Reading Jacques Maritain in the Twenty-First Century: Personalism, Aliyah, and the Political Organization of the World
Here we are faced with a major problem which has long tormented this old philosopher: the problem—I will not say of a World Government, for this term tends to be too equivocal—I prefer to say a supranational political authority consisting, not of a world-wide empire or a world super-State, but of a real political organization of the world, based on the free consent and the free cooperation of nations and peoples.
Jacques Maritain, Untrammeled Approaches1
In the passion of Israel, Christ suffers and acts as the shepherd of Zion and the Messiah of Israel, in order gradually to conform His people to Him.
Jacques Maritain, “The Mystery of Israel”2
In a previous paper, “The Personalism of Jacques Maritain and the Postmissionary Messianic Judaism of Mark S. Kinzer,” I indicated that the interchange between the two may complete the theological foundation for Maritain’s personalism and expand Kinzer’s focus on the relationship between Judaism and Christianity, together offering a full appreciation of the Jewish Messiah and Savior of the world. Kinzer champions postmissionary Messianic Judaism in opposition to some earlier modes of Hebrew Christianity that adopted Jewish practice primarily as an evangelical tool. In my previous paper I suggest that Kinzer’s approach lights up the essential communion of Judaism and Christianity within Messiah, however much at loggerheads the two have found themselves throughout history.3
In his later writings, undoubtedly reflecting on the horrors of the Second World War and the Shoah, Maritain came to speak more directly about his concern for the political organization of the world. Such a concern embodies a global perspective focusing on Messiah precisely as Savior of the world. Maritain’s concern is the concern of the ecclesia ex gentibus, whereas Kinzer upholds the ecclesia ex circumcisione as well. It has been Kinzer’s mission to serve as a bridge uniting the bilateral Ecclesia, reflecting the early fifth-century Roman mosaic in Santa Sabina.4 Maritain’s global perspective enhances Kinzer’s focus on Judaism and Christianity, whereas Kinzer firmly maintains the particular, the Jewish Messiah, offering Maritain a firm theological ground for his appreciation of the unique person.
This paper explores the expansive role of Maritain in the dialogue initiated here between Maritain and Kinzer, developing Maritain’s personalism within the context of his social and political thought in relation to history and to Kinzer’s focus on the bilateral Ecclesia. Such a treatment of Maritain inevitably encounters aliyah, the return of Jews to Israel from the Diaspora, and the subsequent movements and actions of all peoples in relation to Judaism in the twenty-first century. We will see how Maritain’s promotion of the person avoids the trap of atomistic individualism and its totalitarian offspring. And we will see how Messiah is operative within a process of liberation that is inclusive, respecting the unique gift of each person coming into the world,and establishing a community of persons united in the unique Person who is Yeshua, the Jewish Messiah and Savior of the world.
In his philosophical and theological work Maritain offers us a temporal ideal for a universal, inclusive struggle for personal liberation and justice, and his appreciation of Judaism and commitment to Christianity remained the heartbeat sustaining his work. He came to appreciate the irreplaceable grandeur of every human person as the key to unlock and help alleviate the tension, and far too often open hostility, between the proponents of individualism and collectivism throughout the twentieth century: individualism culminating in the “me first” mentality behind the “sink or swim” competitive jungle which is unbridled capitalism, and collectivism culminating in the “herd mentality” of communism or fascism. Maritain rejected the egocentric isolation rampant throughout liberal society and culture, which fuelled a pervasive pleasure-seeking consumerism enticing individuals to participate in the competitive drive to the top, along with the totalitarian collectivism so forcefully present left and right.He promoted the human person in history, open by way of nature and grace to integral liberation and redemption through community and viable social structures favoring the maintenance and advancement of all.
Arguably, the poignant contest of the twenty-first century continues to be a struggle between individualism and collectivism, evident in the neoliberal drive toward a global market on one hand,and the rise of nationalism and neo-fascism on the other (the purer and more virulent strains of totalitarian collectivism on the left appear to be in decline for the moment).5 Both approaches (and clearly the stark totalitarianism of the left), as evident from the history of the previous century, fail miserably to accommodate the person in community and the structuring of a viable society attentive to the needs of all.
The inclusive personalism of Maritain, with his commitment to human rights and the common good, may enable us to glimpse what is essential for a truly human and Judeo-Christian understanding of liberation and redemption in the twenty-first century. The Jewish influence, so evident in Maritain’s biography and writings, albeit channeled through his gentile Christianity, is often relegated to a back seat when addressing not only his metaphysical and epistemological concerns, but also his historical, social and political concerns. The progressive awareness of the human person and events in the twenty-first century, coupled with Kinzer’s postmissionary Messianic Jewish input, may advance and further develop Maritain’s appreciation of Judaism and the significance of aliyah, offering a necessary correction in the lens through which the gentile Christian observes Judaism and the world.
We must not forget Jacques’ marriage to a Jewish woman, Raïssa Oumançoff; his referring to all forms of antisemitism as “Christophobia” before the Second World War; and his attempt to have antisemitism treated as a Christian heresy in Nostra Aetate, the Second Vatican Council document addressing relations between Roman Catholicism and other religious traditions.6 Neither should we forget how Maritain’s notions of Israel’s indirect contribution to salvation and the revolutionary impatience of Israel prevented him from fully appreciating the unique role of Israel grounded in the Jewish Messiah and Savior of the world.
Maritain on History, the Person, Salvation, and the Indirect
Contribution of Israel
In Freedom in the Modern World, first published in 1933, Maritain criticizes what he perceives as a Manichean conception of history, whereby our myriad struggles over the centuries have consistently escalated into a perceived struggle between absolute good and absolute evil: “That is why in all these cases the struggle is so bitter: it is always the old struggle of Ormuzd against Ahriman.”7 Revealing his metaphysical roots, Maritain tells us, “The Christian for his part knows that God has no opposite. For the Christian indeed there is also a struggle between light and darkness, between truth and error; but in existing reality there cannot be pure darkness, or pure error, because all that is in the measure it is, is of God.”8And the practical implications of this metaphysical dictum are awesome: “God has his adversaries, not in the metaphysical but in the moral order. Yet his adversaries are always at His service. He is served by the martyrs, and by the executioners who made them martyrs.”9
So God is in control of history, but moral injunctions remain in the mixed circumstances of history. The pilgrimage of the Jewish people amply exhibits the omnipotence of God, the ambiguity of historical circumstance, and the prophetic call to justice and above all to mercy, for “mercy triumphs over justice” (James 2:13). Maritain seeks to establish his interpretation of history on the authority of the gospel.10 Basically, he argues that there is a fundamental ambivalence in history, that is, the simultaneous development of good and evil.11 However, he does acknowledge the inevitable development of moral conscience.12 Moral injunctions attain clarity over time; likewise moral culpability. We will see how the biblical injunction to love guides us through temporal vicissitudes establishing a hermeneutics of ethical accountability uniting Judaism and Christianity within what might be called the prime directive.
