Edited by Bernard E. Doering
With this new volume of the Collected Works of Jacques Maritain, the University of Notre Dame Press is publishing the first English edition of a remarkable group of essays which Maritain prepared for publication in the year before his death. He brings together various writings which had previously not appeared in print or had circulated privately. The heart of the book is to be found in two series of articles.
The first consists of ten philosophical essays. There are essays which deal with truth, with philosophy at the time of Vatican II, and with the divine aseity; two on philosophy of nature dealing with evolution and with animal instinct; and three in moral philosophy.
A second series is made up of mainly theological articles. Four are contributions to what Maritain calls an existential epistemology. They are followed by a moving meditation on the Mass and the Church triumphant.
When he lay dying at Fossanova, Thomas Aquinas, in deference to the wishes of the Cistercians, with whom he had found refuge, wrote a commentary on the Song of Songs. How better could a lifelong Thomist round off his lifetime of writing than with his own essay on the Song of Songs? This is what Maritian does in the serenely profound meditation that closes the volume.