Jacques Maritain

Jacques Maritain was a French Catholic philosopher. He was grown up as a Protestant but  became an agnostic before converting to Catholicism in 1906. An author of more than 60  books, a prominent drafter of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and a long-time friend and mentor of Pope Paul VI. The foundation of Maritain’s thought is Aristotle, St. Thomas and the Thomistic commentators.

On the eve of the Second World War (1938) he was visiting the US to give a series of lectures on the Scholastic alternative to the philosophies of totalitarianism, both communist and fascist, which had taken control of Europe. He termed his vision “integral humanism” focusing on the nature of human freedom, the role played by the freedom of choice each person had to make their lives according to their own vision of the good, and to achieve the ultimate freedom which he called the “freedom of spontaneity or of independence”. He explores the prospects for a new Christendom, rooted in his philosophical pluralism, in order to find ways Christianity could inform political discourse and policy in a pluralistic age. His political theory is claimed to be a primary source behind the Christian Democratic movement. 

Date and Place of Birth: 
1882 Paris France
Date and Place of Death: 
1973 Toulouse France

La philosophie bergsonienne, 1914 (1948)

Antimoderne, Édition de la Revue des Jeunes, Paris 1922

Distinguer pour unir ou Les degrés du savoir, Paris 1932

Humanisme intégral. Problèmes temporels et spirituels d'une nouvelle chrétienté; zunächst spanisch 1935), Paris (Fernand Aubier), 1936 (1947)

Christianisme et démocratie, New York 1943 (Paris 1945)Principes d'une politique humaniste, New York 1944 (Paris 1945)

Education at the crossroad, New Haven 1943

De Bergson à Thomas d'Aquin, Essais de Métaphysique et de Morale, New York 1944 (Paris 1947)

L'Homme et l'Etat (engl.: Man and State, 1951) Paris, PUF, 1953

On the philosophy of history, ed. J.W. Evans, New York 1957

A preface to metaphysics, New York 1962

De l'Église du Christ. La personne de l'église et son personnel, Paris 1970

Approches sans entraves, posthum 1973.

Oeuvres complètes de Jacques et Raïssa Maritain, 16 Bde. 1982-1999