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Antonin Sertillanges

Antonin Sertillanges

French philosopher
Antonin Sertillanges
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro French philosopher
Was Religious scholar Philosopher Theologian Cleric
From France
Type Religion Philosophy
Gender male
Birth 16 November 1863, Clermont-Ferrand
Death 26 July 1948, Sallanches (aged 84 years)
The details


Antonin-Gilbert Sertillanges, O.P. (French: [sɛʁtijɑ̃ʒ]; 16 November 1863 – 26 July 1948), was a French Catholic philosopher and spiritual writer.


Born Antonin-Dalmace, he took the name Antonin-Gilbert when he entered the Dominican order. In 1893 he founded the Revue Thomiste and later became professor of moral philosophy at the Institut Catholique de Paris. Henri Daniel-Rops wrote that it was rumored that President Raymond Poincaré asked Léon-Adolphe Cardinal Amette, Archbishop of Paris, for a reply to Pope Benedict XV's peace proposals, and that Amette passed the request along to Sertillanges; in any event, Amette gave his imprimatur to this reply on 5 December 1917, five days before it was made public. In The Heroic Life, Sertillanges had defended Benedict's attitude toward peace, but in "The French Peace", Sertillanges said, "Most Holy Father, we cannot for an instant entertain your appeals for peace."

His scholarly work was concerned with the moral theory of Thomas Aquinas. In the English-speaking world, he is best known for two non-specialist works. The Intellectual Life is a practical guide for how to structure one's life so as to make progress as a scholar. What Jesus Saw from the Cross is a spiritual work that drew upon the time Sertillanges spent living in Jerusalem. Certain of Sertillanges' works are concerned with political theory, with French identity and the structure of the traditional French family.


  • (1899). L'Art et la Morale.
  • (1903). Nos Luttes.
  • (1904). La Politique Chrétienne.
  • (1908). Agnosticisme ou Anthropomorphisme.
  • (1910). Saint Thomas d'Aquin (2 volumes).
  • (1919). Paroles Françaises.
  • (1928). Les Idées et les Jours: propos de Senex (2 volumes).
  • (1930). L'Orateur Chrétien: Traité de Prédication.
  • (1934). La Vie Intellectuelle, son Esprit, ses Conditions, ses Méthodes.
  • (1941). Hommes, mes Frères.
  • (1939-1941) Le Christianisme et les Philosophies (2 volumes).
  • (1941-1942) Catéchisme des Incroyants (2 volumes).
  • (1941). Blaise Pascal.
  • (1941). Henri Bergson et le Catholicisme.
  • (1941). Avec Henri Bergson.
  • (1943). La Vie Française.
  • (1944). La Philosophie de Claude Bernard.
  • (1945). L'Idée de Création et ses Retentissements en Philosophie.
  • (1946). Les Fins Humaines.
  • (1946). La Philosophie des Lois.
  • (1948). Le Problème du Mal (2 volumes).
  • (1948-1949). Le Pensionnat de Godefroy-de-Bouillon de Clermont-Ferrand, 1849-1945.
  • (1962). La Philosophie Morale de Saint Thomas D'Aquin.
  • (1963). De la Mort, Pensées Inédites de A.-D. Sertillanges.
  • (1965). Regards sur le Monde.
  • (1965). L'Univers et l'Âme.


Works in English translation

  • (1908). Christ Among Men: or, Characteristics of Jesus, as Seen in the Gospel, London: R. & T. Washbourne.
  • (1922). The Church, London: Burns, Oates & Washbourne.
  • (1931). Foundations of Thomistic Philosophy, London: Sands & Co. Reprinted by Templegate, 1956.
  • (1933). Saint Thomas Aquinas and His Work, London: Burns, Oates & Washbourne. Reprinted by Blackfriars, 1957.
  • (1948). The Intellectual Life: Its Spirit, Conditions, Methods, The Newman Press. Reprinted by the Catholic University of America Press, 1987.
  • (1948). What Jesus Saw from the Cross, Dublin: Clonmore & Reynolds. Reprinted by the Sophia Institute Press, 1996.
  • (1950). Recollection, McMullen Books.
  • (1952). Kinships, McMullen Books.
  • (1953). Rectitude, McMullen Books.
  • (1954). Spirituality, McMullen Books.
  • (1976). Jesus: He is the Unspeakable of Whom Men are Forever Speaking, Dimension Books.
  • (1998). Walking with Jesus in the Holy Land, Sophia Institute Press.

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