Man's Approach to God was the 5th lecture in the Wimmer Memorial Lecture Series (1947-1970) at Saint Vincent and was given in 1951 by Jacques Maritain. Maritain was one of the most influential figures in the Thomistic revival of the 20th century. Both in his personal life and in his prolific academic corpus, Maritain modeled the Church's commitment to the interrelationship between faith and reason. So seriously did he take his intellectual commitments in his student years that, along with soon-to-be wife, Raissa Oumansoff, he made a suicide pact that he would only break if he could find some meaning to life. This search ultimately led him to Catholicism. Maritain's works reveal an active mind capable of applying his speculative thought to virtually any subject. Every one of his works was an exploration of reason and its limits, and of how faith completes the natural desire to know.
His Wimmer lecture is a model specimen of this approach. Maritain's Man's Approach to God is a three-part lecture. In it, he seeks to explain how man comes to know God existentially, as well as how faith responds to and completes this search for meaning. This lecture grew out of his desire to show that every human being, and not just philosophers, can penetrate into the depths of reality, for all bear within themselves the indelible image of God and are equally called to the communion of "love for God and love for our brothers [as] a single love of charity."