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The Divine Milieu

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  490 ratings  ·  33 reviews
The essential companion to Pierre Teilhard de Chardin's The Phenomenom of Man, The Divine Milieu expands on the spiritual message so basic to his thought. He shows how man's spiritual life can become a participation in the destiny of the universe.

Teilhard de Chardin -- geologist, priest, and major voice in twentieth-century Christianity -- probes the ultimate meaning of al
Paperback, 192 pages
Published November 6th 2001 by Harper Perennial Modern Classics (first published 1957)
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May 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is truly close to my heart. It bridges the gap between the best wisdom of mysticism regarding the personal spirit to apply these concepts to our collective spirit. So often mysticism in an introverted discipline, focusing on the interior life. The Divine Milieu is a beautiful vision of what Christian Mysticism could look like on the level of a church, a community, and a civilization.

I wish more pastors and church leaders read this book!
Bob Couchenour
Jun 06, 2013 rated it it was ok
I was first introduced to the writings of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin while I was living on the streets of Austin Texas, homeless, by another homeless individual by the name of Charlie. Charlie was an intellectual and obviously had some of the same interest as me, primarily the world, (the nature of reality), Society & culture, and surviving in the midst of what was seemingly an alien and hostile environment. We would see Charlie at least once a month at a local Presbyterian Church which offered ...more
Paul Dubuc
Very interesting author and ideas. A good translation with a biographical introduction. I thought the author's ideas on the meaning of death were profound, thought provoking and inspiring. Inspiring also were the italicized prayers at the end of some of the sections. Some of his other ideas in the book were not so interesting, but still worth considering. Lots of Latin phrases sprinkled throughout which were lost on me. I enjoyed reading the book; it was well worth the time spent.
Dec 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I LOVE this book (and this man!). Loved it so much I'm now writing my dissertation on it and the author. So, it has indeed greatly influenced the way I think and talk about my Christian faith, and how I teach it also. Not an easy read - it's NOT spiritual "fluff" - but I highly recommend!
Aug 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
Teilhard presents complicated science and metaphysics, and it's fascinating. So fascinating that I can't believe that he's not a household name! His theories are reminscent of ideas presented by Paul Davies and Rupert Sheldrake. I suppose that someday science will catch up with religion!
Timothy Ball
Nov 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tim-s-shelf
"Just as, at the centre of the divine milieu, all the sounds of created being are fused,
without being confused, in a single note which dominates
and sustains them, so all the powers of the soul begin
to resound in response to its call ; and these multiple tones,
in their turn, compose themselves into a single, ineffably
simple vibration in which all the spiritual nuances — of love
and of the intellect, of zeal and of tranquillity, of fullness
and of ecstasy, of passion and of indifference, of a
Oct 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
"What is most divine in God is that, in an absolute sense, we are nothing apart from him." (49)

"No one lifts his little finger to do the smallest task unless moved, however obscurely, by the conviction that he is contributing infinitesimally (as least indirectly) to the building of something definitive - that is to say, to your work, my God." (56)

"At the heart of our universe, each soul exists for God, in the Lord. But in all reality, even material reality, around each one of us, exists for our
Feb 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: inspiration
I think I got the gist of the book. But for me, it was difficult to read in that the sentences were usually a paragraph long, with big words and Latin references. I'd read and then not be sure I understood what was being said. My comments are a reflection on me, not smart enough, not the book.
Lesley Arrowsmith
Apr 02, 2013 rated it liked it
I have to admit that I picked this book up as a result of reading Julian May's Galactic Milieu novels! She mentions Teilhard de Chardin, and I was intrigued. It's a fascinating read - and you can see why the Roman Catholic church were a little bit wary of his ideas! Put together with the Julian May stories, though, it all makes a lot of sense, and I went on to read The Phenomenon of Man and other books by him. Hard going, but very much worth while.
Oh, and he was an archaeologist working in China
Jan 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Although PT de Chardin would disagree with my analysis, I think this is a marriage between paganism and Christianity, in my very lay understanding of this text. Rich with devotion to the divine, in all its presentations. I could certainly read this again, especially if I had a reading buddy who could help me decipher the Christian references that are a bit lost on me...
Katie R. Herring
May 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: religion
My teacher recommended this to me in order to complete an essay for his class.

I really liked it, although I will admit it was not an easy read. I got the basics, but some lines I had to read a few times.

It was an interesting read and I'm glad I gave it a chance.

