Conference Overview

Love at the Heart of the Cosmos: Living in Relational Wholeness

is an event committed to the Teilhard’s vision for “a new religion of the Earth for a new planet of life. Teilhard’s vision of “relational wholeness” sees that all dimensions of life are one co-evolving spirit: matter and energy, nature and humanity, faith and culture, science and spirituality, consciousness and contemplation. It is a living wholeness, a dynamic oneness, that deepens in complexity, consciousness, and convergence as the great cosmic epic of divine love proceeds.

Through plenary talks, centering prayer practice, workshops, and celebration of Teilhard’s Mass on the World,
we will together explore a new story of the whole that can inspire, transform, and give us hope.

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Plenary Lectures

“Teilhard envisioned a new type of energy flowing from the convergence of world religions, giving rise to a new religion of the Earth and a new ultrahuman community, electronically connected in a rising Cosmic Person. How might we use technology if we actually believed that God is partnering with AI-complexified life to create a more unified planetary life?”

Ilia Delio

If the Earth is to survive in the glorious manner of diversity, beauty and health in which we inherited it, and humanity too, then humans must both wake up and get up and move beyond our passivity and couch-potato-itis and be counted as the lovers and prophets we all are in our depths.  With insight from Teilhard de Chardin and his disciple Thomas Berry, from Meister Eckhart and Mary Oliver, we will propose ideas and ways to be on fire with passion for the compassion required today to save the earth as we know it.”

Matthew Fox

“In the grand tapestry of Teilhardian seeing, the warp of science and the weft of mysticism are inextricably intertwined. When subjected to the softening and harmonizing energy of faith, the hard edges of physical reality soften, become more supple, come into responsivity and coherence. It is through this presence that, even in the midst of overwhelming despair, we can still set our sights on and draw sustaining energy from that pole star of God-Omega.”

Cynthia Bourgeault

“Although from the perspective of physics, the cosmos may look like a process of heat exchanges and energy transformations, a deep look ‘inside’ reveals a universe that has also given rise, at least on Earth, to beings eager to understand where they came from, where they are going, and what they should be doing with their lives. From a ‘inside’ perspective, the universe is a story of awakening. But is it an awakening destined to return to an eternal sleep? Teilhard suggests three ways of answering this question and offers new understanding of the meaning of faith.​”

John F. Haught

“The evolutionary struggle, for Teilhard, is not simply about survival. Struggle must be directed toward flourishing, toward providing humanity with a richer spiritual life. Because the cosmos is not complete but is always moving toward greater union, novelty and consciousness, struggling and suffering are inevitable. As the creative approach needed to bring about union, struggle is holy.”

Sr. Kathleen Duffy

Workshops

Andrew Del Rossi: “Psycho-Spiritual Evolution: Seeking the Higher Self in Teilhard, Jung, and Psychosynthesis”

Both spirituality and psychology hold the power to lead the human person to wholeness by connecting to oneself, others, and the world. This presentation explores the integral link between the spiritual and psychological evolution of the human person and how both empower connection with an even greater reality: the Divine.

Teilhard’s radical and world-affirming spirituality allowed him to journey into the heart of matter and uncover powerful symbols which spoke to his being as he evolved to become one with the universe and one with God. Carl Jung’s quest to explore the numinous dimension of the psyche allowed him to cultivate an understanding of symbols and dream images as catalysts for psychic growth. Jung’s thought inspired the creation of Psychosynthesis, a method of psychoanalysis which views our psychological growth as a spiritual process.

Do you have a symbol that stands out to you? Do you experience a recurring dream image?

Guided by the wisdom of Teilhard de Chardin, Carl Jung, and Psychosynthesis, this interactive session will allow us an opportunity to pray, draw, and share as we seek to discover personal and communal symbols for evolving toward the Omega Point.

Daryl Domning: “Teilhard, Original Sin, and the Possibilities of Matter”

If God pronounced the creation ‘very good’, why are there evil and sin in the world? What can ‘Original Sin’ mean today, and why could Teilhard not persuade his superiors to accept his evolutionary view of it? If we have evolved out of stardust, where do ‘souls’ fit in? What if there are no ‘souls’ in the traditional sense—radically separate and separable from our bodies? If Spirit and Love are the essence of reality, how are we to regard ‘mere matter’? Does it bother you to think that all you are—mind as well as body—might be ‘just’ matter and the activity of matter? What might all this mean for ‘the resurrection of the body’? Let’s discuss!