Now Maritain expresses his understanding of historical change through the notion of the concrete historical ideal, whereby the guiding dream or myth of a particular age must be based on the actual circumstances of that age. The concrete historical ideal is the best possible actualization or temporal manifestation in a given historical climate or situation; in other words, the concrete historical ideal changes. Furthermore, it may remain possible and therefore not necessarily achieved, but it is nevertheless the most desirable achievement that is at least feasible given a particular set of circumstances. Based upon the actual situation, it becomes the myth upon which an age thrives. In this context, we must not forget that Maritain is concerned with the concrete historical ideal of Christendom, a term that “designates a certain temporal common regime whose structures bear, in highly varying degrees and in highly varying ways, the imprint of the Christian conception of life.”13 With each successive concrete historical ideal, however, moral conscience develops toward an ever greater appreciation of what love demands. The arms of Yeshua encompass the world. The loving, healing and liberating arms of the Jewish Messiah and Savior of the world reach beyond the pale of confessional Christianity.
As an example of the way in which the concrete and ideal work together in an historical setting, Maritain writes concerning the medieval period:
[The] historical ideal of the Middle Ages was controlled by two dominants: on the one hand, the idea or myth (in the sense given the word by Georges Sorel) of fortitude in the service of God; on the other, this concrete fact that temporal civilization itself was in some manner a function of the sacred and imperiously demanded unity of religion.14
This “concrete fact” simply was the case through which“the idea or myth” arose. Maritain does not wish to present as perfect what was decidedly not perfect, as we read in this statement concerning the function of the concrete and ideal during the medieval period:
The idea of the Sacrum Imperium was preceded by an event: the empire of Charlemagne, the aims of which, it seems, were not exempt from Caesaropapism; and the idea, arising after this event, was capable of only precarious, partial, and contradictory realizations.15
Nevertheless, it was precisely the ideal of the holy empire that in fact upheld Christendom, because it was concrete, that is, based upon the fact which enabled it to become feasible for a particular historical climate. The concrete historical ideal of the holy empire functioned “as the lyrical image which orientated and upheld a civilization.”16
Maritain is not advocating a form of historical relativism. By linking his notion of the concrete historical ideal to the establishment of Christendom, he is seeking to be realistic. He is concerned with perpetuating and establishing the good as he sees it, that is, Christian civilization. Without betraying Christianity, Maritain takes the concrete circumstances of history into account. He maintains that what is necessary today is to acknowledge the arrival of a new concrete historical ideal, one that the circumstance of democracy has engendered from its evangelical roots.
Maritain developed this notion of a new concrete historical ideal for modern times in his Integral Humanism, which first appeared in 1936. In this work, he speaks of “the idea of the holy freedom of the creature whom grace unites to God.”17 Maritain is concerned with the ideal of Christian civilization, and he argues that the idea of holy freedom is to replace the medieval idea of holy empire.18 This movement from holy empire to holy freedom is interpreted as a moral development which is both natural and inspired by the Christian message.19
This movement from holy empire to holy freedom is crucial, for it favors individual conscience over coercion, and counteracts a limiting tendency within the impetus toward greater freedom. Maritain identified this limiting tendency with the modern turn toward the individual arising from the European Renaissance, Martin Luther, and the Protestant Reformation; along with subsequent early modern developments in philosophy, and the European Enlightenment involving thinkers like René Descartes and Jean-Jacques Rousseau.20 For Maritain, this limiting tendency prevented the emergence of the human person and paved the way for the totalitarian state.
Simply stated, in Maritain’s vocabulary the individual denotes the material pole of a human being, the biological organization housing our instinctual drives and spatiotemporal orientation. The human being, however, is a person by virtue of a spiritual pole, the seat of intellect and will, which must not neglect the material pole. In the language of Aristotle and Aquinas, each human being is a unique composite of matter and form, with a material pole and a spiritual pole. Maritain perceives orientation toward one pole to the diminishment or exclusion of the other as pathology: materialism and atomism when focusing on the individual; rationalism and what Maritain calls “angelism” when attempting to define human intellect and will in a way that denies the body with its location, attributes and operations.21 The human composite (body and soul—instinct, intellect, and will operative as a unique presence in the world), is a person by virtue of intellect and will issuing from a center capable of understanding, choosing, and acting in our historical material world. As with a properly functioning battery, the plus and minus poles must work together in harmony in order to produce the desired effect:
As an individual, each of us is a fragment of a species, a part of the universe, a unique point in the immense web of cosmic, ethnical, historical forces and influences—and bound by their laws. Each of us is subject to the determinism of the physical world. Nonetheless, each of us is also a person and, as such, is not controlled by the stars. Our whole being subsists in virtue of the subsistence of the spiritual soul which is in us a principle of creative unity, independence and liberty.22
It is precisely the intellectual component of the human composite that separates it and elevates it in the most formidable way: “In intellectual creatures alone, Aquinas teaches further, is found the image of God. In no other creature, not even in the universe as a whole, is this found.”23As the establishment of our unique personhood constitutes an opportunity for choosing to struggle toward our temporal liberation and accept the gift of eternal salvation, the selfish aspirations of the truncated individual constitute our sin as alienation from God, self and others, including the natural world in which we find ourselves; thereby, fostering the technical control and manipulation of nature—a travesty of the dominion proclaimed in Genesis.
For Maritain, what he perceives as the “angelism” and consequent rationalism engendered by the Cartesian reform in a multifaceted way throughout modernity, issues in voluntarism, pragmatism, and allegiance to technique alone for the satisfaction of the individual alone:
An appropriate technique should permit us to rationalize human life, i.e., to satisfy our desires with the least possible inconvenience, without any interior reform of ourselves. What such a morality subjects to reason are material forces and agents exterior to man, instruments of human life; it is not man, nor human life as such. It does not free man, it weakens him, it disarms him, it renders him a slave to all the atoms of the universe, and especially to his own misery and egoism. What remains of man? A consumer crowned by science. This is the final gift, the twentieth century gift of the Cartesian reform.24
And for Maritain, the individual consumer eagerly anticipating the newest gadget or fashion is but a step behind the individual giving allegiance to the totalitarian state with its false promise of what is infinitely more. For Maritain, freedom is much more than the ability to choose while floundering in the jungle of consumerism, hounded by debt or the ubiquitous lure of more. Neither is freedom found in submission to some variant of the General Will a la Rousseau, which opens history to the totalitarian catastrophe.25 As seen in the collective rights of the family, and rights of assembly and organization, our freedom and fulfillment as human beings necessarily involves our bonding with others as well as attaining the essentials of physical well being for ourselves.26
We will see how history led Maritain into considering the political organization of the world. In the twenty-first century this concern is becoming more pronounced, along with the fructification of forces that would undermine this process—we may be witnessing the morphing of the individualist/totalitarian rupture into a neo-liberal/neo-fascist rupture. Awareness of this situation is apparent in Cornel West’s referring to the 2020 presidential election in the United States as a contest between the disaster of neo-liberalism (Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Democratic Party candidate) and the catastrophe of neo-fascism (Donald J. Trump, the Republican Party incumbent).27
Likewise, the appreciation of a co-redemptive process, whereby nature and grace establish the contours of salvation through the moral imperatives of a given age, may be morphing into a greater appreciation of the particular within community. Here Maritain’s global reach returns to each unique person, and to the unique role of the Jewish Messiah and Israel in the salvation of the world. Here the insights of Mark S. Kinzer and Lev Gillet may prove to be invaluable, but first it is necessary to delineate Maritain’s appreciation of the operation of grace in history.
