18 May 2010

The Peasant of the Garonne

I've finished up my second written presentation for my Church History class. Tomorrow, in the last session of this class, we arrive at the 20th century, and my fellow students will be subjected to the following presentation:

The Peasant of the Garonne by Jacques Maritain was written in 1966, within months of the close of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65).

The title is a reference to the Peasant of the Danube, a fable written by the 17th century French poet Jean de la Fontaine (1621-1695), in which a rustic German peasant travels to Rome and speaks quite bluntly to the Senate about the injustices which he and his people suffer at the hands of Rome. Since Maritain lived at Toulouse on the Garonne River in France, he calls himself a peasant of the Garonne, meaning that he intends to put his foot into his mouth, as he says, or to call a spade a spade in speaking about some of the problems of the present time. What follow therefore are the usually insightful if sometimes rambling critiques of an octogenarian who speaks his mind bluntly about some of the problems that he sees in the Church in the immediate aftermath of Vatican II... Read more.

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