The Very Rich Hours of Jacques Maritain is distinguished philosopher Ralph McInerny’s hymn of praise to the spiritual and intellectual life of the great Catholic philosopher Jacques Maritain (1881–1973). The structure of this work is modeled on the medieval book of hours, making use of the daily offices, from Matins through Compline, to examine each stage of the life of Maritain and his wife, Raïssa. Through this unique blending of biography and meditation, McInerny creates a powerful portrait of the Maritains, one that reveals a model of the intellectual life as lived by Christian believers.
McInerny’s authoritative work provides an interesting and accessible avenue of entry to Maritain’s life and thought. Among the topics McInerny covers are Maritain’s remarkable and diverse set of friends, his involvement in French politics, and the development of his views on the nature and future of democracy, the church, and Catholic intellectual life. By skillfully interweaving Maritain’s philosophy with anecdotes from his life, McInerny demonstrates what distinguished Maritain as a Catholic philosopher and why he is a source of inspiration for McInerny and others of his generation.
“This is the best book about Jacques Maritain in the English language. McInerny provides a standard for Maritain scholarship.” —Jude P. Dougherty, Catholic University of America
“Ralph McInerny has done a great service to the study of Maritain in producing a work that is informative, engaging, and inspiring. No one reading this book can fail to be impressed by the achievements of Maritain or be struck by how apt an author is McInerny to relate them, for he shares in the multifaceted talent of his subject. This book will be read in years to come.” —John Haldane, University of St Andrews
“This marvelous portrait of Jacques Maritain demonstrates why in the 20th century he was a unique role model for intellectuals and artists throughout the world. Amidst the tumultuous events of that century, political, cultural, philosophical, Maritain kept his compass pointing to true north, on sanctity through Christ and the Church. McInerny shows why Maritain ought to remain a model for all with a similar goal now.” —John P. O'Callaghan, University of Notre Dame