For Maritain, the development of the progressive side of human history toward greater appreciation of the person is a natural phenomenon aided and elevated by grace. The omnipotent God of Judeo-Christianity is in control of history, and the full appreciation of what this entails unfolds over time. For Maritain, grace completes nature and elevates it to the supernatural Kingdom of God, and history becomes a salvific process through the Church, a Church that may be invisibly present within the world. The invisible presence of the Church is crucial, for it allows for the operation of grace and Yeshua within the progressive moral development of secular society. Now for Christians there can be only one Savior of the world, and for Maritain there is only one visible manifestation of the body of those united in Christ for the salvation of the world. Maritain proposes, however, that the visible Church may be invisibly present and active in those committed to other belief structures, although only the Christian denominations contain elements of the Church in the proper sense as organized bodies.28 Writing after the Second Vatican Council, in On the Church of Christ: The Person of the Church and Her Personnel, Maritain summarizes his bottom line for membership in the Church of Christ:
It is an absolutely fundamental and universal element of Church which we must discover. Where to seek it? In my opinion, in man himself such as he comes into the world. I think that the primitive and fundamental element of Church, and one which exists everywhere on earth,—it is each human person who bears it in him, according as by nature he aspires to know the Cause of being, as also to a state of happy expansion of his being, and according as, wounded in his nature by the sin of Adam,—to such a degree that in his first act of freedom he cannot choose the good (and therefore love naturally above everything the subsisting Good) without grace naturam sanans,—he has at the same stroke, if he does not slip away from the grace initially given, a thirst for God which is at one and the same time of nature and of grace (of grace, in other words “exceeding all created nature”).29
Here Maritain reiterates prior treatment of “the first act of freedom” expressed by every human agent, wherein he argues that faith in God as the Savior who is none other than Jesus Christ can be present in confuso and remain in a pre-conscious or barely conscious apprehension without any conceptual framework and leading to salvation.30
Now Maritain acknowledges a supernatural faith within Judaism and the preservation of biblical texts as the elements of Church, and he appreciates the seeking of intimacy with God within Judaism in movements such as Hasidism;31 nevertheless, Maritain contends that although these salvific elements
are linked with the Whole of which they are a part, and which is the Church, nevertheless an inhibition—which proceeds from the fact that this religious family, which believes in the most holy God, does not believe in Christ Savior—prevents them from rendering the Church mysteriously present in it. Israel was formerly the Church in one of her preparatory ages. It would be futile to speak of an invisible presence of the visible Church in the Israel of today.32
For Maritain, however important the historical role of Israel since the time of Messiah, so long as it does not explicitly acknowledge Jesus as Messiah, Israel is only indirectly concerned with the salvation of the world. In a pivotal essay on Judaism, “The Mystery of Israel,” first published as “L’Impossible antisémitisme” in 1937, Maritain writes:
In what indirectly concerns the salvation of the world, Israel is obedient to a vocation which I think above all deserves emphasis, and which supplies a key for many enigmas. Whereas the Church is assigned the task of the supernatural and supratemporal saving of the world, to Israel is assigned, in the order of temporal history and its own finalities, the work of the earthly leavening of the world. Israel is here—Israel which is not of the world—at the deepest core of the world, to irritate it, to exasperate it, to move it. Like some foreign substance, like a living yeast mixed into the main body, it gives the world no quiet, it prevents the world from sleeping, it teaches the world to be dissatisfied and restless so long as it has not God, it stimulates the movement of history.33
Now if we pay attention to Maritain’s observation that the concrete events of early modernity have ushered in the ideal of holy freedom, replacing the now defunct ideal of holy empire, we can see how the emergent global context of the twenty-first century demands a greater appreciation of the particular person within community. The prime directive of ethical accountability attends to the particular like never before in history. The technology that places us in each other’s face and keeps us aware of everywhere is like confining three people in a single small enclosure with no escape; they learn to get along or else, and the ideal of holy freedom does not allow for hegemony—as Emmanuel Lévinas would have it, the incestuous couple can no longer exclude the other (the “third party”).34
Succinctly stated, the biblical prime directive is love, and in the twenty-first century it becomes ever clearer that adhering to this directive includes everyone. Always true, for the Christian and the Jew, awareness of this imperative evolves through the concrete events of history. Promoting a hermeneutics of ethical accountability, biblical theologians like R. Alan Culpepper and Charles Cosgrove render a hefty endorsement of Yeshua’s words in the Gospel of Matthew:
Not everyone who says to me,“Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. On that day many will say to me, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many deeds of power in your name?” Then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; go away from me, you evil doers.” (Matt 7:21–23)
Pursuing a hermeneutics of ethical accountability is wedded to doing the will of the Father and doing the will of the father is wedded to love. This is expressed in the two great biblical commandments as promulgated by Yeshua:
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matt 22:37–40)
The hermeneutics of ethical accountability establishes this prime directive as the lens through which to view the biblical canon as a whole in terms of what is demanded of us for salvation as moral agents.35
Reflecting moral injunctions from within the biblical prophetic tradition, what is involved in doing the will of the Father is amply clear in Matthew 25:31–46, where all nations and peoples are gathered into collections of sheep and goats and are judged accordingly. The goats are positioned on the left hand of the Lord and the sheep on his right hand. The sheep who have truly acknowledged the Lord are pronounced righteous and inherit the kingdom prepared for them:
Come you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me. (Matt 25:34–36)
Dumbfounded, the sheep on the right hand protest that they never encountered the Lord in such dire straits. Messiah’s response is reassuring to them, but eternally devastating to the goats on his left hand:
‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ Then he will say to those on his left hand,‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they will also answer ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’ Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.(Matt 25:40–46).
Herein we discover the root of ethical accountability and salvation throughout the ages open to all nations and peoples, Jew and gentile alike.
The moral injunctions are clear, and fulfilling these as given in the unique conditions of our time in the twenty-first century is what salvation entails. It is never a matter of the abstract knowledge and weak sentiment that enables us to utter “Lord, Lord” while neglecting to actively love our neighbors in need. The parable of the Good Samaritan is the locus classicus expressing the route to salvation for all, Jew and gentile alike (Luke 10:25–37). As Martin Buber would have it, where one stands, where one acts in love and appreciation in the place one is given, is where one finds God.36
Furthermore, Yeshua simply is a particular Jew, which introduces us to the mutual indwelling of Judaism and Christianity within each other and within Messiah, the postmissionary Messianic Judaism of Kinzer being the bridge which makes mutual indwelling apparent. For Maritain, the grace necessary for salvation is universal through Messiah as Savior of the world. In contrast,the mutual indwelling of Judaism and Christianity is disclosed in the bilateral Ecclesia that fully acknowledges the Jewish Messiah and, contrary to Maritain, makes Israel directly and not indirectly concerned with the salvation of the world. This becomes clear when dealing with what Maritain perceives as the revolutionary impatience of Israel, which also prevented Maritain from fully appreciating the unique role of an Israel grounded in Yeshua.
