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In The Jesuit and the Skull, best-selling author Amir D. Aczel vividly recounts the discovery of Peking Man, its repercussions, and how Teilhard de Chardin's scientific work helped to open the eyes of the world to new theories of humanity's origins that alarmed the traditionalists within the Church. A deft mix of narrative history and a poignant personal story, The Jesuit and the Skull brings fresh insight to a debate that still rages today.
"An absorbing read [and] deeply moving personal story." (Ian Tattersall, curator, Division of Anthropology, American Museum of Natural History, and authorof Human Origins)
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Richard on 09-26-09
entertaining and informative
Overall the book was quite good. It was very informative with regard to both Teilhard's life and the paleontology that was the greater art of his life's work. The only frustration for me was that it discussed almost nothing of the content of his attempts to unite science and religion in his theological writings, such as the Phenomenon of Man or the Future of Man or the Divine Milieu. If those ideas had been worked in along with the biography and paleontology it would have been excellent, as it is...its still quite good.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
By connie on 10-25-07
More skull than Jesuit
For some time, I’ve wanted to read a spiritual biography of Teilhard – This is definitely not it. It is a good review of the "descent of man" etc, and it brings to life many of Teilhard’s colleagues, but is a very dry, skeletal account of the man himself. After reading it, I have much less interest in reading a spiritual bio of Teilhard (who apparently could be friends with a drug dealing,arms trading fascist and spend decades in China without ever learning local language). Did Teilhard ever come into contact with ideas of some of his French contemporaries like Simon Weil or Peter Maurin or Jacques Maritain? Did he have ANY social philosophy? You won’t find out in this book.
Although a good read, I think those who enjoy reading “science” might find this a bit scanty on documentation?
I think Teilhard’s time has arrived – both in world thought and more specifically in Catholic/Christian mysticism – but Teilhard’s influence on and/or parallels with today’s cosmology is not really explored in this work.
22 of 27 people found this review helpful