La critique du nationalisme de la "Semaine Sociale de Bordeaux" à la "Lutte pour la civilisation et la philosophie de la paix"

Translated title of the contribution: The critique of nationalism of the "Social Week of Bordeaux" in the "struggle for civilization and philosophy of peace"

Michael Sutton

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputChapter


Over a long period the philosopher, Maurice Blondel, was an outspoken critic of exaggerated nationalism. The series of articles that appeared in 1909-10 in the Annales de philosophie chrétienne under the title of « La Semaine sociale de Bordeaux », and later were published in book form, contained a philosophically and theologically motivated critique of the early support shown by French Catholics for the doctrinaire nationalism of Charles Maurras. In 1928 Blondel returned to a critique of this same nationalism in his detailed article « Patrie et Humanité ». But the further criticism of nationalism contained in parts of his book Lutte pour la civilisation et philosophie de la paix, which was published in 1939 (and anew in 1947 in a slightly revised edition), was of a different order, being focused on the nationalism associated with what Blondel termed totalitarisme in its then German or Nazi form. Despite this record, it would be a mistake to assume that Blondel was an internationalist fitting clearly into the Briand mould. After the First World War Blondel favoured the hard-line foreign policy advocated by Poincaré and Foch, in particular over the future of the Rhineland. And he remained a conservative Catholic. His book of 1939 denounced not only totalitarisme in both its Nazi and Soviet forms, but also, on an opposing front, liberalism in the social and economic sphere. As to the deleterious effect of nationalism on international relations, he was an advocate of strengthening international law, notably the corpus of law emanating from The Hague. Maurice Blondel was greatly admired by Robert Schuman, the prominent French foreign minister under the Fourth Republic and a key figure for post-war European integration.
Translated title of the contributionThe critique of nationalism of the "Social Week of Bordeaux" in the "struggle for civilization and philosophy of peace"
Original languageFrench
Title of host publicationMaurice Blondel
Subtitle of host publicationdignité du politique et philosophie de l’action
EditorsMarie-Jeanne Coutagne, Pierre de Cointet
PublisherEdition Parole et Silence
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9782845734227
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jun 2006


  • Maurice Blondel
  • nationalism
  • French Catholics
  • e doctrinaire nationalism
  • Charles Maurras
  • criticism
  • totalitarisme
  • Nazi
  • internationalist
  • hard-line foreign policy
  • conservative
  • Soviet
  • liberalism
  • international relations
  • international law
  • The Hague
  • Fourth Republic
  • post-war European integration


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