Our monthly book discussion group of ten women certainly enjoyed Ilia Delio’s book The Emergent Christ last year.
Each month we talked about a different chapter, the timing was just about right. We needed the whole month to search out Ilia Delio’s meaning because she writes with and academic vocabulary. She is a scholar at Georgetown University where she studies and teaches about science and religion.
She is considered a specialist in the writings of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and the implications of his views for contemporary culture., In this book she shows how contemporary scientific understanding about the beginnings of the cosmos require a change in the the understanding of God. The scientific shift really began in the late 1500’s when Galileo first understood that the earth was not the center of the universe. Today 600 years later our space mounted telescopes have not found the outer edge of the cosmos.
The church of that time sanctioned Galileo because they realized that the changing view of the universe would require changes they could not imagine. As each subsequent generation has learned about our ever expanding universe their experience of its originator has changed. Think of all that you know of the environmental movements of our day. The human community has a much deeper understanding of its connectedness to all parts of the earth. The serious attempts that governments are making to reduce climate change speak to the relationship of humanity to the earth that we share.
Whether composting or recycling in our homes we are acting out of a different relationship to the earth than our ancestors did. Following Teilhard’s teachings published some 50 years ago, the book shows the wholeness of all creation and recognizes a Creator that is not really separate from the cosmos. She recognizes what thoughtful and spiritual people already experience, that the Creator is drawing all creation into some kind of new whole, and that the pieces of creation itself are being propelled so to speak to join in.
Think of the way the people of the developed world are connecting with the common well of knowledge on the internet, and with each other on their hand held devices. Our discussion group was ever so encouraged by sharing our experiences and seeing how they fit in this journey to wholeness.