Renaissance Humanism, the Protestant Reformation, and Jacques Maritain | Dominican University College


Friday, October 27, 2017 - 09:00 to Saturday, October 28, 2017 - 16:00
Dominican University College, 96 Empress Avenue, Ottawa, ON


Renaissance Humanism, the Protestant Reformation, and Jacques Maritain

Canadian Jacques Maritain Association 
Annual Symposium

Friday, October 27 and Saturday, October 28, 2017
Dominican University College, 96 Empress Ave., Ottawa, Canada


Acknowledging 2017 as the 500th anniversary of the year which marks the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, it is appropriate that we consider Jacques Maritain’s views concerning the Renaissance and Reformation as a pivotal period in history. For Maritain, this period introduces the turn toward the individual and the subsequent emergence of anthropocentric humanism, whereby humanity turns inward for nourishment sustaining growth toward maturity.

While applauding the march toward greater autonomy within the secular sphere, Maritain remained consistently adamant in his critique of the Renaissance and Reformation as harbingers of a modernity which would derail authentic progress. Maritain contends that the Renaissance and Reformation fostered egocentrism and greed, leading to liberal bourgeois society with its fixation on consumption, and inevitably to the totalitarian nightmares of the previous century. Maritain proposes a theocentric, other focused humanism, which recognizes each human person as the image of God, endowed with inalienable rights and attaining personhood through friendship and loving relationships in community.

Papers are welcome considering Maritain’s treatment of the period from his famous/infamous sketch of Martin Luther in Three Reformers (1925) to his words on the Protestant denominations in his post Second Vatican Council contribution, On the Church of Christ (1970). Maritain’s reflections on the Renaissance and Reformation can be gleaned from Freedom in the Modern World (1933), Integral Humanism (1936), his often neglected Moral Philosophy (1960), and shorter pieces. We welcome examination and evaluation of any material from Maritain’s corpus contributing to his understanding of the Renaissance and Reformation in relation to subsequent historical, political, economic, philosophical and theological developments. 

Conference schedule