Liberation and the Revolutionary Impatience of Israel
Certainly Maritain’s inclusive personalism, upholding personal liberation and the rights of all, is in concord with the many diverse waves of rebellion stretching from the latter half of the twentieth century into the early decades of the twenty-first century. It can be argued that adherence to the truth of human nature and grace a la Maritain helps explain the observed cohesion of culturally and philosophically diverse organizations and movements committed to revolutionary change. These organizations and movements are especially prominent in the twenty-first century, promoting a democratic globalization from the ground up, distinct from globalization under the auspices of neoliberal elites in conjunction with corporate interests. Maintaining a global agenda, these organizations and movements are also distinct from the nationalist revival and various expressions of neo-fascism.
Prefigured in the growing concern for colonial independence and the civil rights of minorities in the 1950s, we see this remarkable inclusion operative in organizations like the International Forum on Globalization (IFG) and the World Social Forum (WSF), both of which have benefited from the inspiration and direction of the Catholic activist, Maude Barlow, and her Council of Canadians. We see it in the G8 and G20 People’s Summits. We see it in the World Legal Summit (WLS), launched in 2019, allowing technical and legal communities a global forum for exchange and development. We trace the development of this cohesive bond in the Arab Spring, within the various anti-austerity movements in Europe and Latin America, in the Occupy Wall Street movement, Black Lives Matter, and the rising of indigenous peoples throughout the Americas. We see this revolutionary cohesion in the 2020 nearly global uprising against police abuse, all forms of discrimination, and the racist, imperial legacy of colonialism.We see this cohesion of otherness in the international adoption of symbols of revolt applied by many diverse populations to many diverse causes, such as the Guy Fawkes mask initiated by Anonymous and the ubiquitous raised fist with a variety of colors representing a variety of causes.
All of this is reminiscent of the many youthful rebellions throughout the world in the 1960s, focused especially in the year 1968, referred to by Mark Kurlansky in his informative and popular study as “the year that rocked the world.”37 In the twenty-first century, however, the struggle is more cohesive and prolonged. Postmodern activists Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri have suggested that the tone of awareness and resistance in the twenty-first century began with the cooperation of diverse national and international movements in the closure of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Seattle, Washington in 1999.38
Maritain acknowledged what was positive in the 1960s milieu of withdrawal and rebellion. He perceives this first global wave of refusal after the Second World War as “a worldwide phenomenon of great significance: according as it appears as a sentence of condemnation—merited, besides—brought against a culture proud of its idolatry of science and of money, and which is rotting from within.”39
The problem with the refusal of the 1960s, according to Maritain, is that it was not sufficiently radical. Certainly the ambiance of the 1960s contributed to the plethora of diverse global movements and actions for social justice spilling over into the twenty-first century, such as those mentioned above. In so many ways these movements and actions testify to Maritain’s prescience, as we will see in the next section of this paper which deals with the political organization of the world. Ambiguity remains in every historical human endeavor, and we are called to discern and follow the lead of nature and grace through a maze of contradictions. The self-destructive tendencies of the 1960s, tendencies evident in the fallacies of previous generations, may have eclipsed the positive, often heroic efforts of the social justice warriors of the period. Maritain captures this ambiguity as it stretches toward oblivion within the dark sector of the youth movement of the 1960s.
Employing the generic label “hippie,” designating the international wave of youthful withdrawal and rebellion in the period, he alerts us in a chastising yet sympathetic vein.
The flight of the hippies proceeds from a soft and forceless will, drowned in the troubles of adolescence, and from an intelligence that has remained childish through laziness, and which is thrown into confusion by all the slogans, Freudian and other, which the mass media and the adult world distribute.They are the victims of this bourgeois world which they are right in detesting.In their flight they carry away all its misery with them.40
Maritain informs us that, “The saints, when they decide to change their life, posit also from the outset an act of refusal: but because they have discovered a truth infinitely superior to the world, and to which they give themselves.”41 For Maritain, the saints are decidedly more radical than the hippies.
Presumably, given the universality of grace, the saints are not confined to confessional Christianity, and may be spotted here and there among secular voices and activists supporting the concrete historical ideal—some of them may even look like the hippies Maritain correctly admonishes. Todd Gitlin, a Jewish activist and former president of Students for a Democratic Society, reflecting on the impact of the Shoah on activism in the 1960s,expresses well a dominant moral motive behind the struggles:
The massacre of the Jews was a huge fact lying overturned, square in the middle of the through route to progress. There were some, or many, for whom the Holocaust meant that nothing—neither private satisfactions nor the nation’s greater glory—could ever supplant the need for a public morality. There were Christians as well as Jews who concluded that they would never end up “good Germans” if they could help it.42
In his essay, “The Mystery of Israel,” Maritain argues that as a consecrated people, the exclusively earthly and indirect contribution of Israel to the salvation of the world entails a certain heightened ambiguity.43 This ambiguity produces “money making, which finds in capitalist civilization an appropriate ambience,” as well as “revolutionary impatience” and “ceaseless agitation,” and “finally, it can produce, when of the flesh but affecting spiritual things, a pharisaic trend of mind, and the blinding refinements of the harsh cult of the letter, a legal purism.”44
Maritain’s shocking use of stereotypes prevalent in the antisemitism of the period, in discussing one facet of the ambiguity which describes the human condition, must alert us to the hold of the historical moment, however strenuously one endeavors to adhere to the pull of nature and grace. This difficulty in surmounting the historical drag on human progress is most evident in the later failure of even the mature Maritain to fully surmount supersessionism or replacement theology.
Perhaps it was Maritain’s contention concerning such ambiguity not previously articulated in writing, reflecting the supersessionist hold on the gentile Church for nearly two millennia, that allowed him to advocate restrictions on the Jews in “Á propos de la Question Juive,” published in 1921.45 However, as the eminent Maritain Thomist Bernard E. Doering points out, Maritain did later distance himself from his early reflections concerning restrictions on secular Jews, precisely in line with his Christian democracy advocating pluralism and human rights.46
When Maritain refers to the “revolutionary impatience” of Israel we must ask if more need be acknowledged than Israel’s inclusion within Maritain’s inclusive personalism, as Doering suggests. Indeed, Maritain acknowledges a supernatural faith and even elements of Church within Judaism, but, as we have seen, contends that without explicitly acknowledging Jesus as Messiah, Israel contributes to salvation indirectly—the invisible presence of the Church is not granted. We have also seen how Maritaitain maintains that “to Israel is assigned, in the order of temporal history and its own finalities, the work of the earthly leavening of the world,” and that “Israel is here—Israel which is not of the world—at the deepest core of the world, to irritate it, to exasperate it, to move it.” Does not “the work of the earthly leavening of the world,” which Maritain assigns to Israel, imply a more direct role in our salvation? Has not this “Israel which is not of the world” more in common with the Christian saints who “have discovered a truth infinitely superior to the world,” placing them in a truly salvific role beyond the merely secular rebellion of the hippies and assorted malcontents who “are the victims of this bourgeois world which they are right in detesting,” and who “carry away all its misery with them”?
