Simone Weil

(French, 1909–1943)
  • Lissa McCullough
Part of the Radical Theologies and Philosophies book series (RADT)


The philosopher and religious thinker Simone Weil is one of the most radical theological thinkers of the mid-twentieth century. Weil’s thinking of God is radical at core because her conception of the act of creation dissents from every established Christian tradition: Weil posits that God must contract God’s power for something to exist as other than God. God cannot therefore create out of infinite power, but only by electing powerlessness, relinquishing power, becoming Dieu impuissant (i.e., weak or powerless God). This chapter revises her legacy and places her thought within the radical theological tradition.

Primary Works

  1. Weil, Simone. 1956. The Notebooks of Simone Weil. 2 vols. Trans. A. Wills. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  2. ———. 1957. Intimations of Christianity Among the Ancient Greeks. Ed. and Trans. E. Geissbühler. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  3. ———. 1962. Selected Essays: 1934–1943. Trans. R. Rees. London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  4. ———. 1968. On Science, Necessity, and the Love of God. Trans. R. Rees. London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  5. ———. 1970. First and Last Notebooks. Trans. R. Rees. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  6. ———. 1971. The Need for Roots. Trans. A. Wills. New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  7. ———. 1973. Waiting for God. Trans. E. Craufurd. New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  8. ———. 1977. The Simone Weil Reader. Ed. G. Panichas. Mt. Kisco, NY: Moyer Bell.Google Scholar
  9. ———. 1988–2006. Oeuvres complètes. 16 vols. Eds. A. Devaux and F. de Lussy. Paris: Gallimard.Google Scholar
  10. ———. 2004. Gravity and Grace. Trans. E. Crawford and M. von der Ruhr. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar

Works Cited

  1. Goldschläger, Alain. 1982. Simone Weil et Spinoza: Essai d’interprétation. Sherbrooke, Quebec: Éditions Naaman.Google Scholar
  2. McCullough, Lissa. 2014. The Religious Philosophy of Simone Weil. London: I. B. Tauris.Google Scholar
  3. McLellan, David. 1990. Utopian Pessimist: The Life and Thought of Simone Weil. New York: Poseidon.Google Scholar
  4. Ottensmeyer, Hilary. 1958. Le thème de l’amour dans l’oeuvre de Simone Weil. Paris: Lettres Modernes.Google Scholar
  5. Pétrement, Simone. 1976. Simone Weil: A Life. Trans. Raymond Rosenthal. New York: Pantheon.Google Scholar
  6. Ricciardi, Alessia. 2009. From Decreation to Bare Life: Weil, Agamben, and the Impolitical. Diacritics 39 (2): 75–84, 86–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Rozelle-Stone, A. Rebecca. 2017. Simone Weil and Continental Philosophy. London: Rowman & Littlefield International.Google Scholar
  8. Rozelle-Stone, Rebecca A., and Lucian Stone. 2013. Simone Weil and Theology. New York: Bloomsbury T & T Clark.Google Scholar
  9. Vetö, Miklos. 1994. The Religious Metaphysics of Simone Weil. Trans. Joan Dargan. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  10. Yourgrau, Palle. 2011. Simone Weil. London: Reaktion.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lissa McCullough
    • 1
  1. 1.California State University, Dominguez HillsCarsonUSA

Personalised recommendations