Kindred Spirits takes us inside a remarkable network of Catholic historians, theologians, poets, and activists who pushed against both the far-right surge in interwar Europe and the secularizing tendencies of the leftist movements active in the early to mid-twentieth century. With meticulous attention to the complexity of real lives, Brenna Moore explores how this group sought a middle way anchored in "spiritual friendship"--religiously meaningful friendship understood as uniquely capable of facing social and political challenges.
For this group, spiritual friendship was inseparable from resistance to European xenophobia and nationalism, anti-racist activism in the United States, and solidarity with Muslims during the Algerian War. Friendship, they believed, was a key to both divine and human realms, a means of accessing the transcendent while also engaging with our social and political existence. Some of the figures are still well known--philosopher Jacques Maritain, Nobel Prize laureate Gabriela Mistral, influential Islamicist Louis Massignon, poet of the Harlem renaissance Claude McKay--while others have unjustly faded from memory. Much more than an idealized portrait of a remarkable group of Catholic intellectuals from the past, Kindred Spirits is a compelling exploration of both the beauty and flaws of a vibrant social network worth remembering.