The Cosmic Hierarchy
The Cosmic Hierarchy

The Cosmic Hierarchy

God’s Plan for the Evolution of the Universe


A Christian Cosmology


298 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: Hardcover

Hardcover, $29.95 (US $29.95) (CA $39.95)

Publication Date: April 2021

ISBN 9780824598136

Price: $29.95


A private Foundation in cooperation with Herder & Herder Publishers is launching a landmark initiative for the development of a Christian cosmology based on reality as process, to replace the medieval static worldview. The initiative will launch this March 24, 2021 with the publication of the first of six volumes by physicist and theologian Richard J. Pendergast, SJ: The Cosmic Hierarchy: God's Plan for the Evolution of the Universe. This volume offers an introduction to a Christian cosmology, an integration of modern science and divine revelation, with the aim of achieving a coherent view of the universe. Combining notions from science, philosophy, and theology, Pendergast weaves a coherent picture of what we know about reality. He considers the nature of matter, human consciousness, quantum mechanics, biological evolution, and the problem of evil. Addressing both believers and nonbelievers, he aims to offer insight into problems that may disturb the faith of the former or impede the latter's search for God.


"The relation between modern science and a modern Christian theology is one of the most important tasks for today's theology. Following the inspiring paths of Teilhard de Chardin and working on a high academic level Richard J. Pendergast SJ gives an outstanding example with his significant contributions to this field." —CARDINAL CHRISTOPH SCHOENBORN, Archbishop of Vienna, Austria  

"The call of Benedict in the beginning in Europe is echoed as Richard Pendergast proclaims the light of Christ to the modern world." —BISHOP ASTRIC VARSZEGI, OSB, Archabbot emeritus of Pannonhalma, Hungary  

"A hundred years ago Teilhard de Chardin had a Christian vision of the world in the light of evolution. Following him, Richard Pendergast began the talks of systematic analysis... in order to help show the way in humanity's search for God." —BISHOP ATTILA MIKLOSHAZY, SJ, Professor emeritus systematic Theology, Toronto School of Theology  

"In our age, science is revealing to us, even more, the true grandeur of God's design. Writing in the spirit of Pope St. John Paul II's teaching on science, philosophy, and theology in a common quest for understanding, Richard Pendergast undertook the development of a Christian cosmology based on reality as process, to replace the medieval static worldview. This is the fascinating lifetime work of a Catholic priest-scientist, an original thinker who has opened pathways for generations to follow and explore. While there may be other approaches, Fr. Pendergast's desire to synthesize faith and reason, theology and science, to speak in a language intelligible to our technological age, is to be admired and emulated. His work is a must-read for anyone who wishes to evangelize the scientifically literate generations now being formed." —MSGR. STUART W. SWETLAND, STD, President of Donnelly College, Kansas, Commentator on religious issues on national radio and television. Academic degrees in theology (Pontifical Lateran University), physics (US Naval Academy), philosophy and economics (Oxford)

Author Biography

Richard J. Pendergast (1927-2012) was a Jesuit priest with a doctorate in physics and licentiates in philosophy and theology, who devoted his life to seeking the integration of science and divine revelation. His aim was to update the Christian synthesis of St. Thomas Aquinas, based on a static worldview, to reflect evolution, the view of cosmic reality as dynamic process. A scholar of first rank whose research appeared in peer-reviewed professional journals, he yet preferred pastoral ministry to academic life. He wanted to address the general public, believers and non-believers, to offer insight into problems that may disturb the faith of the former or impede the latter's search for God. He wrote five books over thirty years, and these manuscripts are now being published as a series, the work of a seminal thinker that presents a bold Christian vision, a living universe of meaning and hope.A native of Budapest, Hungary, Valerie Miké obtained a liberal arts degree at Manhattanville College, worked at Bell Labs in systems engineering, and earned a doctorate in mathematics at the Courant Institute of New York University. She went on to participate in the introduction of mathematical techniques in medicine, and pursued graduate studies in ethics and the philosophy of science. She is professor emerita of biostatistics at Weill Medical College of Cornell University and former head of the biostatistics department at the Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research. Her study of ethical issues pertaining to uncertainty in biomedical science and technology led to the notion of an "ethics of evidence"-- an approach to uncertainty widely applicable to decision-making in human affairs. She has established the Ethics of Evidence Foundation, with a mission that includes publishing the work of scholars in related fields.