Raïssa Maritain, the Allure of Suffering, and the French Catholic Revival (1905-1944)
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: University of Notre Dame Press
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“Can there be a mystical life without death?”1Writing in 1931, the French Catholic intellectual Raïssa Maritain (1883–1960) named this the “question essentielle” in her private notebooks. She had raised this issue twenty-five...
Chapter 1: That “Strange Thing, So Unknown to Us—Catholicism”
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How did a Jewish atheist come to embrace Catholicism, to the point of converting, and go on to have a major impact on the intellectual and artistic revivals in French Catholicism, a world made up mainly of men? Consider where she started out...
Chapter 2: “She Who Weeps”
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In December 1906, six months after their conversion, Léon Bloy introduced Jacques and Raïssa to his beloved devotion to the Virgin Mary of La Salette.La Salette is the name of the French village where, on September 19, 1846...
Chapter 3: Building a New Tribe in the Gathering Storm
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Nearly every Sunday, from 1923 to 1939, men and women from all walks of life took the forty-five-minute train ride from Paris to attend the famous salon Jacques and Raïssa hosted at their home in Meudon, France...
Chapter 4: Poetry “in the Storm of Life”
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In 1931, at the height of the Meudon years and four years before Histoire d’Abraham went to press, Raïssa Maritain published her first poem, entitled “La couronne d’épines” (The Crown of Thorns), a vivid rendering of Jesus’s fear on the Mount of Olives before his crucifixion. In describing...
Chapter 5: Holy Suffering, Memory, and the Irredeemable Present
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From New York on July 6, 1940, just weeks after Germany started its occupation of France, Raïssa Maritain composed the preface to her famous two-volume memoir, Les grandes amitiés. She was explicit that the unbearable...
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Raïssa Maritain witnessed Les grandes amitiés on its way toward becoming a classic: twenty thousand copies were sold in the first three years, forty thousand in the 1950s, fifty thousand in 1960. After she died, new editions...
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Page Count: 288
Publication Year: 2012