This book, written by Jean-Luc Barre at the request of the Maritain Archives in Kolbsheim, France, and published in France in 1995, was the first biography of noted French philosopher Jacques Maritain and his wife Raissa. Drawing on the wealth of Maritain materials at the Kolbsheim archives, many of which are unpublished, Barre offers a clear and objective account of the remarkable lives and intellectual pursuits of the Maritains. Noted scholar and translator Bernard Doering has now made this essential work available for the first time in English. "Jacques and Raissa Maritain: Beggars for Heaven" focuses not only on the Maritains' philosophical work, but also on their pursuit of social justice, their opposition to the Vichy, their battle against intellectual repression in the church, and their contemplative life of prayer and devotion. Barre places a particular emphasis on the Maritains' close and supportive friendships with novelists, poets, painters, and musicians who were considered revolutionary at the time.
Doering's translation will appeal not only to scholars but also to anyone interested in intellectual history generally and the intellectual history of modern Catholicism in particular.
JEAN-LUC BARRE, a journalist and historian, is the author of several books, including Le Seigneur-Chat: Philippe Bertheiot, 1866-1934. BERNARD DOERING is professor emeritus in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at the University of Notre Dame.