Dorothy Day (1 897-1980), American organizer of the Catholic Worker movement, is a heroic figure among peace and social justice activists. Simone Weil(1909 -1943), French mystic and philosopher, is celebrated in intellectual circles. Both women trained their attention on a liberating vision of work and were unsparing in their critique of war. Both adopted Catholicism as the home that best reflected their spiritual aspirations. The interplay of radicalism and religion was the compelling feature of their lives. As political activists and spiritual innovators, Day and Weil framed the challenges of their generation in unorthodox ways. Their encounters with suffering and injustice led them to stretch the fabric of political thought to include human experience on an intimate level. This paper is a case study of how two extraordinary twentieth-century women, politically rebellious yet religiously obedient, responded to their times.
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