Meditating on the “Cosmic Christ”

While the Church has always celebrated the last Sunday of the Liturgical Year as the “Reign of Christ,” (or, earlier, “Christ the King,”) it is only in the past 30 years or so that we have seen the emergence of a theological (or better “Christological”) literature around the “Cosmic Christ,” a new way to make sense of the profound meaning of this feast. Clearly, the Jesuit paleontologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin provided a significant impetus during the first half of the 20th century – although he was silenced by his own Church and forbidden to teach his thought. More recently, a number of theologians have picked up Teilhard’s work, and given it an updated boost, as it were. Typically, reference is made to Paul as the first “cosmic mystic” with his emphasis on Christ as the primary reality, rather than the human Jesus.

It is my contention that grasping the significance of the “Cosmic Christ” and developing a spirituality which takes this notion seriously might be one of the ways the Christian idea of “Good News” can make sense to a skeptical and disenchanted 21st century Christianity.

Let’s see if we can get a bit closer to this fascinating image of the “Cosmic Christ,” by proceeding step by step. Here’s what we’ll cover: