Simone Weil was one of the most original philosophers and political thinkers of the twentieth century. During her life her writings were almost unknown beyond a few close friends, only after her death at the age of thirty four did her work reach a wider audience, including Pope John XXIII, Pope Paul VI, Simone de Beauvoir, Leon Trotsky and Iris Murdoch.Weil was born in 1909 to non-practicing Jewish parents and was an agnostic until her late twenties when she became a Christian. She had a refreshing creativity and a rare ability to confront theological complacencies. As well as writing on suffering she also wrote about the nature of God, the nature of work and the importance of improving conditions for factory workers, and about our duty towards our community. She could get to the heart of some key philosophical, theological and ethical issues, many of which are as important today as they were in her own time.Here, Stephen Plant makes Weil's often complex and challenging thought accessible to a wide audience. He sketches a few of the central themes of Weil's thought, gives the reader a feeling for the breadth of her work and provides short extracts from her writings.
This revised and expanded edition is an ideal introduction to Weil for both students and the general reader.
Dr Stephen Plant is a Methodist minister and is Director of Studies at Wesley House, Cambridge. He teaches courses in theology, ethics and political theology and is the author of Bonhoeffer (Continuum, 2004).