As Christina Howells notes in ‘Sartre and Negative Theology’, it is easily assumed that Sartre was ‘a God-haunted or Spirit-haunted atheist, one haunted if not by the god of Christianity then at least by the god of idealism’.1 Sartre himself, as the above epigraph suggests, was all too aware of the spectre of idealism that haunted—or better, tainted—his early philosophical endeavours.
It is said that Sartre maintained a certain opposition to post-structuralism, for which his focus on a dialectical understanding of historical praxis is considered evidence. Yet he rarely discussed post-structuralism, nor engaged it in debate; which is odd, since it formed part of his philosophical milieu. After all, he took on Marxism and Christianity. But to debate post-structuralism would mean addressing its view of the world, thereby assuming it actually had one. Perhaps he saw that to address it as an ideology, a view of the world, rather than a critique of discursivity itself, would be to transform it into what it was not, against itself.
Catholics and the Formation of Postcolonial Identity in Algeria
As French officials negotiated the terms of Algerian independence with the Provisional Government of the Republic of Algeria (GPRA) in 1961–62, among the issues discussed was the future of the Christian population. After colonial occupation and armed struggle, in which the defense of “Christian civilization” in Algeria had been a major ideological justification for French violence against the Algerian population, the future of Christianity in postcolonial Algeria was not self-evident. This article examines how European Catholics negotiated their position in post-independence Algeria. I demonstrate that Catholic attempts to “become Algerian” and decolonize the Church were intertwined with global religious politics, economic necessities, and colonial history. Yet their continued presence in Algeria demonstrates that the standard narratives of postcolonial rupture between the European and Algerian populations do not hold up, for, in the early years of post-independence Algeria, European Catholics played an active role in the construction of the postcolonial nation.
New and Renewed Perspectives
The general picture drawn by Michael Marrus and Robert Paxton nearly forty years ago of the Vichy government’s state antisemitism has stood the test of time and has been reinforced. If an element of revisionism is called for, it is with respect to the role played by some figures within the Catholic hierarchy, especially Pierre-Marie Gerlier, the cardinal archbishop of Lyon. A still more detailed knowledge of Jewish rescue has been built up, which confirms the special position of Le Chambon and the Plateau Vivarais. And yet recent work also shows more clearly that what happened there was integrally part of a much wider story of rescue. The debate between Jacques Semelin, on the one hand, and Marrus and Paxton, on the other, over whether the fate of the Jews in France in 1940–1944 was shaped more by indifference than by consciously held antisemitism raises questions relating to both the history of Christianity and twentieth-century modernity.
The conceptual history of 'economic development' is often told as a US-centered story. The United States, according to the standard account, turned to economic development as a tool in its struggle for global dominance during the Cold War. In line with recent research, this article demonstrates that the post-World War II boom in economic development had European origins as well, and that it originated as a joint response to the Cold War and to the unraveling of European empires. In particular, emphasis is placed on the little-studied contribution of a French Catholic activist who helped redefine economic development in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The Dominican Father Louis-Joseph Lebret stood at the head of an influential movement, which conceived of economic development as a way to save both France and Christianity in a moment of crisis for the French empire and for the Roman Catholic Church. In his writings, Lebret bestowed renewed legitimacy on the French 'civilizing mission.' He also revived elements of interwar Catholic thought to argue for the imperative of building a new moral-economic order that was neither communist nor capitalist. Far from a marginal historical actor, this theorist-practitioner was successful in his efforts, and gained followers for his vision of economic development in France, in Vatican City, at the United Nations, and in various former colonized countries.
Naomi J. Andrews, Simon Jackson, Jessica Wardhaugh, Shannon Fogg, Jessica Lynne Pearson, Elizabeth Campbell, Laura Levine Frader, Joshua Cole, Elizabeth A. Foster, and Owen White
Silyane Larcher, L’Autre Citoyen: L’idéal républicain et les Antilles après l’esclavage (Paris: Armand Colin, 2014).
Elizabeth Heath, Wine, Sugar, and the Making of Modern France: Global Economic Crisis and the Racialization of French Citizenship, 1870–1910 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014).
Rebecca Scales, Radio and the Politics of Sound in Interwar France, 1921–1939 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016).
Claire Zalc, Dénaturalisés: Les retraits de nationalité sous Vichy (Paris: Éditions du Seuil, 2016).
Bertram M. Gordon, War Tourism: Second World War France from Defeat and Occupation to the Creation of Heritage (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2018).
Shannon L. Fogg, Stealing Home: Looting, Restitution, and Reconstructing Jewish Lives in France, 1942–1947 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017).
Sarah Fishman, From Vichy to the Sexual Revolution: Gender and Family Life in Postwar France (New York: Oxford University Press, 2017).
Frederick Cooper, Citizenship between Empire and Nation: Remaking France and French Africa, 1945–1960 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2014).
Jessica Lynne Pearson, The Colonial Politics of Global Health: France and the United Nations in Postwar Africa (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2018).
Darcie Fontaine, Decolonizing Christianity: Religion and the End of Empire in France and Algeria (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2016).
John H. Gillespie, Marcos Norris, and Nik Farrell Fox
to outline his theological inheritance, beginning with a short biographical introduction which outlines his early rejection of Christianity, in reaction to the problem of evil, in favour of personal freedom. The interrelation between theology
Can Being-for-itself Avoid Bad Faith?
Ronald E. Santoni
that Sartre says about conversion and the possibility of deliverance (another term used in Christianity!) from bad faith to authenticity, authenticity can never be solidified as a permanent mode of being for human reality, because our free
John H. Gillespie
values without theology. The Death of God seems to entail the death of values, and of morality, and lead to nihilism. Nietzsche’s use of the term is not purely descriptive. It is part of his campaign against Christianity and its enfeebling force so
Workers, Colonial Subjects, and the Affective Politics of French Romantic Socialism
Naomi J. Andrews
sharply from the rights-based, individualistic claims to citizenship of the eighteenth century. Romantic socialism, like humanitarianism, made use of moral rather than legalistic reasoning, drawing on Christianity for its arguments on behalf of humanity