Simone Weil

Simone Weil (sēmôn´ vīl), 1909–43, French philosopher and mystic. After receiving her baccalauréat with honors at 15, she studied philosophy for four years, then entered (1928) the prestigious École Normale Supérieure, from which she graduated in 1931. She then taught in secondary schools and contributed many articles to socialist and Communist journals. She was active in the Spanish civil war until her health failed. Born into a free-thinking Jewish family, she became strongly attracted in 1940 to Roman Catholicism, believing that Jesus on the Cross was a bridge between God and man. Most of her works, published posthumously, consist of some notebooks and a collection of religious essays. They include, in English, Waiting for God (1951), Gravity and Grace (1952), The Need for Roots (1952), Notebooks (2 vol., 1956), Oppression and Liberty (1958), and Selected Essays, 1934–1943 (1962).

See biographies by J. Cabaud (tr. 1965), R. Rees (1966), S. Petrement (tr. 1976), G. Fiori (1989), and F. du P. Gray (2001); R. Coles, Simone Weil: A Modern Pilgrimage (1987); M. G. Dietz, Between the Human and the Divine: The Political Thought of Simone Weil (1988); bibliography by J. P. Little (1973).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Simone Weil: Selected full-text books and articles

Simone Weil By E. W. F. Tomlin Yale University Press, 1954
Simone Weil as We Knew Her By J. M. Perrin; G. Thibon Routledge, 2003
Oppression and Liberty By Simone Weil Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1958
Gravity and Grace By Simone Weil; Emma Crawford; Mario von der Ruhr Routledge, 2002
Intimations of Christianity among the Ancient Greeks By Simone Weil; Elisabeth Chase Geissbuhler Beacon Press, 1958
Spirit, Nature, and Community: Issues in the Thought of Simone Weil By Diogenes Allen; Eric 0. Springsted State University of New York Press, 1994
Democratic Theory and Technological Society By Richard B. Day; Ronald Beiner; Joseph Masciulli M. E. Sharpe, 1988
Librarian’s tip: "Simone Weil and the Natural Ground for Technological Choice" begins on p. 280
Christianity in Jewish Terms By Tikva Frymer-Kensky; David Novak; Peter Ochs; David Fox Sandmel; Michael A. Signer Westview Press, 2000
Devoured by God: Cannibalism, Mysticism, and Ethics in Simone Weil By Irwin, Alec Cross Currents, Vol. 51, No. 2, Summer 2001
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Simone Weil: A Saint for Our Time? By Becker, Jillian New Criterion, Vol. 20, No. 7, March 2002
The Feminist Encyclopedia of French Literature By Eva Martin Sartori; Colette H. Winn; Perry Gethner; Samia I. Spencer; Juliette Parnell-Smith; Mary Rice-DeFosse; Susan Ireland; Patrice J. Proulx Greenwood Press, 1999
Librarian’s tip: "Simone Weil" p. 554
Catholic Women Writers: A Bio-Bibliographical Sourcebook By Mary R. Reichardt Greenwood Press, 2001
Librarian’s tip: "Simone Weil (1909¿1943)" begins on p. 394
Encyclopedia of the Essay By Tracy Chevalier Fitzroy Dearborn, 1997
Librarian’s tip: "Simone Weil" p. 887
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