The Maritain Factor

Taking Religion into Interwar Modernism

Edited by Jan De Maeyer and Rajesh Heynickx

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By studying the reception and perception of the French Catholic philosopher Jacques Maritain, this book argues that European modernist artists and intellectuals sought a primordial finality in Catholicism. The French poet, writer, and surrealist filmmaker Jean Cocteau converted under the influence of Maritain. For the painters Gino Severini, a pioneer of Futurism, and Otto Van Rees, one of the first Dadaists —both converts— Maritain played the role of spiritual counselor. And when the promoter of abstract art Michel Seuphor embraced Catholic faith in the 1930s, he, too, had extensive contact with Maritain. For all of them, the dictum of the Irish poet Brian Coffey, once a doctoral student under Maritain, applied: modern art needs a Thomist conceptual framework. However, the contributions in The Maritain Factor also show that, besides admiration, Maritain provoked irritation with his theories. Walter Benjamin for example, could only look at Maritain as a charlatan who was out to place modern art under the glass bell jar of Catholicism. The authors demonstrate that Catholic thought was not just one aspect of the manifold varieties of modernist discourses and practices, but in fact offered a basis to organize and structure this multiplicity in the 1920s and 1930s.

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With contributions by: Philippe Chenaux, Jan De Maeyer, Michael Einfalt, Jason Harding, Rajesh Heynickx, Zoë Marie Jones, Ewoud Kieft, Mathijs Sanders, Stephen Schloesser, Stéphane Symons, Cécile Vanderpelen-Diagre, James Matthew Wilson.

 

On the Road with Maritain
European Modernist Art Circles and Neo-Thomism during the Interwar
Rajesh Heynickx

Profiling Maritain

The Rise of a Mystic Modernism
Maritain and the Sacrificed Generation of the Twenties
Stephen Schloesser

Circles and Institutions. The Neo-Thomistic Infrastructure
Philippe Chenaux

Grandes Amitiés

Similarity and Incompatibility
The Aesthetics of Michel Seuphor and Jacques Maritain
Rajesh Heynickx

Towards a Modern Religious Art. The Case of Albert Servaes
Jan De Maeyer

Maritain in the Netherlands
Pieter van der Meer de Walcheren and the Cult of Youth
Mathijs Sanders

Codifying Literature?
Maritain and the Catholic Writers of Francophone Belgium
Cécile Vanderpelen-Diagre

Gino Severini, a Classicist Futurist
Zoë Marie Jones

Confrontations

Same City, Another Universe. On Jacques Maritain and Walter Benjamin
Stéphane Symons

Brian Coffey, Jacques Maritain and the Recovery of the 'Thing'
James Matthew Wilson

Debating Literary Autonomy. Jacques Maritain versus André Gide
Michael Einfalt

Mystic Modernism and Politics
Jacques Maritain, Joseph Roth and Anton van Duinkerken
Ewoud Kieft

'The Just Impartiality of a Christian Philosopher'.
Jacques Maritain and T.S. Eliot
Jason Harding

Bibliography

Index

Contributors

Colophon

Format: Edited volume - ebook

240 pages

ISBN: 9789461661074

Publication: April 1, 2010

Series: KADOC-Studies on Religion, Culture and Society 7

Languages: English

Jan De Maeyer is full professor at KU Leuven and director of KADOC KU Leuven, Documentation and Research Centre for Religion, Culture and Society. He is president of the Belgian Historical Institute in Rome and author of several publications on political and social Catholicism, material Christianity, and the development of religious institutions.
Rajesh Heynickx is professor at the Department of History, Universiteit Antwerpen and at the Department History and Theory, Sint-Lucas Architectuur Gent-Brussel.

In elk geval blijft deze bundel een opvallend coherente verkenning van een hoogst relevante problematiek, die de grenzen van de figuur van Maritain overstijgt en cruciale vragen oproept over de relatie tussen kunst en literatuur in een turbulente periode.
Pieter Verstraeten, Spiegel der Letteren, Volume 56, Issue 1, 2014


 

Het is een boeiende bundel die tot verder onderzoek uitdaagt, ook naar Maritains invloed binnen Nederlandse katholieke kringen na de Tweede Wereldoorlog. Dit onderzoek kan zeker geholpen worden door een goede Nederlandstalige inleiding op het denken van deze belangrijke katholieke filosoof.
Hans de Jong, RKKERK.nl jaargang 9, nr 11, 24 juni 2011