Jacques Maritain: Medieval Modernism

Joseph Frank

in Responses to Modernity

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780823239252
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780823239290 | DOI:
Jacques Maritain: Medieval Modernism

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Jacques Maritain was an extremely complex and contradictory personality, but one with a disarming charm, who always seemed to embody a somewhat subversive version of whatever cause he was espousing. A resolute partisan of Thomas Aquinas's ideas, he refused to confine them to the past and used them to defend the most extreme experiments of modern art. The issue that preoccupied Maritain throughout his life—the relation of religion, culture, and politics—has lost none of its acuity, particularly in the United States, and history itself has thus given a continuous relevance to the flood of writings with which he analyzed this question from every conceivable point of view. The life of Maritain was decisively changed when he met Raïssa Oumansoff one day at the Sorbonne, where they both were students. Her Russian-Jewish family had emigrated to France precisely to escape the limitations imposed on Jewish students in their previous homeland. The two were married in November 1904.

Keywords: Jacques Maritain; France; Thomas Aquinas; religion; culture; politics; United States; Raïssa Oumansoff

Chapter.  5499 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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