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This is the edition with a publication date of 12/15/2012.
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In early twentieth-century France, a vast network of artists, writers, and religious seekers were drawn to Roman Catholicism's elaborate panoply of symbols centered on suffering. A preoccupation with affliction dominated the movement now known as the French Catholic revival, or the renouveau catholique-considered a watershed in the history of the modern Catholic Church and the "golden age" of French Catholicism. In Sacred Dread, Brenna Moore examines the life and writings of Ra´ssa Maritain (1883-1960), one of the few women to contribute to this intellectual movement. Moore explores the reasons why Maritain, a nonpracticing Jew, was attracted to this suffering-centered theological imagination and how she and other advocates transformed it in the wake of the Holocaust. Sacred Dreadoffers readers a new understanding of a radical Catholic piety that was embraced by a wide range of pre-war intellectuals. By combining late-modern French intellectual and cultural history, Catholic theology, biography, and an analysis of Maritain's published and unpublished writings, Moore also identifies two major factors in this Catholic revival-gender and Judaism-that have not received adequate attention. Discourses of femininity and Judaism were central to the French Catholic articulation and idealization of suffering. Moore argues that Maritain, as a Jewish convert and one of the few women in this intellectual community, embodied symbolic associations of suffering, holiness, women, and Jews; indeed, for her husband, godfather, confessors, friends, and godchildren, Ra´ssa Maritain was herself the articulation of this abject ideal. Caught as she was in a web of meaning, Ra´ssa Maritain was an intellectual whose legacy deepens but also subverts the centrality of femininity and Judaism in French Catholic elaborations of suffering. "Brenna Moore's Sacred Dread: Ra´ssa Maritain, the Allure of Suffering, and the French Catholic Revival (1905-1944)is a genuine contribution to scholarship on a major figure in the Catholic Revival. Moore's treatment of Maritain in the context in which she lived and wrote is nuanced, thoughtful, and carefully researched. Additionally, she adds significantly to conversations about gender and religion by revisiting the function of female suffering in French Catholicism between 1870 and 1970." - Marian Ronan, Research Professor of Catholic Studies, The Center for World Christianity, New York Theological Seminary