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The Journal of Father Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J.

Preface by Nicole Schmitz-Moormann

Part I: Introduction  |  Part II: Themes and Abbreviations  |  Part III: Editor's Notes on the Transcription of the Journal


Teilhard's French copybooks were 17 by 22.5 centimeters (about 6.8 by 8.8 inches).

The Journal has 1,684 hand-written pages. Father Teilhard's writing was fine but the letters are well formed. The text is very concentrated, so that one hand-written page covers one and a half printed pages, and an enlargement of the original was necessary for correct deciphering.

The transcription corresponds to a printed reproduction of the original; we have respected the text in its totality and in its layout, that is to say, we have kept signs, braces and parentheses, intervals, asterisks, arrows, punctuation, and most abbreviations, etc. In order to obtain this result it was necessary to use pitch 10, instead of the common pitch 12, and line space 1.5; in case of braces .75.

However, to give the reader a better orientation within the text, we gave the complete date (day, month, and year) of the entry on the right side of the page. Usually Teilhard wrote down in the left margin only the day and month except for the first entry of a new year.

We gave Teilhard's pagination in brackets [ ] on the left side of the page

We used three categories of footnotes:

Teilhard used three ways to underline some words, or sentences:

The transcription of the Journal, which I present today in its integrality, was begun in 1971 by my late husband Dr.Dr. Karl Schmitz-Moormann and myself. I thank the representatives of the Teilhard de Chardin family for their trust and confidence toward us during all those years, first in the person Monsieur Joseph Teilhard †, brother of Father Pierre Teilhard, then of Madame Françoise du Passage †, niece of Father Teilhard, and now of Monsieur Bernard Teilhard de Chardin, nephew of Father Teilhard and representative of his heirs.

From the beginning this work would not have been made possible without financial assistance from the following institutions and foundations: Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Forschung des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen, Max-Planck Gesellschaft, Deutsche Forschung Gemeinschaft, and especially Hellmut-Ley-Stiftung (Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenchaft) and its late president M. Walther Casper.

I thank the Jesuit Fathers of "Les Fontaines," Chantilly, France, for their hospitality, several times renewed, and for giving us access to their magnificent library. I thank the Center of Theological Inquiry at Princeton, N.J., for offering me a haven of peace as a Fellow there, after my husband's death, which allowed me to resume my work.

I thank the Woodstock Theological Center, Georgetown University, Washington D.C., and especially its former Director Father James Connor, S.J. for my appointment as a Woodstock Associate Fellow, and for his help expressed in different ways many times.  I also thank his successor, Father Gasper Lo Biondo, S.J., for his enthusiasm about my project and his advice. The completion of this project was expedited because of the technical support of Mr. Matthew Gladden, Executive Assistant to the Director.

I thank my colleague Father James F. Salmon, S.J., Senior Fellow, Woodstock Theological Center, for his encouragement, his suggestions, and help of many years during this work.

I thank the Directors of Loyola Notre-Dame Library, in Baltimore, MD, especially Sr. Ian Stewart, SSND, for providing me a quite space for work.

I thank all colleagues and friends who gave their support, in one way or another, to my husband and to me, during these past thirty years.

Washington D.C., January 30, 2003

Mrs. Schmitz-Moormann's transcription of Cahiers I-IX and XIII-XXI is housed at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University, Washington, DC.  Teilhard scholars requesting access to the transcription should direct their inquiries to Father Gasper Lo Biondo, S.J., director of the Center.

Part I: Introduction  |  Part II: Themes and Abbreviations  |  Part III: Editor's Notes on the Transcription of the Journal


About Woodstock Programs Publications Search