According to a Master’s thesis by USU student Darren M. Edwards (2010):
. . . (Pierre Teilhard de) Chardin was derided, silenced, and exiled by the Catholic Church because he could not keep in stride with what they thought his scientific work as a Jesuit should be. He believed fiercely in his church as well as in his right to disagree with and question that institution. Chardin’s questions were not signs of simple rebellion but rather evidence of a great mind trying to reconcile multiple realities. He spent his life trying to bring balance to the scales of science and religion. He was able to see beyond the apparent conflict of evolution and original sin. Off in the distance he could see an answer, just out of his reach, as to how the two could agree, so he dove into the conflict head first knowing that if he was to get his answer he must first understand the questions.
Througout his life, Chardin never left the Catholic Church or abandoned those personal beliefs that were at odds with the church. He hung around in what the Nobel-Prize winning chemist (and notable poet) Roald Hoffman calls the “tense middle.” Chardin’s life was spent digging at questions while bent under pressure from the orthodoxies of his faith. Chardin’s life and thoughts, particularly his thoughts while in exile, help me to explore the darkest corners of the struggle between orthodoxy and individuality.