Henry Leroy Finch taught philosophy at Hunter College. He was one of the founders of the Simone Weil Society and for 18 years chaired the Columbia Faculty Seminar on Religion. This posthumous collection of his essays on Simone Weil, edited by Martin Andic, celebrate the French thinker, mystic, and social critic (1909-1943), who has been called "a saint of the intellect."
Finch suggests that Simone Weil's best epitaph might be the dying words of the cleric in Diary of a Country Priest by Georges Bernanos: "Grace is everywhere." This French mystic found signs of God's presence in mathematics, beauty, and affliction. She believed that the Creator's absence from the world was the perfect expression of His love an idea that Finch also unravels in Kabbalistic thought. In place of narrow nationalism, Weil substituted a patriotism based on freedom and justice for all peoples. Although she loved Jesus Christ, this ardent believer rejected membership in the Catholic Church and was critical of the indifference and exclusivity of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.
Finch's erudite essays on Simone Weil's religious purview are peppered with insights into difficult philosophical subjects such as truth, justice, purity, and intellectual honesty. They serve as a fine introduction to the complexity of her unique spirituality.