Spirituality

Simone Weil: Waiting for God (parts 1 and 2)–The God Frequency

Abi Doukhan watch

Abi Doukhan is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Queens College of the City University of New York (CUNY), and holds the Pearl and Nathan Halegua Family Initiative in Ethics and Tolerance. She holds a Masters in philosophy from the Sorbonne and a Ph.D in philosophy from the University of Nanterre, Paris, France. Her recent publications include Emmanuel Levinas: A Philosophy of Exile (Bloomsbury, October 2012), and Biblical Portraits of Exile (Routledge, June 2016).

YouTube class lecture (May 13, 2o22)

The mysticism of the ordeal of the absence of God in the context of the Second World War. The case of Simone Weil and Etty Hillesum

Pierre Gillouard read

Based on the study of the writings of Simone Weil and Etty Hillesum during the Second World War, this article intends to identify the characteristics of an unprecedented moment in the history of mysticism where the experience of God’s presence is irreducibly associated with the ordeal of his absence in the events of this world. If this link between the experience of absence and that of presence echoes the classic image of John of the Cross’s “dark night”, its conceptualisation in both Simone Weil and Etty Hillesum reveals two emerging features that break with the earlier mystical tradition. On the one hand, the ordeal of absence is no longer experienced as a purifying punishment inflicted by God himself, but rather as the ordeal of contemporary reality where God is recognised as the Absent One “par excellence”. On the other hand, the experience of presence does not put an end to that of absence, so that one can speak of the concomitance of the absence and the presence of God in the mystical experience of the 20th century.

Dans Études théologiques et religieuses 2022/1 (Tome 97), pages 49 à 65

 

Advent Evening of Reflection: Invitation from Simone Weil Catholic Worker

Emma Coley & Bert Fitzgerald watch

We are a domestic community at the intersection of a Catholic Worker house of hospitality to those in housing need, and a public household serving as node for neighborhood-based social, economic, and intellectual life. As our supporting non-profit, In My Backyard (IMBY), we invite neighbors and friends to support this work and support other nodes of these commitments.

The Catholic Worker

Our Christian commitment is reflected in our character as a Catholic Worker community of hospitality, offering:

  1. Supported, community-house living in our 2-house community (made up of the Simone Weil House and the Dorothy Day House, both on NE 15th), usually for folks who were camping in the orbit of St Francis Dining Hall or who come to us as an international refugee; and

  2. Weekly open-invitation meals and “open house” days, welcoming both friends neighbors wanting community, and friends and neighbors in need of respite, food, shower, and laundry facility. Recently, we also began hosting a PDX Free Fridge, which facilitates the sharing of food and other resources among folks in our neighborhood.

— For more information about the Simone Weil House, go here.

— See here for a related story.

What Becomes of Agency in a More-Than-Human World?

Jane Bennett & Simone Kotva

This session explores alternative accounts of agency in stories that borrow their warp from dependency rather than autonomy and their weft from receptivity and passivity rather than effort and power-over.  It is from this perspective that we greet the promise — but also the problem — of mysticism and new materialism.  We think with those practices through which feelings of self-sufficiency are abandoned and what is experienced is a state of openness to the more-than-human: spiritual and divine, but also animal, vegetable, and mineral.

Hosted by Simone Weil denkkollektiv {by invitation only}

Jane Bennett is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in Humanities at Johns Hopkins University

Simone Kotva is on the Faculty of Divinity at the University of Cambridge.