thought justifiably leads not to a materialistic but to a spiritualistic
interpretation of evolution:--the world we know is not developing
by chance, but is structurally controlled by a personal Centre of
• "The second step concerns dogmatic theology and would consist
in articulating a Christology which would be in keeping with the
dimensions of the universe as we know them today. This would
mean a recognition that, along with those strictly human and divine
attributes chiefly considered by theologians up to now, Christ
possesses, by virtue of the mechanism of the Incarnation, attributes
which are universal and cosmic, and it is these which constitute
him that personal Centre hypothetically invoked by the physics and
metaphysics of evolution. Such a perspective is in striking harmony
with the most fundamental texts of St. John and St. Paul, and with
the theology of the Greek Fathers.
• "A third step concerns the spiritual life and would consist in
developing an evangelism of human conquest. This third step
follows automatically from the second, since it is indeed impossible
for Christians to have a clearer vision of Christ as the summit of the
world's evolution without at the same time appreciating more deeply
the supernatural value of human effort carried out in Christ Jesus.
The universal Christ enables us to understand that the most direct
way to heaven is not to let go of earth as quickly as possible, as
could sometimes appear, but to bring this earth to fulfilment, since
we see it now as a much vaster thing, more unfinished than we ever
suspected. In this way fundamental Christian attitudes would thrive
and move ahead forcefully, without in the least deviating from their
[Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, "Quelques reflexions sur la conversion
du monde, 1936, Oeuveres," ix, 161-162.]
Now to the specifics, when it comes to Teilhard's Christ.