Commentaries
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The Religious Philosophy of Simone Weil: An Introduction

Lissa McCullough

New York: I.B. Tauris

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Attention to the Real

Robert Chenavier

Bernard E. Doering, trans., Notre Dame, IND: University of Notre Dame Press

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A Truer Liberty: Simone Weil and Marxism

Lawrence A. Blum & Victor J. Seidler read

Simone Weil ― philosopher, trade union militant, factory worker ― developed a penetrating critique of Marxism and a powerful political philosophy which serves an alternative both to liberalism and to Marxism. In A Truer Liberty, originally published in 1989, Blum and Seidler show how Simone Weil’s philosophy sought to place political action on a firmly moral basis. The dignity of the manual worker became the standard for political institutions and movements. Weil criticized Marxism for its confidence in progress and revolution and its attendant illusory belief that history is on the side of the proletariat.

Blum and Seidler relate Weil’s work to influential trends in political philosophy today, from analytic Marxism to central traditions within liberal thought. The authors stress the importance of Weil’s work for understanding liberation theology, Catholic radicalism, and, more generally, social movements against oppression which are closely tied to religion and spirituality.

New York: Routledge Revivals, 2010

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Simone Weil’s Apologetic Use of Literature: Her Christological Interpretations of Ancient Greek Texts

Marie Cabaud Meaney

New York: Oxford University Press

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Discussions of Simone Weil

Rush Rhees read

The work of Simone Weil has not garnered the attention it deserves in the Anglo-American tradition. In this book, Rhees, the noted thinker trained by Wittgenstein, provides the most sustained critique to date of Weil’s views on science and religion. In this decidedly Wittgensteinian spin on the philosophy of religion, Rhees’ observations on the major themes in Weil’s work–social philosophy, science, ethics, and religion–are presented. The book shows how Rhees wrestled with difficulties he found in the work of Weil, someone he held in the highest regard.

“In the field of Weil studies, this book is a ‘gold mine.'” — Richard H. Bell, author of Simone Weil: The Way of Justice as Compassion

“Weil was a highly original thinker and Discussions of Simone Weil helps bring out that originality. Rhees also makes a contribution to the philosophy of religion, for here we get to see how a genuine Wittgensteinian approach might work in tackling religious questions.” — Eric O. Springsted, coauthor of Spirit, Nature, and Community: Issues in the Thought of Simone Weil

Rush Rhees (1905-1989) taught at the University of Wales, Swansea, for twenty-six years and became Honorary Professor after his retirement. He is the author of Without Answers; Discussions of Wittgenstein; On Religion and Philosophy; Wittgenstein and the Possibility of Discourse; and Moral Questions. D. Z. Phillips is Rush Rhees Research Professor at the University of Wales, Swansea, and Danforth Professor of the Philosophy of Religion at Claremont Graduate University, California. Mario von der Ruhr is Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Wales, Swansea.

D.Z Phillips assisted by Mario von der Ruhr, ed., New York: State University of New York Press, 2000

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Simone Weil: Thinking Poetically

Joan Dargan

Albany, New York: State University of New York Press