Étienne Gilson (1884-1978) was a French philosopher and historian of philosophy, as well as a scholar of medieval philosophy. In 1946 he attained the distinction of being elected an "Immortal" (member) of the Académie française.
This major biography of Gilson was first published in France in 2018, and now arrives in a long-anticipated English translation. Florian Michel traces Gilson’s life through his time as a professor at the College de France and member of the French Academy. Gilson was a prisoner of war in Germany, was one of the first to describe the horrors of the famine in Ukraine (1922), created an institute of medieval studies in Toronto, published hundreds of articles in the French daily press and took part in the founding conferences of the United Nations.He was neither for Sartre nor for Aron, and advocated, when the NATO agreements were signed, the neutrality and non-alignment of Europe. Gilson did not hesitate to engage in quarrels with the bishops and allows us to understand how one passes from a critical modernism before the First World War to a liberal Thomism and to the Vatican Council II.
James G. Colbert, who translated Gilson’s The Metamorphosis of the City of God, offers a careful and measured translation to bring this important work to an English speaking audience.
"Florian Michel's welcome book offers a wider perspective on Gilson…his presentation of Gilson as a political thinker and activist is certainly one of the most valuable elements in a valuable book."~Times Literary Supplement