Friday, April 28, 2017


So far I have identified a number of works on Weil and the Cathars:

Hanratty, Gerald. "The Cathar Mysticism of Simone Weil." Studies in Gnosticism and in the Philosophy of Religion. Dublin: Four Courts Press, 1997. 117-27. 
This chapter begins with a brief discussion of Weil’s attraction to the Cathars arguing this attraction was to an idealized view as Weil’s knowledge of the movement and their teachings were somewhat limited.   Hanratty suggests Weil was attracted to an attitude among the Cathars that resonated with her own; their view of themselves as standing in opposition and in many ways, superior to the prevailing beliefs and customs of their time.  He goes on to identify some of the heretical aspects of Weil’s thought including her postulation of a universal mystical revelation running through a diverse number of religious teachings and philosophies, her denunciation and rejection of the Hebrew Bible and the God she saw portrayed within it, her fiercely individualistic spirituality and subsequent distrust of the collective dimensions of religion, her privileging of knowledge and subsequently the intellect as the primary mode of access to transcendent truth or reality, her heterodox interpretation of the incarnation and finally her tendency to extreme religious practices, experiences and self-abnegation.  In the second half of the chapter, Hanratty looks at the affinities of Weil’s thought with the teachings of the Cathars, especially her postulation of a gulf between necessity and the good, the ‘small part of the soul’ which allows access to transcendent truth, her view of the incarnation as the mediating event between this radically dualist view of the necessary and the good, and finally her view that personal decreation, the voluntary destruction of the ‘I’ or ego, would lead to the divinization of the individual self.

Lafon, Jean-Marc. "Une Mémoire Disputé? Les Avatars Du Catharisme Albigeois Sous Vichy." Heresis 33 (2000): 79-98. 

Rybakova, Maria. "Two Genders of the Soul: Regarding the Love of God." Arion 16.1 (2008): 119-29.  Rybakova rejects Francine du Plessix Gray's suggestion Simone Weil deliberately adopted 'masculine' clothing in an effort to disguise or deny her gender.  Rybakova  draws on Weil's interest in the Cathars and her interest in the Christian mystical tradition, including her own experience described in the Prologue to argue Weil's view of love calls for a transcendence and not rejection of gender.

Smith, Andrew Philip. The Lost Teachings of the Cathars : Their Beliefs & Practices. London: Watkins, 2015.   See section "Simone Weil" pages 182-184 and page 194.
Veltri, Francesca. La Citta Perduta : Simone Weil e l'universo di Linguadoca. 2nd revised, enhanced and corrected edition ed. Soveria Mannelli: Rubbettino, 2006. 
Zambon, Francesco. "La douleur et le mal dans La Doctrine Cathare et chez Simone Weil." Cahiers Simone Weil 19.1 (1996): 1-17. 

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