Paul Claudel (1868-1955) is the silver monument of our french litterature. The fact is that we don't really know him as a christian writer. It is a big dark shame, because religious thoughts are a part of his best work. goldy writings, very strong pieces of work. But we have to admit that Paul Claudel was quite limited sometimes... Flabby opinions about oriental religions...
Actually, Paul Claudel was strongly catholic, and wasn't really able to see that the truth can sometimes be reflected on other spiritual grounds. he frequently spit venom on the face of protestantism.
Paul Claudel, intolerant catholic believer
Claudel was really unfair... quite lazy sometimes. His spiritual commitment often blinds his conscience. One day, in his "Journal", he wrote that he disliked protestant people like a lot of people hate the jews. He disliked them so much that he was sometimes physically discomforted in front of them. He wrote it without any shame. He wrote that protestant are blind people, because they want to be blind. English church is a "sow"... He says that Luther's writings are a kind of "Mein Kampf"...
Because protestant people rejected catholicism, they falled in a metaphysic empty wall... and Orthodox christians are in the same sheet.
Hindouism is a "solvent" spirituality, a kind of "incestuous pantheism"! Claudel hates islam too, but he really don't know anything about this religion. One or too exceptions: he was kind with the japanese shintoïsm and the chinese taoïsm.
Do we have to read Paul Claudel?
As a catholic thinker, maybe not... but his other writings, artistic writings, are universal. Here, we have to be curious about him. In France, he is celebrated as one of our better artists... concerning theatre.
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Stupid question, but we need to answer to that big issue.
The good old days... When french theologians like Henri de Lubac, Yves Congar or Daniélou were able to magnetize christian thinkers, from all over the world. This time is over.
Father Antoine Moussali was a catholic thinker from Lebanon. He wrote a lot about Islam. And he was quite severe...
Nowadays, religious knowledge is merely insignifiant. Occidental populations prefer being captured by technological stuff.
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