What was her intellectual legacy? She believed that an account of a person without an account their beliefs is stunted, and devoid of the most interesting part of their life. She was a woman with a rich and vibrant intellectual life, so while an account of her thought is necessary, a full account is beyond the scope of this article.
She left a rich body of writing, but I consider her mysticism very significant. Regarding beauty as the gateway to God, the smile on the face of Christ, is very significant, as it challenges the cold materialist and reductionist philosophy promulgated by the Enlightenment in the eighteenth century and still powerful today. Yes, she is saying,the world has a gateway to knowledge of God. The true, the good and the beautiful are parts of this gateway.and perhaps more than other thinkers she saw and expressed the significance of the beautiful, which is the doorway to the divine.
But she also made a contribution to the Philosophy of Religion, with a cogent account of a Christian response to the problem of what God allows evil. It is thus. As God is an infinite being no other beings can exist where God is, so to create a world God must withdraw somewhat to create a space where the created world can be, an act of kenosis, Greek for emptying. This World must be imperfect, and so evil,which is a product of imperfections, can find a space. Evil is not willed by God, but the possibility of it is an unavoidable product of creation.
She uses the metaphor of a wall. It forms a barrier to communication, but persons on each side can tap out messages. This is so with creation, it is a barrier between humans and God, but human artifice can produce ways of directing the human mind, however inadequate they may be, to cross the barrier. In addition God himself has crossed the abyss between himself and humans by the incarnation, becoming man in Christ Jesus, showing us what God is and humans should be.
Ever political, during her brief period in Britain she produced some writings which tried to sketch out a political future for France after the horrors of Naziism had been defeated. It was a France where social justice thrived, but she did not live to see it.
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