Teilhard de Chardin, Pierre

Alternative names
Birth 1881-05-01
Death 1955-04-10

Biographical notes:

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, paleontologist and philosopher, was born May 1, 1881, at Sarcenat, in the Dept. of Puy de Dôin, France, and educated at the College of Mongréin Villefranche-sur-Saô. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1899 at Aix-en-Provence and was ordained a priest in 1911. From 1912-1914 he studied paleontology under Marcellin Boule in Paris. After a period of teaching in Cairo, service in World War I as a stretcher-bearer, and further teaching at the Institut catholique in Paris, Teilhard began a series of visits to China. He spent the greater part of the period from 1923 to 1947 in China, Mongolia and Southeast Asia, participating in a number of geological and paleological expeditions. During this period he was involved with the discovery and research on Peking man (Sinanthropos), as well as projects on the fauna and artifacts of a number of sites where early man was found. Throughout his life, Teilhard published a large number of articles and monographs on his expeditions and research. His best known works, however, are the relatively few, later, philosophical works he wrote to synthesize his paleological research with his Christian faith. Teilhard's most important philosophical work, The Phenomenon of man, "effected a threefold synthesis--of the material and physical world with the world of mind and spirit; of the past with the future; and of variety with unity, the many with the one" (Sir Julian Huxley). Because the Church had difficulty understanding his radical synthesis of scientific evolution and theology, Teilhard was forbidden from publishing or lecturing on his philosophy from the 1940's; The Phenomenon of man was not released until after his death. Despite the ecclesiastical disapproval of his philosophy, Teilhard continued to work and to write on scientific subjects. He made a number of trips to South Africa during the 1950's, and worked for a time with the Wenner-Gren Foundation in New York. He died in New York on April 10, 1955.

Walter Granger was born Nov. 7, 1872 in Middletown Springs, Vt. After two years at the Rutland, Vt., high school he took a janitorial position at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. His knowledge of taxidermy helped him secure employment in the department of birds and mammals at the museum. After an 1894 expedition to the Badlands of South Dakota stimulated his interest in paleontology, Granger transferred to the recently organized department of vertebrate paleontology. In 1903 he was assigned leadership of the museum's investigations into the early mammals of North America. With Albert Thomson as technical assistant and William Diller Matthew as senior researcher, Granger revolutionized knowledge of the age of mammals and laid the groundwork for early Cenozoic faunal and stratigraphic studies in North America, work which occupied much of the rest of his life. In 1904 he married Annie Dean Granger, a first cousin. He achieved the rank of curator at the American Museum in 1927. On Sept. 6, 1941, Walter Granger died of a coronary thrombosis at a field camp in Lusk, Wyo.

From the description of The Granger-Teilhard de Chardin collection, 1924-1936. (Georgetown University). WorldCat record id: 86223024


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Ark ID:


  • Paleontology
  • Peking man
  • Sino--Japanese Conflict, 1931-1933


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  • China (as recorded)