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The Relevance of the Radical: Simone Weil 100 Years Later (Paperback)
  • The Relevance of the Radical: Simone Weil 100 Years Later (Paperback)
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The Relevance of the Radical: Simone Weil 100 Years Later (Paperback)

(editor), (editor)
£31.99
Paperback 320 Pages / Published: 01/12/2009
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This is a collection of essays examining the life and words of Simone Weil, the late French activist, philosopher, and mystic. In the early 1940s, Simone Weil (1909-1943) wrote that 'the glossy surface' of her civilization hid 'a real intellectual decadence'. There is also good reason to think that the 21st century has ushered in new extremes of intellectual and aesthetic impoverishment. 2009 will mark the centennial of the birth of this late French activist, philosopher, and mystic, and her life and words are arguably more urgent now than ever before. While Weil's ideas are impossible to separate from her praxis, the first section of the book will analyze the 'radical orientation' suggested in her writings. Contributors in this section will address the relevance of her religious ideas, the 'irrelevant', the posture of attentiveness and 'looking', and the roles of erotic exemplarity and mystery. The second section will examine the 'radical world' that follows from the orientation described and will consider themes like violence, power, resistance, responsibility, feminism, liberation theology, science, technology, propaganda, and political hegemony. Through the revolutionary insights of this remarkable woman, then, the contributors propose a framework for understanding and creating a more just world, one that challenges Western philosophy's metaphysical, epistemological, and ethical assumptions which have led to pervasive forms of uprootedness, or what Weil calls deracinement. This framework centres on a notion of absolute selflessness and humility, and is radical both in the sense of being 'unconventional' and in the sense of the Latin radicalis, 'returning to essential roots'. Becoming rooted in reality and centred in what is essential, especially in our context characterized by over-consumption and 'virtual reality', is unconventional. How much more, then, is the radical absolutely relevant and Simone Weil the paradigm for effective socio-political redress.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9780567381729
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 476 g
Dimensions: 228 x 153 x 23 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"In these essays marking the centenary of Simone Weil's birth, contributors show how the life and words of the late French activist, philosopher, and mystic are arguably more urgent now than ever before. The book's first section analyzes the "radical orientation" suggested in Weil's writings, addressing the relevance of her religious ideas, the "irrelevant," the posture of attentiveness and "looking," and the roles of erotic exemplarity and mystery. The second section examines the "radical world" that follows from that orientation, considering themes like violence, power, resistance, responsibility, feminism, liberation theology, science, technology, propaganda, and political hegemony." -Eithne O'Leyne, BOOK NEWS, Inc.
'This sharp set of essays examines Weil's disconcerting life and work, revealing her troubling relevance for the contemporary world. Filled with more than its share of surprises, these well-written pieces by an excellent panel of scholars call us to attend to Weil's strange genius and to reckon with her counterintuitive insights. I have no doubt that I will return to this collection many times in the years to come.' - Stephen Bloch-Schulman, Elon University, NC, USA--Sanford Lakoff
'This is a splendid collection of interpretative essays focused on the radical character of Simone Weil's contribution. The editors have assembled essays that locate Weil's insights in the context of late 20th century thought, including reflections on her enduring importance for readers concerned with spirituality, social justice and the role of science and technology in contemporary life. The volume offers an interdisciplinary approach that is accessible and illuminating, inviting to both new readers and scholars of Weil's compelling insights. I was especially excited about the chapters that situated these insights within the context of French feminism and Latin American liberation theology.' - Clare Fischer, Starr King School for the Ministry, Berkeley, CA, USA--Sanford Lakoff
'A collection of essays on the continuing significance of Simon Weil is likely to be welcome to those interested in serious reflection on religions and their traditions.'--Sanford Lakoff

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