In Development


The time is right to introduce a new generation to Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, the early 20th-century paleontologist, evolutionist, and visionary Jesuit priest, who never ceased to pursue the ultimate meaning of life while confronting the scientific wonder of an emerging universe.

Teilhard's dramatic personal story invites fresh perspectives on issues of science and religion that continue to create rancorous rifts in our society. Teilhard's unique synthesis of his science and his faith is perhaps even more relevant today than it was when he died in 1955.

What is The Teilhard de Chardin Project?

It is a public education project about the interaction between science and religion, beginning with a 2-hour high-definition television biography, The Evolution of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. The program provides a powerful starting point for web-based education outreach on a number of themes of interest to lifetime learners of all ages.

Who is Teilhard de Chardin?

Clerical Indiana Jones

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin exploded on the scene in the 1960s with the posthumous publication of his books, The Phenomenon of Man and The Divine Milieu, among others. And while Teilhard's ideas are enjoying a new ascendancy, (see the recent conference at Santa Clara University, "Teilhard de Chardin for a new Generation") less is known of the man himself. His compelling personal story has cross-over appeal to believers and non-believers alike - an adventurer-paleontologist (a sort of clerical Indiana Jones) and darling of France's scientific salons; an obedient priest whose writings were long suppressed; a first-rate scientist involved in the landmark discovery of "Peking Man"; a man unafraid of love while true to his vow of celibacy; who dies quietly in exile in New York City, before the publication of his books vaults him into world prominence.

What is the Educational Dimension of the Project?

Broadcast of the television program The Evolution of Teilhard de Chardin will launch an extensive outreach program though the internet, social media, colleges, schools, and community programs, on four themes that emerge from the story line: 1.) the science v religion debate, 2.) evolutionary implications for spirituality, 3.) responsibility to the earth, and 4.) the future of the human species. The resulting website will offer:

  • expanded interviews, photos, and other bonus materials
  • internet chats with experts featured in the program
  • educational materials for high schools and colleges, and even elementary school
  • ongoing peer-to-peer discussions on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media
  • podcasts downloadable to computers and mobile media
  • links to rich existing resources

A Transformative Project

The Teilhard de Chardin Project can be transformative for theologians, biologists, sociologists, philosophers, anthropologists, seminary professors, and others seeking to form a new generation of women and men dedicated to unlocking the immense potential that is the human person.

The vision of Teilhard offers something to broad population. It makes us aware of the presence of the Divine in the emergent universe. It helps us recognize our essentially social nature as human being, of the intimate links we share in fact with all creatures with whom we form one family. The implications extend to how we proceed in business, politics, and family life.

"We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience."

In a world where half the population does not accept the science of evolution, Teilhard provides a way to bridge the gap. He offers a new generation a way to grapple with the future of the cosmos and with eternal questions about our role in it.

What is the status of the Project?

Principal videography began in the summer of 2016, in Auvergne, France, where Teilhard was born and grew up, followed by filming in multiple locations in China where Teilhard lived and worked. Future shooting includes Hastings, England; Paris; Verdun (where he served in WWI), and New York City. Many interviews are also scheduled. The website is already operational, although still in its infancy, and ensures that the project will continue beyond the broadcast into a robust public engagement process.

The educational follow-through of the project has also taken off, even before the documentary is completed. Georgetown University hosted a special seminar for the Teilhard de Chardin Project in April, 2015, on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of Teilhard’s death. Four top scholars had a lively discussion before a standing-room-only crowd about the relevance of Teilhard today, and a dramatic reading of Teilhard’s “Mass on the World” followed. Video of the seminar is available on the Georgetown website, and a video of “Mass on the World” can be found on YouTube.

Who is involved?

The Project is supported by an Honorary Board of notable individuals that includes a member of the Teilhard de Chardin Family. More than forty scholars are advising the project through a Council of Scholar Advisors. Other partners include notable Institutional Collaborators.

The Evolution of Teilhard de Chardin is produced by Frank Frost Productions (FFP), an award-winning production company with a long history of nationally broadcast documentaries on subjects related to human and cultural values. For more details on FFP visit other links on this website.