Simone Weil’s “Tormented Flirtation” with Catholicism and Her Shameful Silence about the Holocaust

June 17 2020

Born in 1909, Simone Weil developed a reputation as one of France’s most influential philosophers only after her untimely death at the age of thirty-four. Her older brother André, by contrast, lived to the age of ninety-two and received many accolades for his contributions to theoretical mathematics. While the two were raised in a thoroughly secular Jewish Parisian home, both had a markedly mystical bent in their thinking: André was fascinated by Hindu thought and particularly by the Bhagavad Gita, and spoke often of the beauty of mathematics; Simone’s twin philosophical occupations were radical politics and questions of faith rooted in what one reader termed her “tormented flirtation with Catholicism.”

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Read more at New Atlantis

More about: Catholicism, French Jewry, Holocaust, Mathematics, Philosophy, Vichy France

 

How the U.S. Can Get Smart about Promoting Democracy and Human Rights in the Middle East

Sept. 27 2021

Considering the current state of the region and the policy mistakes of the recent past, David Pollock and Robert Satloff outline a strategy that is “both virtuous and realistic” for defending human rights and encouraging democratization in a region plagued by autocracy, chaos, and brutality. They argue that “in the long run, more democratic, tolerant, and inclusive governments are likely to be better at defending themselves, and more reliable and effective security partners for the United States.”

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Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Arab democracy, Human Rights, Middle East, U.S. Foreign policy