How does spirituality relate to geology?


The relationship between spirituality and geology can be seen through the life and thoughts of Teilhard de Chardin, a Jesuit priest and geologist. His profound connection to geology was influenced by growing up in a volcanic area, where he was encouraged by his father to collect fossils. This sparked a deep curiosity and passion for the world of rocks. For de Chardin, geology was not merely a scientific pursuit; it was a way to explore and connect with the deeper, spiritual layers of existence. He felt a permanent broadening of his interior life through his engagement with geology, which he described as being immersed in an "ocean of matter." Even during his spiritual peak, he found it essential to be connected to these tangible elements of the world 1.

Moreover, he integrated his spirituality with his scientific work, seeing the essence of matter not just as physical substance, but as a pathway to understanding the universe and its spiritual dimensions. This perspective allowed him to view rocks and other elements of geology as gateways to spiritual exploration and understanding 2.

In summary, for de Chardin, spirituality and geology were deeply intertwined, each enriching his understanding and appreciation of the other. This synthesis of science and spirituality provided him with a unique and holistic view of the world.

The Spiritual Geologist

Explore the fascinating life of a scientist-turned-Jesuit priest who found solace in the world of rocks and experienced a profound shift in perspective during his time in the trenches of World War I. Discover how his deep spiritual vision and curiosity shaped his scientific and theological pursuits.

On Being with Krista Tippett

Ursula King, Andrew Revkin, and David Sloan Wilson — Teilhard de Chardin's Planetary Mind and Our Spiritual Evolution