Keynote Address, American Weil Society’s 2021 Colloquy.
“János Pilinszky (27 November 1921 in Budapest – 27 May 1981 in Budapest) was one of the greatest Hungarian poets of the 20th century. Well known within the Hungarian borders for his vast influence on postwar Hungarian poetry, Pilinszky’s style includes a juxtaposition of Roman Catholic faith and intellectual disenchantment. His poetry often focuses on the underlying sensations of life and death; his time as a prisoner of war during the Second World War and later his life under the communist dictatorship furthered his isolation and estrangement.”
YouTube (posted April 2021)
— Gábor Szmeskó,“The History of the Poetic Mind of János Pilinszky.” Hungarian Cultural Studies. e-Journal of the American Hungarian Educators Association, vol. 13 (2020)
Operavision, (interview turns to Simone Weil at 22:07)
- Antonio Gargiulo, voce recitante,
- Matteo Galli, improvvisazioni musicali all’ organo,
- Chiara Gibillini, elaborazione testi regia,
- Marco Elli, riprese e montaggio video
Simone Weil Center for Political Philosophy
Holy Spirit Moments
Simone Kotva is a philosopher and theologian at the University of Cambridge. Her research focuses on the philosophy of religion; environmental ethics; as well as magic and the occult. This year she published her new book titled “Effort and Grace: On the Spiritual Exercise of Philosophy” at Bloomsbury press. Hartmut Rosa is a philosopher and sociologist at the University of Jena and the director of the Max Weber Centre for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies. With his resonance theory and his sociology of time he currently ranks as one of Germany’s most influential social philosophers. Today both engage with the philosophy of Simone Weil and present their thoughts if we can resonate with death.
The ethical implications of Simone Weil’s “decreation” are perhaps the most controversial of her work and it is difficult to determine if she is asserting a violent destruction of the human body or a creation of the human spirit as linked with God. Rowan Williams claims that Weil’s decreation requires the “I” to dissolve completely and thus collapses the site of ethics but Yoon Sook Cha argues that the ethical site opened in Weil is not the “I” but the “in-between”. I will suggest that decreation holds both destruction/ death and creation/ life open in order to enter a radical shift in perspective from dualistic to relational through the creation of a bridge between the I and God.
Kathryn Lawson is a Ph.D. Candidate in the department of philosophy at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.