Teilhard de Chardin and the Mystery of Christ– Christopher F. Mooney, Image Books edition, 1968
Mooney was a Jesuit priest and contemporary of Teilhard who sought to present Teilhard’s thinking on the great ‘mysteries’ of Christianity, such as the position that Teilhard saw for the person of Christ as the manifestation of the ‘axis of evolution’.
The Phenomenon of Man – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Original English Translation 1959 by W.Collins Sons & Co, LTD; Reprinted in Perennial 2002
One of the two books by Teilhard, this one contains his essential understanding of the rise of complexity from the big bang to the present, and his projection of human evolution as “convergent” upon a future ‘Omega Point’. It also contains his integrative and comprehensive theory of human love as the energy of unification which precipitates the ongoing creation of the human person through ‘complexification’.
Activation of Energy – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, English Edition 1970 by William Collins Sons & Co, LTD
A collection of unpublished articles by Teilhard which articulates his understanding of Love as the principle energy which ‘unites human persons by what is essential in them to effect maturity’.
Human Energy – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, English Translation 1969 by William Collins Sons & Co, Ltd
Christianity and Evolution- Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, English Translation 1971 by William Collins Sons & Co, Ltd
This collection of unpublished works by Teilhard reflects his strong belief that the basic tenets of Christianity actually support the view that Evolution effects the creation of the human spirit.
Toward the Future- Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, English Translation 1975 by William Collins Sons, Ltd
More unpublished works by Teilhard which speculate on the future of Mankind based on his understanding of evolution as creative energy.
The Divine Milieu- Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, English Translation 1960 by William Collins Sons & Co, Ltd
The second of the two books by Teilhard, this one focuses on his concept of God and relation to the human person.
The Future of Man- Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, English Translation 1964 by William Collins Sons & Co, Ltd
More unpublished works on the future of the human person.
Hymn of the Universe – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, English Translation 1960 by William Collins Sons & Co, Ltd
Excerpts from his other writings.
The Religion of Teilhard de Chardin– Henri de Lubac, English Translation 1967 by William Collins Sons & Co, Ltd
Lubac is another Jesuit priest and contemporary of Teilhard. In this book he shows Teilhad’s basic ideas to be well within the framework of the Christian orthodoxy that he affirmed through his life.
Man Becoming – Gregory Baum, Herder and Herder NY, 1970
This book provides a relook at the writing of Maurice Blondel, who was a French theologian who preceded Teilhard in an attempt to make Catholicism more relevant to contemporary Christians. Blondel is notoriously difficult to read, and Baum provides a more user friendly version of Blondel’s belief that traditional expressions of theology can be reinterpreted into terms of everyday life.
Falling Upward – Richard Rohr
This book offers a view of traditional Catholic teaching that has been reinterpreted in the light of such thinkers as Teilhard de Chardin, in which the basic teachings of Christianity are seen as more authentic in the teachings of Jesus than in the rule-based theology that was heavily influenced by the ancient Greeks.
Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditations – Richard Rohr, Center for Action and Contemplation <firstname.lastname@example.org>
These ‘daily meditations’ articulate Rohr’s reinterpretation of Catholic (and in general Christianity’s) teachings as summarized above.
A General Theory of Love -Thomas Lewis, MD, et al, First Vintage Edition, January 2001
While reducing the phenomenon of human love to merely emotional reactions, this excellent book nonetheless provides a good understanding of human neurology and how it affects behavior, but pays too little attention to the role that reason plays in human relationships.
An Atheist’s History of Belief – Matthew Kneale, The Bodley Head, UK, 2013
While this book espouses an atheist point of view, it nonetheless is an excellent historical overview of the history of human behavior and the rise of religious belief.
Finding Darwin’s God – Kenneth R. Miller, 1999 Cliff Street Books
This book attempts to show that there is little conflict between centrist western religions and the general theory of Darwin’s Natural Selection. Miller sees the conflict basically occurring between materialistic atheists and fundamental Christians, with the middle ground of believers and scientists more comfortable with both intuitive and empirical thinking.
Only a Theory – Evolution and the Battle for America’s Soul – Kenneth R. Miller, Penguin Books, 2009
Like his other book (above), this book addresses the danger of such fundamental thinking as Fundamentalism in fomenting an ‘anti-scientific’ mentality in America.
Unweaving the Rainbow – Richard Dawkins, Mariner Books Edition, 2000
This book is Dawkins’ attempt to show the ‘cuddly’ side of atheism: that emotional meaning can be derived from a position which denies the existence of meaning.
The God Delusion – Richard Dawkins, 2006, First Mariner Books
This book is Dawkins’ strongest attack on religious belief. Open any page and his disdain for religious belief, coupled with his elitist view of science, can be seen. Much of his attack is against the irrational manifestations religion, and no small amount can be seen to conflict with other of his viewpoints, such as his disbelief in the evolutionary increase in complexity contrasted by his insight that evolution creates complexity over time.
