Process Studies, vol. 50, no. 1 (Spring-Summer, 2021), pp. 86-106.
Excerpted, by Christopher Lacovetti on Medium, from Simone Weil, Waiting for God (HarperCollins, 2009), pp. 57–65.
This thesis focuses on Simone Weil’s philosophical, ethical, and religious perspectives on affliction by clarifying the essential difference between what is necessary and what is good. According to Weil, reality is governed by blind physical and moral necessities. She claims that we experience necessity as constraint and constraint as suffering. But affliction, she claims, is something essentially different; it is not reducible to mere suffering. I will argue that Weil’s conception of affliction can be best understood as a momentarily ‘numinous experience’ of God’s absence or the feeling of the absolute good. Numinous experience, according to Rudolf Otto, is a kind of experience that contains a quite specific moment and which remains ineffable. What is ineffable can only be felt. That is, Weil’s investigation of affliction concentrates on the feeling response to the absence or silence of God, the feeling which remains where language fails.
A thesis submitted to Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Nova Scotia in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in Theology and Religious Studies, July 2014
Awaiting God (Fresh Wind Press) combines a fresh translation (by Weil scholar, Brad Jersak) of Simone Weil’s Waiting for God and Letter to a Priest (Attente de Dieu and Lettre un Religieux) in one volume. These works are considered Weil’s primary essays and letters.
In addition, Simone Weil’s niece has contributed an introductory article entitled, Simone Weil and the Rabbi’s: Compassion and Tsedekah, which puts Weil’s relationship with Jewish thought into perspective. She includes source material from the Rabbis that put Weil (however reluctantly) in line with rabbinical thought throughout her major themes.
The book is the ideal English introduction to the works and thought of Simone Weil, including important preface material (by Jersak) on how to read her work, as well as her relationship to Roman Catholicism and Judaism
Table of Contents
• Translator's Preface • Introduction by Sylvie Weil Part 1 — Essays 1. Reflections on the Right Use of School Studies in View of the Love of God 2. The Love of God and Affliction 3. Forms of the Implicit Love of God a. Love of Neighbor b. Love of the Order of the World c. Love of Religious Practices d. Friendship e. Implicit and Explicit Love 4. Concerning the Our Father Part 2 — Letters • Preface to her letters: Weil on Catholicism and Judaism 5. Hesitations Prior to Baptism 6. Hesitations Prior to Baptism 7. Departure from France 8. Spiritual Autobiography 9. Intellectual Vocation 10. Last Thoughts 11. Letter to a Priest
There is one thread of thought no serious reader of Simone Weil can possibly miss from the variegated tapestry of her thinking. And that is her sense of God, which is almost naturally embedded therein. She unfailingly elevates her every insight to a level that is at once metaphysical or theological. Indeed, Weil considers all human concerns always “situated in the context of our relation to God.” She excludes nothing for she believes that even those practices not readily recognized as religious contribute to our spiritual development and prepare us for loving God. . . .
Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture, vol, 9, no. 1, Winter 2006, pp. 127-144
in Richard H. Bell, ed., Simone Weil’s Philosophy of Culture: Readings Toward Divine Humanity, New York: Cambridge University Press, pp. 52-76
A study of the theme of mediation necessarily involves a consideration of the two poles between which mediation takes place. This study therefore begins with an investigation of what Simone Weil saw to be man’s exile in this world, and his desire for the Good which is God. Since God is unknown and unknowable, this desire cannot be focussed on any particular object, and the soul must experience a void in which there is no compensation for spiritual energy expended. This process is unnatural, however, and painful to man, and he is frequently tempted to focus his desire for the Good on some earthly object; society, by creating the illusion of being greater than the individual, often fulfills this role, and becomes the object of man’s idolatry. If man refuses this idolatry and is willing to hold the contradiction posed by his dual nature he will find that all earthly creatures and objects can be mediators between himself and the God he desires. In this way exile becomes a fulfilment, and the whole natural realm can speak to man of his supernat1;.ral home. All mediation-themes reach their culmination in Christ, whose suffering is seen as a perpetual cosmic process reconciling the universe with its creator. The study is therefore presented in three sections: dualism, idolatry (false mediation), and mediation proper. These are fully illustrated by reference to the whole sphere of Simone Weil’s meditations, religious, political and philosophical.
Durham University, PhD dissertation, 1970