The Theilhard de Chardin center, a "place of dialogue" between "science, philosophy and spirituality", opened its doors this Friday, June 2 on the plateau of Saclay (Essonne), announced the director of this center, a Jesuit.
The building, located in Gif-sur-Yvette, brings together "a chapel, a place of worship for the inhabitants and students" Christians of this plateau which brings together many major engineering schools "and a meeting space, a place of dialogue between the Church and the scientific world," Dominique Degoul told AFP.
Advancing the idea of progress
During conferences for the general public, "scientific issues, between science and faith, questions of anthropology, ethics, issues related to artificial intelligence (AI) or ecology will be addressed," said this former student of the Ecole Polytechnique, chaplain of students. Each time, it will be a question of "bringing the point of view of a specialist in the question, the philosophical point of view, and the spiritual point of view". The opening conference on Friday focused on the topic "What Lights for Today. Can we advance the idea of progress?" Others will follow on "the credibility of the scientific word", "the consequences of AI on economic life" or on Teilhard de Chardin, Jesuit priest (1881-1955), paleontologist, "first to have had a Christian spiritual reading of the history of the universe as we know it today", according to Dominique Degoul.
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The project, born about ten years ago, cost 8 million euros in total. It was financed for a third by donors, a third by the dioceses of Ile-de-France (Evry, Paris, Nanterre, Versailles) and a third by the Society of Jesus. The 1600 m2 building is designed by Jean-Marie Duthilleul, architect of many stations in France and abroad.