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Responses to ModernityEssays in the Politics of Culture$
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Joseph Frank

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780823239252

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823239252.001.0001

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Jacques Maritain: Medieval Modernism

Jacques Maritain: Medieval Modernism

(p.22) 2. Jacques Maritain: Medieval Modernism
Responses to Modernity

Joseph Frank

Fordham University Press

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

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