The Great Transformation – Karen Armstrong, Alfred A. Knop, 2006
Armstrong shows how the five great human religious movements emerged during the ‘Axial Age’ ( about 900 – 200 BCE)
Fields of Blood – Karen Anderson, Bodley Head Publishers, 2014
In response to the many atheistic accusations that most human conflict arises from religious beliefs, Armstrong asks, “As opposed to what?”
On Becoming a Person – Carl Rogers, Houghton-Miffin Sentry Edition, 1962
Rogers was one of the early “existentialist” psychologists, who believed that it was necessary for the psychologist to be ‘personally present’ to the client, that his personal investment in therapy was itself important to the healing which resulted. This book became an essential guide to what was to become known as ‘pastoral psychology’
The Divine Conspiracy – Dallas Willard, 1998, Harper Collins, First Edition
Dallas Willard is well respected in the Protestant Evangelical community. He provides a balanced view of this complex theological position.
Love- A History, Simon May, 2011, Yale University Press, First Edition
This, and the following three books constitute a small sample of the large volume penned by May. It offers a detailed history of the way human relationships have played out in history, and excellent insight into the evolution of psychology. He goes into great detail on Freud as an early pioneer. This book overviews and summarizes his observations. The next two go into great detail on love in the two eras as reflected in the titles.
The Philosophy of Love– Plato to Luther– Simon May, 1966, Random House
The Philosophy of Love– The Modern World– Simon May, 1966, Random House
The Philosophy of Love– Simon May, 2011, MIT Paperback
Origins – Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Norton Paperback, 2005
Tyson continues the journey of explanation from the TV “Cosmos” series, carrying scientific discoveries up to the present day.
Religion and Science-Historical and Contemporary Issues- Ian G. Barbour, HarperSanFrancisco, 1997
This book is a very comprehensive review of thinking in both the scientific and religious communities. While it leans toward a lack of conflict between them, it falls short of the strong confluence seen by Teilhard.
The Triune Brain – Jaak Panksepp, Affective Neuroscience: The Foundations of Human and Animal Emotions, Oxford University Press, New York, 1998.
This excellent article details discovery and description of the three layers of the human brain: reptilian, limbic and neo-cortex.
The Great Partnership, Science, Religion and the Search for Meaning – Rabbi Jonathan
Sacks, Schocken Books, 2011
This excellent book traces the evolution of language, culture and religion through the formation of Greece from the near-east cultures about 500 BCE, showing the increasing influence of ‘right-brained’ thinking on what had been centuries of culture dominated by ‘left brained’ thinking. His insights into the re-merging these two currents as can be seen in Christianity offer a basis of understanding religion in the context of human evolution.
A God That Could Be Real, Spirituality, Science and the Future of Our Planet – Nancy Ellen Abrams, Beacon Press, 2015
On the surface, this book would also seem to address the idea that God that can be accessed through science. While offering an excellent explanation of ’emergence’, a phenomenon in which complexity naturally rises from otherwise simple components, she confuses the result with the cause. Limiting God to that which emerges from ’emergence’ simply begs the question of what causes it.
How Jesus Became God, Bart D. Ehrman, The Great Courses, 2014
In these notes from his Great Course Lecture, Professor Ehrman traces the evolution of the Church’s understanding of Jesus from that as seen in the ‘Synoptic’ Gospels (Matthew, mark, Luke) to the ‘Christ’ as seen in the Gospel of John. He continues this evolution as it proceeds through the history of the Christian religion.
Misquoting Jesus, Bart D. Ehrman, Harper Collins Publishers, 2005
Professor Ehrman traces the development of the New Testament as it was originally transcribed by Greek scholars and frequently modified into the many manifestations in use today.
God’s Problem, How the Bible Fails to Answer our Most Important Question- Why We Suffer- Bart D. Ehrman, Harper Collins Publishers, 2008
Professor Ehrman examines Christian treatment of the problem of evil in the light of the Old and New Testament, and finds that Christianity does not offer a definitive position on this conundrum.
The Perennial Philosophy, Aldous Huxley, Harper & Brothers, 1945
Huxley examines the many expressions of religion to point out the common denominators among them.
The Evolution of the West, How Christianity Has Shaped Our Values, Nick Spencer, Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 2016
This book examines the part that Christianity played in the development of Western moral concepts. It gives equal play to both the positive and negative sides of religion in Western history.
Inventing the Individual, The Origins of Western Liberalism, Larry Siedentop, London: Allen Lane, 2014
This book traces the history of certain values that are more articulated in the West than in other parts of the world, such as personal equality and the primacy of the human conscience.