Journal Article

A Political Theology of the Absurd? Albert Camus and Simone Weil on Social Transformation

Stefan Skrimshire

in Literature and Theology

Volume 20, issue 3, pages 286-300
Published in print September 2006 | ISSN: 0269-1205
Published online September 2006 | e-ISSN: 1477-4623 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/litthe/fri069
A Political Theology of the Absurd? Albert Camus and Simone Weil on Social Transformation

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Albert Camus’ philosophy of the absurd described a tension between nihilism and the impulse to resist it at the heart of human experience. His lyrical responses to the challenge of the absurd are founded on the possibility of affirming the struggle for social values in spite of absurdity without recourse to transcendence or the divine to give it meaning. In this article, I place these responses in dialogue with a religious contemporary of Camus, Simone Weil, to whom this imperative to face the absurd without God was also an imperative of Christian faith. In doing so I assess whether the theological approach to absurdity of one writer can offer any resources in tackling social transformation that the purely humanist approach of another cannot.

Journal Article.  7209 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Religion and Art, Literature, and Music

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