Abstract

The French philosopher Daniel Bensaïd (1946-2010) bequeathed an extensive political and philosophical oeuvre which mixes classical Marxist references with authors like Walter Benjamin and Charles Péguy. Concerned with reconstructing strategic thinking for today's world, he sought inspiration in uncommon places for Marxist thinking, such as medieval religious heresies, Marranism, Messianism and figures like Joan of Arc. The Maid of Orléans, situated halfway between history and legend, was officially turned from heretic to saint and became a French national myth. There has been a host of interpretations and re-appropriations of her. Bensaïd disputes her memory with the French right and the petrified memory of the French Republic, and he sees her as a figure inherent to a transitional period between the end of the Middle Ages and the start of the modern world. She is the emblem of a policy of resistance to an oppressive power, as shown by her steadfastness during her heresy trial. Concealed behind her figure is also a proto-feminist dimension defending the role of women in society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-89
JournalScience and Society
Volume79
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015

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