New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1964. First edition. Octavo, original blue cloth, original dust jacket. Very faint toning to cloth edges, dust jacket nicked at top of front panel. A near-fine copy. Item #659
"THE WHOLE FUTURE OF THE EARTH, AS OF RELIGION, SEEMS TO ME TO DEPEND ON THE AWAKENING OF OUR FAITH IN THE FUTURE" First edition of this companion volume to the Phenomenon of Man, collecting three decades of Teilhard's largely unpublished essays. Time magazine dubbed Pierre Teilhard de Chardin the "Aquinas of the Atomic Age" but the French Jesuit preferred to think of himself, it seems, as a "Pilgrim of the Future." "Teilhard's literary approach reflected his confidence in progress. Rather than arguing for or against evolution, he sought to look forward in time and write for generations of readers who would accept evolution as self-evident. Rather than defending himself, he strove to balance the theoretical and the personal, the orthodox and the visionary" (Paul Elie). An epigraph preceding the text illustrates Teilhard's central theme: "The whole future of the Earth, as of religion, seems to me to depend on the awakening of our faith in the future."
These 22 essays are presented chronologically, from A Note on Progress (August, 1920) to The End of the Species (December, 1952 - February, 1953). The End of the Species leads to a two-part Conclusion. A final editorial note prints a brief last meditation from Teilhard's journal—written three days before his death on Easter Sunday, 1955—which "constitutes his supreme testimony as a thinker and a priest." The Future of Man was marketed by the publisher as "A companion volume to The Phenomenon of Man" with a dust jacket designed by Guy Fleming, echoing his omega design for the dust jacket of Teilhard's masterpiece. The book "points to the development of a new man closer to the omega point with whom union is beatitude. The spiritual appreciation of man is expressed in terms relevant to modern evolutionary insights. This work is also significant for its reconciliation of divergent philosophic approaches to the ethical problem." (George F. McLean, An Annotated Bibliography of Philosophy in Catholic Thought 1900-1964, 334). Translated by Norman Denny with his brief Translator's Note on the nature of Teilhard's neologisms.