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The Very Rich Hours of Jacques Maritain: A Spiritual Life Hardcover – October 15, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0268043599 ISBN-10: 0268043590 Edition: 1st Edition

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 248 pages
  • Publisher: University of Notre Dame Press; 1st Edition edition (October 15, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0268043590
  • ISBN-13: 978-0268043599
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,992,728 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Popular mystery novelist and Notre Dame scholar McInerny delivers a luminous biography of one of Thomas Aquinas' most astute modern commentators. An ideal biographer, McInerny intensely admires Maritain for his labors in sparking a modern renaissance in Thomistic theology, yet he still recognizes Maritain's personal and professional missteps. In narrating Maritain's life, McInerny illustrates the transforming power of truth, pursued not merely to stimulate the intellect but to redeem the soul. Thus, McInerny's story unfolds the unlikely pilgrimage of a boy reared by parents oblivious to their Catholic heritage, a young man catechized by apostles of scientific skepticism. Careful research uncovers the torturous path Maritain traversed in groping his way to orthodoxy and faith--from his first spiritual stirrings, awakened by Henri Bergson, to his eventual embrace of Aquinas, the Angelic Doctor. This nuanced portrait won't reach a large audience, but for those concerned with Catholic doctrine, it is a major work and will help secure Maritain's status as a modern Catholic icon. Bryce Christensen
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


" …a delightful introduction to the life and thought of Jacques Maritain … I cannot more highly recommend this book." -- Providence

"McInerny’s spiritual and intellectual biography of Maritain … was one of my favorite books from the past year…" -- Books & Culture

"… a beautifully made book, a joy to hold." -- ChristianityToday.com, December 22, 2003

"… delightful and humbling …. Being introduced to a great intellect by a masterful author … is … enriching." -- Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, January 5, 2004

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By John M. Poling on February 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased this book on something of a whim, knowing nothing about Maritain. I found the book to be inspirational, fascinating, and provocative.
"There us only one tragedy, not to be a saint." Here we are given a window into this influential philosophers long and fervent pilgrimage to become just that.
I did not really expect the book to be what it is: it is far more than just biography. One really needs to have some knowledge of philosophy to really follow along; there are a number of sections which deal at length with metaphysics, epistemology, etc. from a Thomistic perspective. Some of this was tough sledding for me. In addition McInerny seems to presuppose a passing acquaintance with French and Latin as well. I was a bit surprised by this; did McInerny expect no one but academics to be interested in this work? It certainly seems to be written for a specific and rather limited audience.
It has been said elsewhere that this is a beautiful book. It is, and it is very well written. If you are interested in the 20th century renewal of interest for the philosophy of Thomas Aquinas (among Roman Catholics), and in the man who seems to have been a central figure behind it all, you may find this a rewarding read. I will say, as a caveat, it is a book written for Roman Catholics exclusively, with the Reformation and Luther dismissed summarily. Protestants of every stripe will find much to disagree with, then, but might find it fascinating nonetheless.
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3 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Eric M. Brown on August 20, 2011
Format: Paperback
Pope Pius XI in his encyclical "Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio" that is his encyclical "On the Peace of Christ in His Kingdom" which was promulgated on December 23, 1922 states in Paragraphs 60-61that "Many believe in or claim that they believe in and hold fast to Catholic doctrine on such questions as social authority, the right of owning private property, on the relations between capital and labor, on the rights of laboring man, on the relations between Church and State, religion and country, on the relations between the different social classes, on international relations, on the rights of the Holy See and the prerogatives of the Roman Pontiff and the Episcopate, on the social rights of Jesus Christ, Who is the Creator, Redeemer, and Lord not only of individuals but of nations. In spite of these protestations, they speak, write, and, what is more, act as if it were not necessary any longer to follow, or that they did not remain still in full force, the teachings and solemn pronouncements which may be found in so many documents of the Holy See, and particularly in those written by Leo XIII, Pius X, and Benedict XV. There is a species of moral, legal, and social modernism which We condemn, no less decidely than We condemn theological modernism." The works of Jacques Maritain on political philosophy, such as Integral Humanism are not Thomistic and do not agree with Catholic social doctrine but fall into the category of the social modernism condemned by Pope Pius XI. Jacques Maritain supported the modern state that is liberal democracy, which is not only godless, secular, and anti-Christian, but also is fundamentally opposed to the natural moral law. Therefore all good Catholics must reject any attempt to position Maritain as a good Catholic who ought to be honored as promoted by Ralph McInerny.Read more ›
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