Here is a basic outline of the book and study questions for each chapter.

In the Introduction to the book:

  1. According to the Gospel of St. Matthew, every trained scribe goes into the storeroom and brings out something old and something new (Mt. 13:52). What value do you see in studying a thirteenth century philosophical theologian along with a twentieth century priest who was a professional scientist? What might they have to offer each other?
  2. How do you see the relationship between faith and reason, or between religion and science, or between grace and nature?  What might each have to offer the other?

Cosmology (Chapters 2 and 3)

  1. Is a created universe compatible with an evolving one?
  2. What does it mean to say that God created the universe but created it evolutively? 
  3. What do you see as the most significant insight in Thomas Aquinas’s theology of creation? An insight to be treasured and emphasized?
  4. Likewise, what emphasis in Teilhard de Chardin’s world view, in his cosmic vision, captures your imagination, enlightens your understanding?
  5. What insight does Teilhard bring to Aquinas’s theology of creation and what emphasis does Thomas bring to Teilhard’s understanding?
  6. Are they compatible?

Anthropology (Chapters 4 and 5)

  1. What are ingredients in Aquinas’s moral vision that are needed in our world today?
  2. What insights are there in the thought of Teilhard that complement Aquinas’s theological anthropology?
  3. Aquinas lays a foundation. Teilhard helps to build the house. Do you see any incompatibilities between the two visions of what it means to be human?
  4. What is the relationship between morality and spirituality?
  5. Sin, grace, virtue, hope, love, prayer: what insights do each of the two thinkers have to offer these topics?

Christology (Chapters 6 and 7)

  1. What role does Jesus Christ play in Thomas Aquinas’s universe? In that of Teilhard de Chardin?
  2. Is Thomas Aquinas’s thought christocentric? Is Christ Alpha and Omega in the thought of Aquinas?  
  3. How is Christ as Omega approached differently by the two thinkers?
  4. Are there approaches complementary?
  5. What is the relationship between Christ and the cosmos, between Christ and creation? 
  6. What role does the Eucharist play in each visionary’s world view?
  7. How are the omnipresence of Christ and Christ’s presence in the Eucharist different? 
  8. What emphasis do novel words like cosmogenesis, anthropogenesis, and christogenesis contribute to our understanding, or do they get in the way?
  9. For each thinker, why did God become incarnate?

The Theology of God (Chapter 8)

  1. Thomas Aquinas’ language tends to be systematic and precise, Teilhard’s more poetic and provocative. Do you have a preference? Are the two ways of talking about God incompatible?
  2. The Church’s liturgy proclaims God as the God of all creation. For Teilhard that would mean that God is the God of a vast and evolving creation. In what way is the God of evolution and the God of revelation the same God, One and Triune?
  3. Goergen speaks of the two visions, those of Thomas and of Teilhard, as mystical and as cosmotheanthopic. How do you see the relationship between the cosmos or universe and the human and the divine. Are they separable? Distinguishable? Integral to each other in the present order of things?

A Renewed Humanism (Chapter 9)

  1. Charles Taylor asked in The Secular Age, “Why was it virtually impossible not to believe in God in, say, 1500 in our Western society, while in 2000 many of us find this not only easy but even inescapable?" Unpack some of the implications of this. Is a Christian vision still possible? 
  2. Pope St. John Paul II spoke about a dialogue of cultures. What is the role of culture, of dialogue, in our exposition of Christian doctrine?
  3. What contributions do Thomas Aquinas and Teilhard de Chardin have to offer the evangelizing mission of the Church today?
  4. How do they contribute to the renewal of a Christian humanism?
  5. What needs to be emphasized in catechetics, evangelization, or theological research in our secular age? Re-presented?
  6. What role does mysticism play in the proclamation of the Gospel message? A sense of transcendence? The spiritual life?

Disputed Questions (Chapter 10)

  1. The doctrine of atonement is central and essential to the Christian message. At the same time, it has become problematic for many. What about the way it has sometimes been presented creates a difficulty? How would you articulate its meaning for us today?
  2. Do you believe in the existence of hell? Do you think of hell as a possibility? Is universal salvation also possible? How would you articulate its meaning for us today?
  3. Sexuality is an important dimension of human life. What is it that makes sexuality specifically human in contrast to how we see it function in the pre-human world? How would you articulate the meaning of sexuality for us today?

In Conclusion

  1. What do you see as the contributions Aquinas has to offer the presentation of the Christian message to our world today?
  2. What do you see as the contributions Teilhard has to offer the presentation of the Christian message in our world today?
  3. To present central ingredients of a Christian humanism in our world today, what do you see as essential to such a presentation?
  4. The Christian faith has a salvific message to offer our secular world. Do you see it as important that Christianity present itself in our world today with a humane face? Can this be done while remaining faithful to the tradition that has been handed down to us?