Born In: Orcines, France
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was a noted French philosopher and paleontologist of the 20th century. The controversial Jesuit priest is best remembered for his theory that every man is evolving towards a final spiritual unity called the ‘Omega Point’. He became interested in paleontology when he was sent to Cairo for a teaching internship. On his return to Paris, he began to study geology, botany and zoology, ultimately earning his doctorate degree in geology. However, shortly after he began his career as an assistant professor at the Institute Catholique, he was instructed to stop teaching and publishing due to his contentious views on different Christian doctrines, including the Original Sin. He was eventually asked to leave France. Thereafter, he traveled across the world to conduct research on paleontology and geology. He wrote many books, but due to objection from the Roman Catholic Church, some of his works remained unpublished until his death in New York City at the age of 73.
Died At Age: 73
father: Alexandre-Victor Emmanuel Teilhard de Chardin, Emmanuel Teilhard
mother: Berthe de Dompiere
siblings: Albéric, Françoise, Gabriel, Gonzague, Joseph, Marguerite Teillard-Chambon, Marguerite-Marie, Marie-Louise, Olivier, Victor
Born Country: France
place of death: New York, New York, United States
Cause of Death: Heart Attack
education: University Of Paris
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was born on May 1, 1881, at Château de Sarcenat in the ancient province of Auvergne, France. His father Alexandre-victor Emmanuel Teilhard de Chardin was a farmer of a distinguished lineage. His mother Berthe-Adele Teilhard de Chardin was a relative of the famous French writer, Voltaire.
Pierre was born fourth of his parents’ 11 children. His 10 siblings included brothers: Albéric, Gabriel, Olivier, Joseph, Gonzague and Victor; and sisters: Marguerite Teilhard-Chambon, Françoise, Marguerite-Marie and Marie-Louise. All of them reached adulthood except Marie-Louise who passed away at 13.
Brought up in the Auvergne region, which was known for its long extinguished volcanic peaks and forest preserves, Pierre learned to observe nature from his early childhood. His father, an amateur naturalist and collector of stones, insects and plants, influenced him to take an avid interest in natural sciences.
One day, following a haircut, six years old Pierre was standing by the fireplace with a lock of hair in his hand. To his horror, he saw it being consumed by the fire within fraction of a second, making him realize that nothing was imperishable.
When he was seven, he began to look for something more permanent and found an iron plow hitch. He believed it to be everlasting and began to treasure it. But very soon, he realized that his cherished possession was also prone to rust and could be destroyed. This discovery made him shed his bitterest tears.
Disillusioned with his iron god, he now began to find solace in stones that he had collected with his father. His mother tried to guide him by telling stories about Christian mystics, awakening a sense of spirituality in him.
At the age of 12, Pierre was enrolled at Notre Dame de Mongre, a Jesuit school, located near Villefranche-sur-Saone. During his five years there, he read Thomas à Kempis's ‘The Imitation of Christ’ and was greatly influenced by it.
By the time he completed his baccalaureates in philosophy and mathematics, he had decided to become a Jesuit, who is no longer dependent on metals and stones for his sense of security. He had by then learned to value his faith in Christ as something eternal.
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