Erenlai - Items filtered by date: Wednesday, 17 June 2015
Wednesday, 17 June 2015 12:30

Teilhard in 'Esprit'

In June 2015, the French monthly Esprit published an issue on: "François, a Jesuit Pope."

The issue includes three articles of special interest for the readers of eRenlai:

- Luce Giard offers us a portrait of Teilhard, linking the prophetic version of the thinker to the transformations brought in the Chuch by the present pontificate.
- Benoit Vermander traces back the history of the second Jesuit mission in China, thus giving us glimpses on the institutional context of which Teilhard was part.
- Jin lu, a popular contributor of eRenlai, brings together the mystique of michel de Certeau with the spirit of Pope Francis.

Taken as a whole, this issue by Esprit and the documentary brought forward by eRenlai testify to the resilience of a spiritual and intellectual tradition that is taking a new meaning in view of the present global challenges.

Alex Wang completed the translation in Chinese of Teilhard de Chardin's book, La Place de l'homme dans la Nature: Le Groupe zoologique humain (Peking University Press, 2014)


Why did you choose to translate this book by Teilhard de Chardin?

The evolution of mankind on the earth, I should say, the evolution of intelligent life in this universe depicted by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin provides us with a clear vision of what would come and what we should do to make it happen.
Teilhard has shared this version in his masterpiece "The human phenomenon" with a scientific and yet poetic language, while integrating the progress of his time. But the access to this major work is not easy, requiring patience and perseverance. "The place of human in the nature" is a condensed "but clearer" version of this important book, according to Teilhard himself.[1] It could be considered as a stepping stone to enter Teilhard's world.


Why is it important to promote Teilhard de Chardin in China?

China has been achieving the huge and astonishing progress in each important domain for more than 30 years. There is no doubt that China will become a superpower of the 21st century, reshaping the entire world to come. Its uprising will be one of the major events of human history. All along the desire for the modernization and a better life, people feel at the same time and even more deeply a hunger for meaning, the meaning of life, the meaning of human efforts, the meaning of a higher moral standard, etc. In short, people are looking for the answers to the following questions: why are we here? Where do we go? In which direction and why?

Teilhard's thoughts provide us with his answers, inviting us to an extraordinary journey of exploration.


Could you recount for us the history of your career?

When I was a 13 year old boy, I asked myself a simple question: "What's the value and the meaning of human life?" Since then, all my life has been oriented to the search for this meaning.

Then in 1978, I felt the urge to leave the factory to resume my studies at the university after "the Cultural revolution". In 1983, I left my home land, flew to France, in order to "learn" with all the philosophers and thinkers I could find. There I obtained a PhD in philosophy and a second one in engineering.

But I remained unsatisfied until I encounter Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. For me, his thought is like a candle in the darkness of night.

I have been working for more than 25 years for the France Telecom Orange Group. After taking different positions in various divisions such as HR, Business development, Sales, R&D and procurement, I currently work as CEO of Orange Sourcing Consulting. I am very much involved in promoting Teilhard's thinking and also in the implementation of Corporate Social Responsibility principles, understood as part of efforts in the direction of ongoing human evolution pointed by Teilhard.

[1] Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Lettres à Jeanne Mortier, 1949, Seuil, p. 53


Alex Wang shares his thoughts about his translation work (in Chinese)

 

Teilhard de Chardin wrote The Phenomenon of Man (Le Phénomène humain) over a period of time that coincided with his entire stay in China, from 1922-1946, during which time he often left China to visit Europe, other countries in Asia and the US. This book, still considered as his magnum opus, tells the great story of the "human phenomenon" advent through the continuity of the formation of matter and the debut of life on earth, while being at the same time a reflexion on what will become of the "human phenomenon."

The book was published posthumously in 1955.

This excerpt of the documentary Teilhard and China introduces an original typed copy of the book conserved at the Beijing Center and gives us the testimony of a Chinese reader.

In the following video taken from the unused footage of the documentary 'Teilhard and China', Thierry Meynard, SJ, director of the Beijing Center, discusses the theory of evolution according to Teilhard de Chardin and its significance for the World today.

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