Book Review

Book Review

Teilhard’s Mysticism: Seeing the Inner Face of Evolution by Kathleen Duffy, SSJ

Author Sr Kathleen Duffy SJJ

Written in 2014 by Kathleen Duffy, SSJ, PhD, who is currently the President of the American Teilhard Association and is also Professor Emerita of Physics at Chestnut Hill College.

Kathleen has been able to bring to life the spiritual journey of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, one of the 20th Century’s most loved mystics. A mystic is one who has a personal union with God through contemplation and prayer. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955), a French Jesuit priest and scientist, charted a new path in reconciling Christian theology with evolutionary science, showing how science can help to illuminate the mystical path. As someone who loves my place deeply and seeks to live a life of integral ecology this book gave me insight into the beginning of our Church’s eco-theology journey.

The book explores the spiritual awakening journey that Teilhard undertook in his life. Kathleen starts with a biography then explores the ever-deepening spirals of exploration Teilhard undertook. We begin with the Circle of Presence, then Circle of Consistence, then Circle of Energy, then Circle of Spirit where we are in the arms of the Cosmic Christ, and finally the Circle of Person.

Contemplation of deep time and deep space highlighted for Teilhard our inter-connectedness and the need to understand the human impact on our world. For me Teilhard’s work is prophetic and has become the foundation of Pope Francis Laudato Si’ encyclical. Teilhard’s spiritual journey has had an amazing influence of on the work of many eco-theologians of our time including Thomas Berry and Brian Swimme, who are building on our understanding of the Cosmic Christ. Teilhard teaches us how to commune with God through the world. For me this is the grace I receive as I “find God in a leaf”.

‘Blessed be you, universal matter, immeasurable time, boundless ether, triple abyss of stars and atoms and generations: you who by overflowing and dissolving our narrow standards or measurements reveal to us the dimensions of God.’ Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Hymn of the Universe

We are so looking forward to learning more from Kathleen in her visit to Australia in October 2021.


Kathleen Duffy SSJ visit October 2021

Kathleen Duffy is coming to Australia in October 2021, with retreats and workshops planned for Perth, Sydney and Melbourne. Covid plans may see our program move on-line but either way we will be gaining her insights on one of the 20th Century’s most loved mystics.

Watch out for details to register to attend retreats and workshops in Melbourne and Sydney.


Perth Retreat:


More resources to learn about Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.