Maurice Blondel

1861-1949. French Roman Catholic philosopher. He taught at Aix-en-Provence (1896-1927), and then though blind wrote much in retirement. His resistance to traditional Scholastic theology made him suspect of Modernism, but though associating with some Modernists, he rejected Loisy's* views on history and dogma, and was never condemned. He reached orthodox conclusions by non-Scholastic routes, and gained considerable influence among Catholics. Often obscure, the essence of his position was stated in his doctoral thesis, L'Action. Essai d'une critique de la vie et d'une science de la pratique (1893). Truth cannot be found by intellect alone, but only by the whole of being, including willing and feeling, totally involved in the movement of life. Faith therefore is not accepting dogmas, but is coming to realize the supernatural within human experience, which Blondel tried to show required a goal beyond the natural order (i.e., God). So he offered a “method of immanence” which led compellingly to transcendence-a position quite different from the immanentism for which Modernism was condemned.