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Title: Jacques Maritain, 'l'esprit dur et le coeur doux' : an assessment of his far-reaching and fragmented legacy, including his contribution to Catholic-Jewish relations, as shown through Le paysan de la Garonne
Author: Casey, Leigh Anne
ISNI:       0000 0004 5349 4294
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2014
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Jacques Maritain, although now largely ignored in France except for opportunistic re-appropriations of his work, was and still is highly esteemed in North (and South) America. This thesis examines the extent to which Maritain himself is responsible for the unevenness of his reputation, besides the part played by relevant geopolitical events. It also questions how much his readers have contributed by selecting from the complex mosaic of his work those things which suit their purposes. The thesis examines the core tenet of Maritain’s work: the tension between the ‘esprit dur’ of his inflexible Thomist theology and philosophy and the ‘coeur doux’ of his liberal humanitarianism. This tension is examined from the standpoint of the Second Vatican Council and Maritain’s response to those pivotal years in the Catholic Church, his self-declared testament, Le Paysan de la Garonne. Maritain’s contribution to the Council and its aftermath, especially as applied to consideration of the Church’s position on ‘la question juive’, helped to seal the fate of his jagged reputation. The research analyses Maritain’s key outputs contextually during a period of massive upheaval and shows their expansive influence. The dialogic approach to the works encompasses not only French but North American sources. The thesis also analyses correspondence between Maritain and his close friend Cardinal Journet, which has not before been the subject of significant analysis, enabling a deeper reading of Le Paysan de la Garonne and what lay behind the book, fifty years after its publication. This multi-disciplinary thesis, relevant to French studies, philosophy, intellectual history, politics and religious studies, makes a compelling case for a reappraisal of Maritain’s legacy - an individual so often ‘homme-carrefour’, caught up in key twentieth-century events and yet also having a vital influence on them.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PQ Romance literatures