The Teilhard de Chardin Center
The Teilhard de Chardin Center, which will open its doors in September 2022 on the Saclay Plateau, will offer a space for dialogue among the sciences, technology, and spirituality.
The Saclay Plateau is destined to become a nexus of formation, innovation and academic research with a global reach. Located in Essonne approximately 20 kilometers (12 miles) south of Paris, this large-scale scientific and technological center will – by 2024 – draw together 100,000 students, professors and researchers as well as 400,000 residents.
“This concentration of current and future key players in science and the world of hi-tech is a great challenge and a great opportunity to reflect and decide today how the Church will be present,” underlined Bishop Michel Pansard of Evry, France.
This challenge led to an innovative project led jointly by four dioceses of the Greater Paris Region (Evry Corbeil-Essonnes, Paris, Nanterre, Versailles) and the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) through the Jesuit Province of French-speaking Western Europe.
The center will take the shape of a space for formation and contemporary dialogue among the sciences, technology, and spirituality for students, researchers, philosophers, and theologians. All will be invited to deepen and share their commitment to practicing ethical, philosophical, social and spiritual scientific research and development.
The Teilhard de Chardin Center will also contribute to supporting the knowledge of the faith and the spiritual life of students, researchers, and professionals who work on the Saclay Plateau. Ultimately, its vocation is to respond to the needs of the many students and families living on the Plateau.
The choice of name for the center communications the ambition of the project: “Fr. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a French Jesuit researcher, paleontologist, theologian, and philosopher (1881-1955) brought a global vision to the scientific world. In the same way, the Teilhard de Chardin Center which bears his name will embrace the scientific, societal, and environmental challenges of today with a Christian vision,” explains Fr. François Boëdec, Jesuit Provincial of French-Speaking Western Europe.
The center will offer, in 1,700 square meters:
- A vast welcome center, with customizable meeting spaces
- A chapel that seats 200 worshippers
- Shared housing for approximately 12 students who desire to deepen the connection between their faith and their scientific studies, in the model and spirit of a “Studium” as well as the formation team.
The architectural design and construction of the center was awarded to architect Jean-Marie Duthilleul, who conceived of it as a spiritual “third place.” The center will be open to evolving and adapting to the needs of student life, with different zones of activity envisioned for the heart of the center. The building will incorporate innovative technology to fulfill the desire for harmony between city and nature, as well as care for the environment and Creation, consistent with the vision of Fr. Teilhard de Chardin, S.J.
The center will be located in the neighborhood of Moulon, close to the École Centrale Supélec and the ENS Paris-Saclay, at the heart of the university town as desired by local leaders and officials, and just 700 meters (less than half a mile) from the Grand-Paris Metro station.
The C. family