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By Judith Suther

The unusual lifetime of Raissa Oumansov Maritain offers the framework for this primary booklength research of her writing and event as a Catholic contemplative on the earth. concentrating on the advance of Raissa's non secular existence relating to her fulfillment as a author, Professor Judith Suther follows Raissa and her husband Jacques from Paris on the flip of the century to Princeton, the place they lived from 1940 until eventually Raissa's dying in 1960. Divided into 3 components, Raissa Maritain opens with the mandatory heritage to an knowing of Raissa's later existence and paintings, then strikes directly to half II to a dialogue of her contributions to the so-called Catholic Renaissance of the Nineteen Twenties and 30s; her tireless repudiation of the positivism she and Jacques had encountered as scholars on the Sorbonne; her half in developing the Thomist learn teams which the Maritains hosted at Versailles and Meudon; and the principally deepest advancements of her writing in prose and poetry. half 3 lines the Maritains' expatriation in long island, Rome, and Princeton, and examines Raissa's so much fruitful years as a author. all through, Professor Suther attracts on formerly unmined assets to explain definite difficulties that experience lengthy harassed, , or even embarrassed pals and admirers of the Maritains. those difficulties contain the kin of Raissa and Jacques together with her mom and dad and his mom, their vows of chastity and their marriage blanc, Jacques' acquiescence in her alleged hypochondria, and the authenticity of her obvious mystical reviews.

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Extra resources for Raissa Maritain: Pilgrim, Poet, Exile

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However far her adult views might diverge from those of Bergson in what she calls his "jeune gloire,'' his "youthful brilliance" (GA 94), his teachings at that time represented a turning point for her and for Jacques, whose first book is an analysis, albeit critical, of early Bergsonian thought (La Philosophie bergsonienne, 1913). Reconstruction of mental states is a risky enterprise, yet all the discernible patterns of Raïssa's and Jacques' development from 1900 to 1905 suggest that Bergson deepened their receptiveness to a very different mentor, Léon Bloy.

I thank especially Barbara Lisenby and Adrienne Cobb in the Interlibrary Loan office at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. For grants that gave me time off from teaching and the resources to travel to research centers in the United States and Europe, I thank the American Philosophical Society; the Institut International Jacques et Raïssa Maritain, for inviting me to give a talk on Raïssa at a conference in Venice, paying the considerable expenses, and allowing me to meet Gilbert Manuel, Paule Manuel, and Elisabeth Fourest; the National Endowment for the Humanities Travel to Collections Program; and the Services Culturels Français.

The almost immediate merging of Raïssa's and Jacques' lives, by mutual agreement, is a measure of their capacity for faith and their conviction that an essential core of meaning was absent from their upbringing. They did not tell their families of their intentions, which by 1902 they termed an engagement, or of the odyssey to which they had pledged themselves. " 1 To Paul Maritain and Geneviève Favre, however, and Ilia and Hissia Oumansov, separated by light years of culture, experience, and outlook, nothing specific was confided.

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