An Evolutionary Hope for the Future
Updated: Feb 20
In 1967, when I was just entering graduate school at UCLA, history professor Lynn White Jr. had his article The Historic Roots of our Ecological Crisis published in the magazine Science. White claimed that the source of the environmental problems is religious in nature: “Since the roots of our trouble are largely religious the remedy must also be essentially religious. We must rethink and re-feel our nature and our destiny."
Ilia Delio says in her 2019 website post: Warming, Warming, Gone! Who Will Survive Climate Change? "The problem lies as much within us as outside us. Indeed, the problem in the public forum begins in the personal arena. If it is a problem of politics and public policies, it is also fundamentally a problem of religion."
"We need structural and pastoral changes in religious practices and worship, essentially a renewal of religion for a planet in crisis and in evolution. Basically, we need a 'new religion of the earth', one that celebrates interdependency, divine immanence, mutuality, and shared future (among other values.)" ~ Ilia Delio
Although Delio has hope for the future she is not optimistic about the likelihood of religion transforming humankind with sufficient rapidity to address our current climate crisis. "The internal theological divides (translate=internal wars) of both Catholic and Protestant churches preempt a renewed religious sensibility which leads me to suggest that the future looks grim for the western world which is fundamentally built on Christian principles"
"I do not think the first world will survive the dire consequences of global warming; however, I do think the third world will survive and rebuild." ~ Ilia Delio
Our Western way of life is not sustainable, but perhaps countries in the southern hemisphere may lead the way to sustainability while they will also have to adapt to the reality of an increasing ecological imbalance they did not create.
So what is the basis of this "new religion of the earth?" Explore Ilia Delio's Center for Christogenesis - an "online educational resource and a spiritual organization that serves an axial role in our time, bridging faith, science, culture, and community... The Center builds on the ideas of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and seeks to actualize his vision of emerging wholeness for a new vitality of the spirit.
Ilia Delio, OSF is a Franciscan Sister of Washington, DC, and American theologian specializing in the area of science and religion, with interests in evolution, physics, and neuroscience and the import of these for theology. Click here for an interesting story on her personal evolution.
Delio is the author of over twenty-three books including The Unbearable Wholeness of Being: God, Evolution (2013), Making All Things New: Making All Things New: Catholicity, Cosmology, Consciousness (2015), Re-Enchanting the Earth: Why AI Needs Religion. (2020), and The Hours of the Universe: Reflections on God, Science, and the Human Journey (2021).
Delio's 2014 book, From Teilhard to Omega: Co-creating an Unfinished Universe, is "an edited volume of essays by 13 of the finest scholars on science and religion. She challenged each writer to apply Teilhard's insights to the needs of the current age."
The Teilhardian concept of “Omega”—upon which our Center’s vision and work is based—is understood not as destination, but as deepening toward a more unified future. Omega is the revelation of God as the fullness of love, the dynamic center at the heart of all Creation." ~ Ilia Delio
New Creation is "the Center for Christogenesis online magazine dedicated to deepening our awareness of God, Cosmos, and Humanity in a scientific age."
“What is God Today?” is "an Omega Center video series featuring interviews with Ilia Delio on the meaning of the divine in the 21st century and what God is doing in our midst.
Ilia explores major themes of her work and shares a vision of God, cosmos, and humanity that can help heal our troubled world and reveal religion as the most exciting energy of our time."
Hunger for Wholeness is a podcast with Ilia Delio and Gabi Sloan.
"Together we can change the direction of this world by revitalizing our essential religious roots and orienting human evolution toward the fullness of love and justice, toward Omega." ~ Ilia Delio January 23, 2023