My religious readings are increasing, and I'm sure God approves :*)
Natalie Baer
Jul 18, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommended to Natalie by: My Pastor
Shelves: religious
I have copied out several quotes from his book
Aug 14, 2008 added it
Wonderful, wonderful
Mar 17, 2013 rated it liked it
Need to read this again...
May 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
It speaks to the revision of Teilhard that his thought seems hardly revolutionary for those who read John Paul, Benedict, and Francis.
May 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spring-2017
Lovely read, a must for the modern day Catholic or those seeking to understand how Christianity can become more modern.
Dec 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Probably closer to a 3.75.
Keith PJ Duggan
Mar 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
One of the most important books in my life
Joseph Gascho
Tough read...
Donner Tan
Feb 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"This little book does no more than recapitulate the eternal lesson of the church in the words of a man who, because he believes himself to feel deeply in tune with his own times, has sought to teach how to see God everywhere, to see him in all that is most hidden, most solid, and most ultimate in the world. These pages - put forward no more than a practical attitude - or more exactly perhaps, a way of teaching how to see." writes Teilhard de Chardin in his introduction.

I have not read enough of
Brian Wilcox
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
De Chardin's work was groundbreaking. One of those authors you keep reading others quote and you decide to read him or her; then, you know why he or she was quoted so often.

Divine Milieu is a profound synthesis of matter and spirit, seen and unseen, and religion and science, without forfeiting the essence of either of the poles of these apparent polarities. De Chardin offers us a delicate wedding of tangible and intangible, leading us to a wisdom before the dualities, the either-or, in which we
Todd Runyon
Jun 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful vision

"Now the earth can certainly clasp me in her giant arms. She can swell me with her life, or take me back into her dust. She can deck herself out for me with every charm, with every horror, with every mystery. She can intoxicate me with her perfume of tangibility and unity. She can cast me to my knees in expectation of what is maturing in her breast. . . . But her enchantments can no longer do me harm, since she has become for me, over and above herself, the body of him who is and
Nov 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is one if those books that caused a slight adjustment of my beliefs and faith. Nothing radical, but just a fine tuning. The author presents a different way of looking at things, a unique perspective. He was not only a priest but also a scientist. Much of the content was WAY over my head. I had to look up the meaning of words as I went along. But by the end of the book, I felt I did understand the general gist, and I felt a sense of overall well-being. Worthwhile read! I will read this one m ...more
BJ  Brown
Feb 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
I 'had' to read this (for work), and gave myself lots of lead time, thinking it would be dense--but no! It's actually a lyrical reflection from a deeply committed scientist and believer, and a pleasure to read (and underline heavily). My only complaint--and because this is of an era, I really shouldn't fuss--is all the Latin phrases left untranslated.
Michael Adams
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this. Very overtly Christian observation of the meaning of earthly life, fraternity, and one’s life’s work in the grand scheme of religious meaning. There is a poetry to the language, but most of the meaning will only work if one already has a Christian perception of the world.
Mar 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An in depth exploration of what it means to truly believe that everything is created by God, and how we are called to find God's glory in everything, not just the things we like or agree with, or find pleasing.
Dec 30, 2019 rated it really liked it

If Von Balthasar had been a combatant in the first world war and then a paleontologist, if Louis de Montfort had been a Jesuit, if Dorothy Sayers thoughts on work had been written by a scrupulous French academic, then you have some idea of the treat you’re in for reading The Divine Milieu.
Michael Baranowski
Sep 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
I'm amazed at (and envious of) Teilhard de Chardin's passion and energy, which comes through very clearly in translation from the original French. But the actual ideas are couched in such verbose and muddled language, at least in translation, that I can't begin to understand why he's so excited.
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Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was a visionary French Jesuit, paleontologist, biologist, and philosopher, who spent the bulk of his life trying to integrate religious experience with natural science, most specifically Christian theology with theories of evolution. In this endeavor he became enthralled with the possibilities for humankind, which he saw as heading for an exciting convergence of systems, ...more

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“Since once again, Lord - though this time not in the forests of the Aisne but in the steppes of Asia - I have neither bread, nor wine, nor altar, I will raise myself beyond these symbols, up to the pure majesty of the Real itself; I, your priest, will make the whole earth my altar and on it will offer you all the labours and sufferings of the world.

Over there, on the horizon, the sun has just touched with light the outermost fringe of the eastern sky. Once again, beneath this moving sheet of fire, the living surface of the earth wakes and trembles, and once again begins its fearful travail. I will place on my paten, O God, the harvest to be won by this renewal of labour. Into my chalice I shall pour all the sap which is to be pressed out this day from the earth’s fruits.

My paten and my chalice are the depths of a soul laid widely open to all the forces which in a moment will rise up from every corner of the earth and converge upon the Spirit. Grant me the remembrance and the mystic presence of all those whom the light is now awakening to the new day . . .

Over every living thing which is to spring up, to grow, to flower, to ripen during this day say again the words: ‘This is my Body’. And over every death-force which waits in readiness to corrode, to wither, to cut down, speak again your commanding words which express the supreme mystery of faith: ‘This is my Blood’.”
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