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Simone Weil and the Theo-Poetics of Compassion



Simone Weil's writings suggest that human compassion is divinely revelatory to the extent that interpersonal union and estrangement intensify identically and simultaneously. The relational space of compassionate communion is aporetic; the more attuned one becomes to an afflicted other, the more unreachable this other is seen to be. In her uniquely poetic style of writing, Weil locates perhaps the most intense experience of God directly in the center of this aporia. Compassion between two people—a sufferer and an empathizer—becomes a locus of divine manifestation as it instantiates the (im)possible distance and oneness of Creation, Incarnation, and Cross.