Jacques Maritain's Integral Humanism
Chicago, IL 60637
Russell HittingerLumen Christi Institute
THIS IS AN IN-PERSON EVENT. Open to current graduate students and University of Chicago Undergraduates. Others who are interested in participating should contact us. Copies of "Integral Humanism" from The Collected Works of Jacques Maritain XI (Notre Dame Press, 1996) will be provided for registrants.
Integral Humanism (1936) is Maritain’s masterwork at mid-career. Having separated himself from the Catholic political integralism in France during the 1920s he needed to put forth his own position – his own integralism, in a manner of speaking. His thesis is that the options of political modernity are shaped by incomplete and reductive humanisms, which need the correction and anchoring of an “integral humanism.” He believed that this should be the Catholic contribution to the crises of the 20th century. After all, he reasoned that the crippling disputes at the level of politics are symptoms of underlying anthropological confusions. The book was read and pondered by every pope from Pius XI to John Paul II.
- Part I, on the tragedy of humanism (pp. 156-173). Namely, the unresolved dialectic between theocentric and anthropocentric humanisms that emerged in early modernity. Under the sign division, whether in tears or in revolt, every creature asks how the humanum is to be rehabilitated (p. 168).
- Part II, beginning at p. 196, the formulation of a new humanism.
- Parts III and IV on the prospects of a new Christendom.
If you have any questions please contact us.
Russell Hittinger is Senior Fellow at the Lumen Christi Institute, Research Professor Ordinarius in the School of Philosophy and Senior Fellow Institute for Human
Ecology at the Catholic University of America, and Professor Emeritus of Catholic Studies and Law at the University of Tulsa. He is also Ordinarius of the Pontifical Academy of the Social Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas. Hittinger is the author of many books, including A Critique of the New Natural Law Theory, The First Grace: Rediscovering Natural Law in a Post-Christian Age, Thomas Aquinas and the Rule of Law, and most recently Paper Wars: Catholic Social Doctrine and the Modern State (forthcoming).