Process Studies, vol. 50, no. 1 (Spring-Summer, 2021), pp. 86-106.
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.
in David Tracy, Filaments: Theological Profiles, Chicago: University of Chicago Press
Simone Weil and George Orwell both reflected—at a time when liberalism and Christianity were being challenged—on how to provide rootedness to societies and how to provide a moral anchoring and collective inspiration. The chapter considers the extent to which religion plays an important role in these authors’ politics of rootedness. A comparison between them suggests that rather than worrying first about whether or not we need a religious revival, we should worry about whether individuals have the opportunity to enter into contact with beauty. For both Weil and Orwell, a society is well-rooted when there is a continuity between natural beauty and social life. As such, a politics of rootedness entails, in their view, a genuine search for the recognition of all members of a collectivity and, above all, the search for a way of learning again how to find nourishment in the beauty of the world.
in Sophie Bourgault & Julie Daigle, eds., Simone Weil, Beyond Ideology?, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 103-123.
Given the proliferation in the last several years of publications concerning the relationship of science and religion, it is hard to imagine that Simone Weil, writing sixty years ago, would have much to contribute to this important discussion. It is my aim in this essay to argue that Weil’s frequently expressed thoughts on the relationship between science and faith are not only important, but they also provide a timely contribution to the current debate by describing a metaphysical framework for the discussion entirely different than those generally preferred by current participants in the dialogue.
Writing during the last few months of her life, in the midst of World War II, Weil writes that “the modern conception of science is responsible, as is that of history and that of art, for the monstrous conditions under which we live, and will, in its turn, have to be transformed, before we can hope to see the dawn of a better civilization.” In our contemporary world science and religion have become almost entirely disconnected, producing not only a vacuum where values once existed but also an intense psychological and intellectual distress.
The absolute incompatibility between the spirit of religion and that of science . . . leaves the soul in a permanent state of secret, unacknowledged uneasiness. . . . The most fervent Christians express every hour of their lives judgments, opinions, which, unknown to them, are based on standards which go contrary to the spirit of Christianity. But the most disastrous consequence of this uneasiness is to make it impossible for the virtue of intellectual probity to be exercised to the fullest extent . . . The modern phenomenon of irreligion among the population can be explained almost entirely by the incompatibility between science and religion.
In Weil’s estimation, the response to many contemporary crises must be rooted in a reawakened understanding of the necessary connection between true science and religion. “The remedy is to bring back again among us the spirit of truth, and to start within religion and science; which implies that the two of them should become reconciled.”
Essay in Rozelle-Stone, A. Rebecca & Stone, Lucian, eds., The Relevance of the Radical: Simone Weil 100 Years Later, New York: Continuum, pp.107-122
Beyond Power draws on the writings of Simone Weil (b. Paris, France, 1909, d. Ashford, UK, 1943) to construct a theory of authority that challenges conventional assumptions. Avery argues that neither science nor religion nor a political mandate can provide an adequate rationale for authority. Simone Weil’s electrifying insights, derived from her experience as a social activist, factory worker, and philosophy teacher, provide ways in which to think about the essential element of authority and take it into account more fully than usually seems possible. By focusing unflinchingly on what was sacred to herself and others in religion, politics, science, work, justice, and education, she achieved a kind of authority of her own. Avery devotes a chapter to each of these six subjects, as well as to an overview of the question of authority and a short account of Simone Weil’s life.
Beyond Power will be ideal for students and teachers of philosophy, politics, religion, and history, and the humanities. Those who admire the philosophy of Simone Weil will find a compelling overview of her work, while those interested in religious questions will find a fresh approach to thinking and talking about what makes human life meaningful. Avery offers new ways to examine the burning political, religious, and scientific issues of our time.
Lexington Books, 2008