The Political Organization of the World, Aliyah, and the
Mystery of Israel
Having accentuated the unique human being as the irreplaceable image of God fostering and constituting authentic human community, after the Second World War Maritain clearly addressed the emerging global dimension of human community in the search for a lasting peace. In a speech delivered at a meeting of UNESCO on April 21, 1966,47 Maritain restructures certain concerns he expressed in Man and the State. Addressing UNESCO, Maritain reiterates his concern for “supranational political authority,” and “a real political organization of the world, based on the free consent and the free cooperation of nations and peoples.”48 In his speech at the United Nations, and more fully in Man and the State, Maritain presents the ideal fully political world society, freely formed, encompassing multifarious institutions and communities within the global body politic, avoiding the merely governmental solution of World Empire.49 In 1966 as in 1949, Maritain cautions,
[The] problem for our time is not to bring into actual existence a world-wide political society, it is rather to work at the distant preparations for this society, by putting into motion the long effort of reason and good will thanks to which this utopia will end up becoming a realizable ideal. The hope of men in a temporal ideal, a dynamic ideal of peace on earth, must be preserved at any cost, even though it may seem utopian at the outset.50
What Maritain proposes in Man and the State, and again in the speech to UNESCO, appears to be prescient concerning the evolution in awareness of the human person at the close of the twentieth century and into the first decades of the twenty-first century. After the Second World War, Maritain came to argue for a pluralist world society, “a pluralist unity, taking place only through the lasting diversity of the particular bodies politic, and fostering that diversity.” Forming a global political society “means that among all peoples the sense of the common good of that one people should develop, and supersede the sense of the common good peculiar to each body politic.” This means that a “sense of civic friendship as large as that one people should also and simultaneously develop.”51 The key to such unity is precisely the unique human person participating with others intellectually through rational discourse and affectively through love and friendship. For Maritain, this ideal is based on Christian leaven and what he perceives as positive in the rights tradition fostered by the European Enlightenment, and the American and French Revolutions.52 Agitation for a global pluralist union now simmers on a global scale as an element in the legacy of the West, resisting the oppressive forces of globalization as undertaken by the neoliberal hegemony of the wealthy elite, as well as the reckless and divisive forces simmering in the global emergence of nationalism and neo-fascism. And yet, as we have seen, the fructification of good and evil means that every historical ideal remains tainted this side of the Parousia.
Acquiring statehood in the middle of the twentieth century, Israel joined the pluralist scramble for dignity and justice in the twenty-first century. And Maritain acknowledges the State of Israel’s place among equals, while accenting the unique role of aliyah:
The State of Israel, insofar as State, is only a State like the others. But the return of a portion of the Jewish people and its regroupment in the Holy Land (of which the existence of this State is the sign and the guarantee)—this is the reaccomplishment, under our eyes, of the divine promise which is without repentance.”53
It is as sign and guarantor of aliyah that the State of Israel acquires its uniqueness; it is assigned the awesome task of becoming the conduit of the messianic people.
Does not the founding of the State of Israel in 1948 herald the culmination of the direct salvific mission of Israel from the time of promise to Abraham, and perhaps especially through the centuries of the Diaspora, wherein the prophetic voice and the suffering of Jews, secular and devout, have contributed in so many ways to nourish the cries against injustice of oppressed peoples everywhere? This is Israel’s mission, and Christians may, indeed must, lend a helping hand.
It must be clear, however, that the State of Israel is the herald, not the culmination itself. Paralleling Maritain’s rejection of the political sovereignty of any state and Maritain’s insistence on the supernatural eschatological transformation of the world into the Kingdom of God, Kinzer notes that, “The coming of the Messiah will heal the nations (Rev 21:24, 26; 22:2), but will end states as we now know them by establishing a kingdom in Israel (Acts 1:6).”54
For Maritain, democracy, pluralism and securing rights of self-expression, along with rights insuring the health, education, and material conditions necessary for participation, depict a package indicative of natural human development inspired by Christianity.55 And, as we have seen, for Maritain such natural progression does not exclude the operation of supernatural grace leading to salvation. Maritain allows for the invisible presence of the visible Church among individuals not explicitly acknowledging Jesus as Messiah. We have also seen, however, that for Maritain only the Christian denominations contain elements of the Church in the proper sense as organized bodies. Even Israel, as an organized body which was once the Church in preparation and continues to preserve biblical texts as elements of Church, fails as an institution to receive the invisible presence of the Church so long as it fails to explicitly acknowledge Jesus as Messiah.
However, the temporal task of Israel, what Maritain designates “the earthly leavening of the world,” which indirectly contributes to our salvation through its “revolutionary impatience,” may be reflective of the Incarnation, directly contributing to our salvation. Maritain seems to approach this when he equates antisemitism with“Christophobia” before the Second World War, and suggests that Nostra Aetate, the Second Vatican Council document addressing relations between Roman Catholicism and other religious traditions, condemn antisemitism with the same language used to condemn Christian heresy. It is worth noting how Kinzer, as a postmissionary Messianic Jew who recognizes the direct contribution of Israel to our salvation, maintains the same correlation between being against Jews and being against Christ, expressly extending his observation into the twenty-first century: “The spirit of anti-Semitism is identical to the spirit of anti-Christ, and it is alive and well today in both guises.”56
Given Maritain’s contention that anti-Semitism is a Christophobic reaction, thereby identifying the Jewish people as a whole with Christ as Savior, it is surprising that he does not recognize the invisible presence of the Church of Jesus Christ in the practice of the Jewish people as a whole. Finding common ground in the admittedly distinct practices of Judaism and Christianity is precisely the vehicle Kinzer uses to promote their mutual indwelling in communion with the Messiah. Kinzer promotes a truly bilateral Ecclesia, embracing while distinguishing circumcised and gentile believers in Yeshua as Messiah. Kinzer argues that the complete bilateral Ecclesia should function in union with the complete Judaism of the twenty-first century, comprising biblical elements and subsequent oral and mystical developments within a context which does not explicitly recognize Yeshua as the Messiah.57 Kinzer challenges Maritain’s assessment of Jewish religious practice. By way of referencing Bruce Marshall, Kinzer includes Jacques Maritain and Maritain’s close friend and ally Cardinal Charles Journet among those who prior to the Second Vatican Council “affirmed the election of the Jewish people and at the same time denied the enduring covenantal significance of Jewish religious practice.”58 And Kinzer readily acknowledges the contribution of Lev Gillet (a Russian Orthodox priest writing during the Second World War) to his own understanding of the relationship between Judaism and Christianity in relation to the Jewish Messiah, quoting Gillet approvingly:
A Jew who accepts (not only intellectually) Jesus as Messiah enters into communion with the Messiah as Jesus, and with the community of the followers of Jesus. Reciprocally, a Christian who becomes aware of the Jewish contents of his own faith and inwardly responds to this new awareness enters into communion with Jesus as Jewish Messiah and invisibly with the Messianic community of Israel, insofar as the Messiah displays an immanent activity inside it. Thus the Mission—the two-fold Mission—ends in communion.59
Retaining the full integrity of the call, of the irrevocable covenant, it may be that Israel’s failure to acknowledge Yeshua as the Messiah, and the visible Church of Christ’s failure to appreciate the abiding salvific significance of God’s chosen people, presents us with the dual-enigma of flawed co-redemptive historical forces. Perhaps Kinzer’s postmissionary Messianic Judaism renders explicit what has always been implicit within the troubled apparent antithetical relationship between Christianity and Judaism.60
The political organization of the world and aliyah seen in the light of Maritain’s inclusive personalism and faith commitment entails that global order no longer rest on the pursuit of empire and the sovereignty of any state, including the State of Israel. As we have seen, for Kinzer and Maritain, it is aliyah alone that designates the unique place of the State of Israel among equals.
