Jacques Maritain Center

Jacques Maritain

Geoffrey Bles: The Centenary Press
37 Essex Street, Strand


This essay is the development of a lecture given in Paris on February 5th, 1938, at the Théâtre des Ambassadors, under the auspices of the Groupes Chrétienté, and afterwards delivered by the author, with some additions which new events required, in New York, on December 14th, 1938, at the Cosmopolitan Club, under the auspices of the National Conference of Jews and Christians.

I am indebted to Mr. A. S. Oko, Dr. Emmanuel Chapman, Dr. Harry McNeill and Mr. Geoffrey Bles, for the revision they have made of the English text, and I here express my sincere gratitude to them, as well as to the publishers, who have been kind enough to publish this small book, revised and augmented according to a situation which is still in a state of flux.

Paris, April 5, 1939.


In this short essay I propose to deal with the Jewish question and the situation of the Jews in the world of to-day. I shall treat this vast and distressing topic, conscious of my own inadequacy, but at least with all the insight which my reason and my faith can convey, and I shall treat it with that spirit of independence which we are determined to defend as our most valuable possession.

I shall speak first of special problems, arising from the situation of certain countries, out of which antisemitism is making capital; then of the dispersion of Israel in its divine significance, and at the same time, of the problem of antisemitism considered in its spiritual essence.

In a third section I shall deal briefly with factual questions of particularly grave urgency, that is to say, of the tragic situation in which the Jews at present find themselves in certain parts of Europe.

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