Michelle Francl: “To Become All Flame”

“If you wish, you can become all flame,” said the desert father, holding his hands aloft, tongues of fire dancing above them. What might it mean to become all flame, to hold such light in our hands, to let the divine fire run through us? How might our every day lives look? Our relationships with each other and with the universe? We will explore these fiery themes through the lenses of poetry and theology, and in conversation with each other.

Margaret Mell: “Contemplate… Create… Integrate…”

As this Conference has been unfolding, you have been
*listening to ~ and exchanging ~ words…
*breathing in ~ breathing out…
*walking ~ sitting ~ standing ~ listening… and,
*sinking into Silence….

Perhaps a New Word ~ a Sense of dynamic convergence has begun to arise within you ~ clamoring, or, whispering to emerge ~ to be spoken, drawn, written, danced, painted, or sung ~ perhaps you have received a hint from Nature. In this Workshop, we will open space to explore, practice, create, and integrate those embryonic energies. We will fan the creative sparks within us to allow Our New Creations to be manifested and celebrated through all our senses as we birth them within the universally evolving Heart of Love.

During our workshop, there will be one group-creation activity. If you prefer to work individually, utensils for sketching, drawing, pastels, and collaging (as well as suitable paper for these activities) ~ also, unlined paper for creative and/or reflective writing or journaling ~ will be provided. You may wish to bring your own painting materials ~ or some other favorite creative art’s materials with you for your, personal use during this Workshop. If you would like to engage contemplative photography, bring your own camera ~ or, if you prefer, your cell phone’s camera will suffice. A framework guideline for contemplation will be available ~ or, you can follow the prompt of the Muse within….In all, instructions will be minimal, Silence will accompany our flowings, and, there will be time for sharing as we bring closure to our session….NOTE: Some of us have allergies to certain scents or smells. Please do not bring art supplies with you that would create a problem for someone else. Thank you.

Charlotte Tomaino: “Evolving Your Brain and Spiritual Life”

Spirituality is the deepest and truest dimension of yourself with the eyes to see and the ears to hear. By embracing a contemplative spiritual path, the contemplative consciousness beyond our active perception is made available.

We will explore a 14th century monastic instruction in Contemplative Contemplation for embracing … blind gazing at the naked Being of God alone. Only Love ~ not knowledge ~ reaches God. Contemplative practice is prayer, but it is also a choice for shifting your brain and autonomic nervous system to a state opening the window of your own heart and soul to perceive God’s Presence.

Grasping the fluctuations in your own nervous system and the simple things you can do when your arousal level is changing and your brain is going off line is the awareness of an awakened brain. When you are awake to the state of your brain, you have choice in your awareness and can act from the love in your heart and soul. Knowing how to shift your state gives you agency in where you will come from within yourself, the path you will take in life and what you will have to offer this world. The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet (Buechner).

About Our Partners

Institute of Religion and Science at Chestnut Hill College

The Institute is committed to nurturing the constructive engagement of Religion/Spirituality and Science/Technology, and to promoting a dialogue that is interfaith and multi-science. It aims to stimulate interdisciplinary thinking and discussion in contemporary society and to foster encounters of Religion with Science by means of lectures, conferences, workshops, dialogue groups, as well as activities that support a more integrated approach to the teaching of religion and science. Click here to visit their website.


Chestnut Hill College

Chestnut Hill College is a Roman Catholic college in the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The college was founded in 1924 as a women’s college by the Sisters of St. Joseph. It was originally named Mount Saint Joseph College. In 1980, the college established a coeducational graduate education program and started to admit male students to its undergraduate programs in 2003. As of 2012, a total of 2,318 students were enrolled in Chestnut Hill College’s three constituent schools, with fewer than 900 as undergraduates. Click here to visit their website.

Venue Address


Commonwealth Chateau at SugarLoaf
Chestnut Hill College, Philadelphia, PA
December 6 – 8, 2019

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Registration for the event includes participation in all plenary talks, a centering prayer session, small group discussions, and Teilhard’s “Mass on the World.” It also includes a Friday evening hors d’oeuvre reception, Saturday night dinner, breakfast on Saturday and Sunday mornings, and coffee breaks throughout the event.

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