Concerning the sovereign state, Maritain notes that external sovereignty places it above the community of nations with absolute independence with regard to this community, and internal sovereignty gives it absolute power over the body politic without appeal, thus enabling it to exercise its power without any external or internal accountability.61 For Maritain sovereignty is applicable in theology, since God alone is Sovereign, but this only accentuates the danger of its usage in political philosophy.62
In opposition to the notion of sovereignty, Maritain drew attention to the camaraderie of diversity, the coming together of people with different points of view, when he formulated the notion of a shared “practical secular faith,” whereby a very diverse human choir attains harmony through similar practical principles and in the end the same human goals, because, Maritain tells us, “they similarly revere, perhaps for quite diverse reasons, truth and intelligence, human dignity, freedom, brotherly love, and the absolute value of moral good.”63 Furthermore, Maritain forthrightly states that the task of preparing a world society “will obviously develop first of all as a deep and continuing task of education and enlightenment, discussion and study.”64
The cohesion of diversity is maintained here by a common nature responsive to the absolute value of moral good; and engaged in rational discourse seeking truth, dignity, and freedom within the context of binding love sustaining mutual recognition in pursuit of human flourishing. What at first sight might appear as a concession to the postmodern disavowal of transcendence and the absolute remains a humble commitment, from Maritain’s Thomistic perspective, to Athens (nature) and Jerusalem (grace): a commitment to Being, Truth, the Good and Love, while acknowledging human limitations.65 It is the truth of nature and grace disclosed in moral action, succinctly stated: “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will know them by their fruits” (Matt 7:18–20).
The concrete historical ideal, based on the actual circumstances of a given age, is never free from error, as we see clearly in retrospect with the medieval ideal of Holy Empire. This is because the historical ideal remains ideal, a guiding light for the best possible course to take in any given age without ever fully attaining the desired goal. Misconceptions surrounding the ideal of holy freedom have set the world ablaze with individualism and collectivism in the twentieth century, and appear to be doing the same in the twenty-first century. As Maritain would have it, “There can be no rest for the Christian as long as justice and love do not hold sway over the lives of men. And since their requirements will never be completely fulfilled within history, the Christian will therefore never have rest within history—and that’s perfectly proper to his condition.”66
Maritain tells us, “We will never have the Kingdom of God within temporal history;” however, he adamantly asserts, “This is all the more reason why we should strive toward it.”67 Furthermore, one can argue that for Maritain this striving toward the Kingdom of God in the twenty-first century, as in every historical period, amounts to actualizing the contours of salvation for a given time. Such Christianity is a restless Christianity, adhering within history to the means made available through which salvation is offered.
For Maritain, “the absolutely ultimate end, the final end of history is beyond history. For Christian eschatology, there will be a discontinuity between history, which is in time, and the final state of mankind, which will take place in a world transfigured.”68 Sin will plague us continuously until the Parousia, and Maritain even suggests a two-fold contrasting progress in good and evil within history; as we have seen, he acknowledges the ambivalence of history and the fructifications of good and evil.69
Maritain argues adamantly that not only is nature elevated within its own order through grace, but it is superelevated to the supernatural Kingdom of God: “I would insist that, given the actual condition of the world—that is, the fact that the world is not in a state of pure nature but is vitally and organically related to the Kingdom of God—the actual natural end of the world is this natural end superelevated.”70 For Maritain, grace completes nature and superelevates it to the supernatural Kingdom of God, and history becomes a salvific process through the Church, a Church which may be invisibly present within the world. And as we have seen, the mutual indwelling of Judaism and Christianity in Messiah, implicitly and explicitly, assigns Israel a direct role in the history of salvation, from the call of the patriarchs, through the temple periods and the Diaspora, to aliyah.
We have seen that for Kinzer, “The coming of the Messiah will heal the nations (Rev 21:24, 26; 22:2), but will end states as we now know them by establishing a kingdom in Israel (Acts 1:6).” This is worth repeating here as we reflect on Maritain’s removal of sovereignty from the political lexicon along with his proclamation concerning the supernatural Kingdom of God being the actual natural end of the world superelevated. Every international, national, and local aspiration throughout history toward justice, mercy, and inclusion, aided by nature and grace under the auspices of persons looking beyond sovereignty, will be rewarded and sanctified in the kingdom to come. We have seen how the biblical moral injunctions are clear and that we are commanded to strive in obedience to fulfill them (Matt 25:31–46). Calling upon the Lord, even prophesying and working miracles in his name is simply not enough (Matt 7:21–23).
The transfiguration of the world heralds the triumph of Messiah, the one sovereign Lord of all. This final goal of history, a world beyond history, means that any treatment of Judaism, Christianity, and the world in conjunction with each other must heed Maritain’s observation concerning all three:
Israel is a mystery. Of the same order as the mystery of the world or of the Church. Like them, it lies at the heart of redemption. A philosophy of history, aware of theology, can attempt to reach some knowledge of this mystery, but the mystery will surpass the knowledge in all directions. Our ideas and our consciousness can be immersed in such things; they cannot circumscribe them.71
The mystery remains, but our Judeo-Christian faith tells us that the mystery will unfold in communion with the Jewish Messiah and in Jerusalem, where aliyah already functions as the Messianic people in preparation for the final disclosure.
