Maritain, Raïssa Oumansoff

views updated


Author; b. Rostov on the Don, Russia, Sept. 12, 1883; d. Paris, Nov. 4, 1960. To escape persecution of the Jews, the Oumansoff family left Russia for Paris, where Raïssa studied at the Sorbonne. She married Jacques Maritain in 1904, was converted to Catholicism in 1906 under the influence of Léon bloy, and with her husband played an important role in the French Catholic revival. Both in France and in the U.S. (since 1940) she shared Jacques Maritain's lifelong labor to make known to the 20th century the wisdom of St. thomas aquinas. Her works include four volumes of poetry; her memoirs, We Have Been Friends Together (New York 1942) and Adventures in Grace (New York 1945); several books with Jacques Maritain, notably The Situation of Poetry (New York 1955); and (posthumously) Notes on the Lord's Prayer (New York 1964) and Journal de Raïssa (Paris 1963).

Bibliography: D. A. and i. j. gallagher, The Achievement of Jacques and Raïssa Maritain: A Bibliography, 19061961 (Garden City, N.Y. 1962).

[i. j. gallagher]