Teilhard de Chardin Centre adds to ‘French Silicon Valley’ research facilities

faith and science

Faith and science research will have a place to collaborate when the new Teilhard de Chardin Centre facility opens in Paris next month.

Located in a suburb known as the “French Silicon Valley”, the Jesuit-run high-tech Centre will open on 2 June.

It will be “a place of dialogue between sciences, philosophy and spirituality,” says its director Fr Dominique Degoul SJ.

The Centre aims to “shed light on contemporary, ethical, societal, social, anthropological and spiritual questions” facing today’s scientists.

It also aims to be “a place of spiritual life” for Christian students and anyone who finds it “a place of renewal and prayer.”

Located close to other research facilities in the so-called French Silicon Valley, the new Centre comprises work and teaching rooms, a chapel and a few rooms for students.

Fruitful neighbourly support

Four Paris dioceses are helping support the Centre.

Besides these, university faculties, research laboratories and start-ups adjacent to the new Centre have sprouted up in recent years.

They include faculties from several universities boasting 65,000 students and 10,000 scientists on their staff. There are also a number of affiliated laboratories.

Degoul says the Centre “will allow fruitful encounters between different schools of thought on questions that are significant at the anthropological, ethical and spiritual levels, but for which no one alone has the entire solution.”

Its scientific council, which plans monthly public discussions, includes scientists, entrepreneurs, theologians and philosophers. One member is a Muslim.

On a daily basis, Degoul says the Centre will be a mix of students relaxing, scientists discussing issues and parishioners coming to pray or attend Mass.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin SJ

The French paleontologist and geologist supported evolution and believed it ultimately led to God.

He thought the human epic resembles “nothing so much as a way of the Cross.”

His spiritual dedication, however, was not questioned.

Although the Vatican criticised de Chardin’s ideas during his lifetime, it has had a change of view in recent decades.


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News category: Palmerston, World.

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