Maritain’s inclusive personalism suggests that the movement toward world order in the twenty-first century, when obedient to the promptings of nature and grace, will eschew all modes of purported sovereign hegemonic control that attempt to subjugate the other. Denial of the other is prevalent within incestuous, self-serving Christian ecclesial communities or Jewish synagogues, evangelizing and attempting to attain integrity by way of identifying and excluding those who do not belong. The mystery of Israel lies hidden in the celebration of difference under the auspices of one sovereign Lord. This does not exclude the unique role of the State of Israel as guarantor of the final disclosure, but it does render the State of Israel as state equal to other states in the global mosaic. As Kinzer informs us, even with the State of Israel now established the not-yet of eschatological fulfillment remains:
In light of the evangelion of Jesus’ death and resurrection, one must hold that the existential condition of exile continues so long as sin and death dominate the created order. The corporate life of the Jewish people in the land of Israel constitutes a sign pointing beyond the exile to a world governed by the resurrected and glorified Messiah of Israel—yet the exile continues, even for Jews in the land. We will only see the true end of exile when God intervenes in an extraordinary fashion to rend the heavens and transfigure the form of this world.72
The implications of Israel as state and conduit of the messianic people for Israeli-Palestinian relations must be addressed, but here we focus on the relationship between Christianity and Judaism in the broad context of the political organization of the world. In the twenty-first century there are ample indications of a growing global quest for liberation in conformity with Judeo-Christian tradition seen in the light of Maritain’s contribution. The iconoclasm prevalent throughout the near-global uprising of 2020 against police brutality and racism succeeded in toppling the icons of Confederacy in the United States erected during the Jim Crow era to augment white supremacy, and succeeded as well in toppling icons of the slave trade and colonialism in Europe. These actions sought to uproot the perceived sovereign hegemonic forces of racial superiority, imperialism, and colonialism made palatable in the official revisionist historical narratives of the world.
To denigrate the significance of any particular is a betrayal of the Incarnation; to invoke a supposedly universal Christ detached from the actual Yeshua invites portraiture of a desired hegemon and leads invariably to a Gnostic anathema pronounced against the Jew and the Old Testament, the full horror of which we encounter in the Aryan Jesus of the Third Reich.73 Rather than attempting to destroy history and the particular, the iconoclasm of 2020 proclaims in a visual and forceful manner that now is the time to remove sovereign hegemony from the political landscape, thereby allowing the other to be other and equal in their unique roles. One such role is the role of the Jew ushering in the messianic transfiguration of the world, which any lingering vestige of Christian supersessionism or replacement theology obstructs. The particular Jew named Yeshua, Messiah and Savior of the World, beckons each of us by name, Jew and gentile alike, preserving the dignity of each as we move closer to universal justice and the recognition and liberation of all through aliyah, the return of the messianic people to the land.
Walter Schultz is Auxiliary Professor in the Faculty of Philosophy at the Dominican University College in Ottawa, past president of the Canadian Jacques Maritain Association, and former editor of the association’s journal, Maritain Studies. He received his Ph.D. in Western Religious Thought from McMaster University, and has given courses in religious studies and philosophy at universities in Canada and the United States. His publications are primarily concerned with education and the relevance of Maritain’s thought for contemporary society and politics.
1 Jacques Maritain, Untrammeled Approaches, The Collected Works of Jacques Maritain, Volume 20, trans. Bernard Doering (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1997), 202.
2 Jacques Maritain, “The Mystery of Israel,” in Redeeming the Time, trans. Harry Lorin Binsse (London: Geoffrey Bles, 1943, Reprinted 1946), 155.
3 This paper expands within the broad context of Maritain’s social and political thought ideas first presented in Walter Schultz, “The Personalism of Jacques Maritain and the Postmissionary Messianic Judaism of Mark S. Kinzer,” Kesher: A Journal of Messianic Judaism (37, Summer/Fall 2020): 75–97.
4 This mosaic is depicted on the cover of Kinzer’s study of the Second Vatican Council document, Nostra Aetate. It encapsulates the theme of that work. See Mark S. Kinzer, Searching Her Own Mystery: Nostra Aetate. The Jewish People and the Identity of the Church (Eugene, OR: Cascade, 2015).
5 The dormancy of totalitarian Marxist collectivism in the twenty-first century is a point noted by Edward Luce, The Retreat of Western Liberalism (New York: Atlantic Monthly, 2017), 10–11.
6 See Schultz, “The Personalism of Jacques Maritain,” 76.
7 Jacques Maritain, Freedom in the Modern World, trans. Richard O’Sullivan, K.C., revised Otto Bird, in The Collected Works of Jacques Maritain, Volume 11, Integral Humanism, Freedom in the Modern World, and A Letter on Independence, ed. Otto Bird, trans. Otto Bird, Joseph Evans, and Richard O’Sullivan, K.C. (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2007), 47.
8 Maritain, Freedom in the Modern World, 47.
9 Maritain, Freedom in the Modern World, 47.
10 See Jacques Maritain, On the Philosophy of History, ed. Joseph W. Evans (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1957), 44.
11 See Maritain, On the Philosophy of History, 43–62. Also see Jacques Maritain, The Peasant of the Garonne: An Old Layman Questions Himself about the Present Time, trans. Michael Cuddihy and Elizabeth Hughes (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1968), 28.
12 “I think that this progress of moral conscience as to the explicit knowledge of natural law is one of the least questionable examples of progress in mankind. Allow me to stress that I am not pointing to any progress in human moral behaviour (or to any progress in the purity and sanctity of an absolutely pure heart). I am pointing to a progress of moral conscience as to the knowledge of the particular precept of natural law. This progress in knowledge can take place at the same time as a worsening in the conduct of a number of men, but that is another question. Take, for instance, the notion of slavery. We are now aware that slavery is contrary to the dignity of the human person. And yet there are totalitarian States which enslave the human being. But, nevertheless, they would not like to acknowledge this fact—that’s why propaganda is so necessary—because there is a common awareness in mankind today that slavery is contrary to the dignity of man.” (Maritain, On the Philosophy of History, 105–06.)
13 Jacques Maritain, Integral Humanism: Temporal and Spiritual Problems of a New Christendom, trans. Joseph W. Evans (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1973), 132.
14 Maritain, Integral Humanism, 143.
15 Maritain, Integral Humanism, 143–144.
16 Maritain, Integral Humanism, 144.
17 Maritain, Integral Humanism, 163.
18 See Maritain, Integral Humanism, 127–210.
19 “The remark I wish to submit is that, considered in its normal and essential features, the political and social coming of age of the people was in itself a natural development—I mean, one which answered deep-seated demands of the order of nature, and in which certain requirements of natural law came to the fore; but in actual fact it is only under the action of the Gospel leaven, and by virtue of the Christian inspiration making its way in the depths of secular consciousness, that the natural development in question took place. Thus it is that the democratic process, with its genuine, essential properties, and its adventitious ideological cockle, appeared first in that area of civilization which is the historical heir to mediaeval Western Christendom—and it was the more genuine, and is now the more alive, where the temporal life of the community remains to a larger extent Christian-inspired.” (Maritain, On the Philosophy of History, 116)
20 See Maritain, Integral Humanism, 8–34; Three Reformers: Luther, Descartes, Rousseau (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1970); and The Dream of Descartes, trans. Mabelle L. Anderson (New York: F. Hubner, 1944).
