… Slattery hangs his case on eight stray citations from Teilhard’s letters and other scattered writings. Most of the quotes present what were speculative inquiries on the part of Teilhard—questions that countless other thoughtful people have asked, including many Catholics—rather than systematically developed theses for public consumption. Their style is provocative and interrogatory, not declarative. Exactly what Teilhard really meant by them is, in every single case, highly debatable.And yet Slattery holds these excerpts out to us as undeniable evidence that Teilhard’s true “legacy” is one of hostility to Catholic affirmation of human dignity, racial justice, and concern for the disadvantaged. Still more important, however, is Slattery’s claim that it was Teilhard’s commitment to these evils that grounds and undergirds his “cosmological theology.” Nothing could be more preposterous.
I had seen one pf the pieces by Slattery and just thought it just over-the-top fashionable wokeness. It is nice to see someone point out how flimsy the evidence is. Makes you wonder about Notre Dane's department of theology (or maybe not). I think Teilhard was a true mystic who tried to explain his thoughts in terms of evolution broadly considered. (I doubt if evangelical Darwinians favor his views much.) But mystics often find themselves in trouble with the institutional church, which we now know has often not been as virtuous as it claimed to be.