Brenna MooreJan 20, 2022
Friendship and Resistance at the Edges of Modern Catholicism
University of Chicago Press 2021
In Kindred Spirits: Friendship and Resistance at the Edges of Modern Catholicism (University of Chicago Press, 2021), Brenna Moore takes us inside a global network of Catholic historians, theologians, poets, and activists who pushed against both the far-right surge in interwar Europe and the secularizing tendencies of the leftist movements active in the early to mid-twentieth century. With meticulous attention to the complexity of real lives, Brenna Moore explores how this group sought a middle way anchored in “spiritual friendship”—religiously meaningful friendship understood as uniquely capable of facing social and political challenges. Some of the figures are still well-known—philosopher Jacques Maritain, Nobel Prize laureate Gabriela Mistral, influential Islamicist Louis Massignon, poet of the Harlem renaissance Claude McKay—while others have unjustly faded from memory. Friendship, they believed, was a key to both divine and human realms, a means of accessing the transcendent while also engaging with our social and political existence.
Piotr H. Kosicki is Associate Professor of History at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is the author of Catholics on the Barricades (Yale, 2018) and editor, among others, of Political Exile in the Global Twentieth Century (with Wolfram Kaiser).