In Simone Weil, Maria Clara Bingemer reflects on the life, work, and legacy of an exceptional and enigmatic woman: the philosopher and French Jewish mystic of the same name. It constitutes a testimony so unique that it is impossible to igre. In a Europe where authoritarian regimes were dominant and heading, in a sinister manner, toward WWII, this woman of fragile health but indomitable spirit deunced the contradictions of the capitalist system, the brutality of Nazism, and the paradox of bourgeois thought. At the same time, her spiritual journey was one of zeal and sorrow - that of a true mystic - but her radical intransigence and passion for freedom kept her from fully committing to the institutional church. Curious and insatiable, she wanted to experience, in the flesh, the suff ering of society's least fortunate and the truths of other religions. The reader will need to develop a discerning empathy for Simone Weil's sensibility, beyond her particular passion and zeal, in order to appreciate her in depth. But undeniable are this truly singular woman's authenticity, her capacity to suffer, her identification with the other, her inner passion, and her almost magical perception of the depths of the human spirit. And that is why her story merits being told as that of one of the great witnesses of our age.
Maria Clara Bingemer is Full Professor of Systematic Theology at the Pontificia Universidade Catolica de Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She is the author of A Face for God (2014), among other books. She has written many books and articles on Simone Weil's thought, including the essay 'Affliction and Option for the Poor: Simone Weil and Latin American Liberation Theology' (in R. Rozelle and L. Stone, eds., The Relevance of the Radical: Simone Weil 100 Years Later).