21 See Maritain’s early treatment of “angelism” in relation to Descartes in Three Reformers, 54–81.
22 Jacques Maritain, The Person and the Common Good, trans. John J. Fitzgerald (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1972), 38.
23 Maritain, The Person and the Common Good, 18–19.
24 Maritain, The Dream of Descartes, 182–83.
25 See Maritain, Three Reformers, 93–164; Scholasticism and Politics, trans. Mortimer J. Adler (London: Geoffrey Bles, 1954), 74–75; and Man and the State (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1966), 43–49.
26 See Jacques Maritain, The Rights of Man and Natural Law, trans. Doris C. Anson (London: Geoffrey Bles, 1944).
27 See, for example, https://theglobalherald.com/news/cornel-west-the-choice-is-between-disaster-and-catastrophe-the-bottom-line/; https://buffalonews.com/news/local/before-buffalo-speech-cornel-west-says-election-was-choice-between-catastrophe-or-a-disaster/article_9dcf1860-205d-11eb-aad3-23d1fd23609d.html; and https://www.hks.harvard.edu/centers/mrcbg/programs/growthpolicy/choice-between-disaster-and-catastrophe-bottom-line-cornel-west.
28 See Jacques Maritain, On the Church of Christ: The Person of the Church and Her Personnel, trans. Joseph W. Evans (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1973), 93–134.
29 See Maritain, On the Church of Christ, 129; emphasis original.
3030 See Jacques Maritain, “The Immanent Dialectic of the First Act of Freedom,” The Range of Reason (London: Geoffrey Bles, 1953), 66–85.
31 31 See Maritain, On the Church of Christ, 119–20.
32 Maritain, On the Church of Christ, 120–21.
33 Maritain, “The Mystery of Israel,” 136.
34 See Emmanuel Lévinas, “Peace and Proximity 1984,” Emmanuel Levinas: Basic Philosophical Writings, eds. Adriaan Peperzak, Simon Critchley, and Robert Bernasconi (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1996), 161–69.
35 For a treatment of ethical accountability, Culpepper and Cosgrove in the context of this paper see Schultz,“The Personalism of Jacques Maritain,” 78–83, and 96.
36 See Martin Buber, “The Way of Man,” from Hasidism and Modern Man (New York: Horizon) in The Ways of Religion (New York: Harper & Row, 1975), 312–21.
37 See Mark Kurlansky, 1968: The Year that Rocked the World (New York: Ballantine, 2004).
38 See Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire (New York: Penguin, 2004), 86–87.
39 Maritain, On the Church of Christ, 125.
40 Maritain, On the Church of Christ, 126.
41 Maritain, On the Church of Christ, 125–26.
42 Todd Gitlin, The Sixties: Days of Hope, Days of Rage (New York: Bantam, 1987), 26.
43 See Maritain, “The Mystery of Israel,” 138–39.
44 Maritain, “The Mystery of Israel,” 139.
45 See Jacques Maritain, “Á propos de la Question Juive,” La Vie Spirituelle, Ascétique et Mystique. Tome 4, no. 22 (July 1921), 305–10.For a discussion of this text see John Hellman, “The Jews in the ‘New Middle Ages’: Jacques Maritain’s Anti-Semitism in Its Times,” in Jacques Maritain and the Jews, ed. Robert Royal, 89–103.
46 See Bernard Doering, “The Jewish Question,” in Jacques Maritain and the French Catholic Intellectuals (Notre Dame, IN: The University of Notre Dame Press, 1983), 146–47.
47 See Maritain, Untrammeled Approaches, 199–204.
48 Maritain, Untrammeled Approaches, 202; emphasis original.
49 See Maritain, Untrammeled Approaches, 202; and Jacques Maritain, Man and the State, Charles R. Walgreen Foundation Lectures (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1966), 188–216.
50 Maritain, Untrammeled Approaches, 202; emphasis original.
51 Maritain, Untrammeled Approaches, 209.
52 Maritain develops this theme throughout his social and political writings. See Maritain, Integral Humanism; The Person and the Common Good; The Rights of Man and Natural Law; Man and the State; and Christianity and Democracy, trans. Doris C. Anson (London: Geoffrey Bles, 1945).
53 Maritain, On the Church of Christ, 170.
54 Mark S. Kinzer, Jerusalem Crucified, Jerusalem Risen: The Resurrected Messiah, the Jewish People, and the Land of Promise (Eugene, OR: Cascade, 2018), 256, and see 254–64 for the full context of Kinzer’s observation. I would like to thank Rabbi Russ Resnik for drawing attention to this parallel between Kinzer and Maritain.
55 See Maritain, Christianity and Democracy, and Man and the State, 76–107.
56 Kinzer, Jerusalem Crucified, Jerusalem Risen, 263.
57 See Mark S.Kinzer, Postmissionary Messianic Judaism: Redefining Christian Engagement with the Jewish People (Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos, 2005).
58 Kinzer, Searching Her Own Mystery, 172–73.
59 Kinzer, Postmissionary Messianic Judaism, 283.
60 Kinzer’s perspective may allow for the further development of Maritain’s appreciation of Judaism and aliyah, since Maritain’s insistence on Israel’s indirect contribution to the salvation of the world does not acknowledge a co-redemptive role for Israel: “The passion of Israel is not, like that of the Church, a passion of co-redemption, completing what is lacking in the sufferings of the Saviour” (Maritain, “The Mystery of Israel,” 136).
61 See Maritain, Man and the State, 50–52.
62 Maritain states that God alone is fully sovereign; the pope is sovereign as the Vicar of Christ in relation to the Church; and the wise man is sovereign in a merely moral sense.See Maritain, Man and the State, 49–50.
63 Maritain, Man and the State, 111.
64 Maritain, Man and the State, 213.
65 Maritain has been criticized for his notion of a shared “practical secular faith.” For a brief description of the context of the concern see Michael Moreland, “Jacques Maritain, Thomism and the Liberal-Communitarian Debate,” The Failure of Modernism: The Cartesian Legacy and Contemporary Pluralism, ed. Brenden Sweetman (Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press; 1999), 141–54.
In this paper it is argued that Maritain’s notion of a shared “practical secular faith” is consistent with his understanding of human nature, acknowledging the centrality of the unique human person in relationship with the other through community and rational society, without neglecting the supernatural influx of grace.
66 Maritain, On the Philosophy of History, 155.
67 Maritain, On the Philosophy of History, 155.
68 Maritain, On the Philosophy of History, 138.
69 See Maritain, On the Philosophy of History, 43–62.
70 Maritain, On the Philosophy of History, 131; emphasis original. For the full context see 119–63.
71 Maritain, “The Mystery of Israel,” 130.
72 Kinzer, Jerusalem Crucified, Jerusalem Risen, 258.
73 See Susannah Heschel, The Aryan Jesus: Christian Theologians and the Bible in Nazi Germany (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2008).