University of Oxford
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Interview with Paul Blanquart

posted on 2021-03-11, 09:45 authored by Robert GildeaRobert Gildea
Blanquart, Paul
Dominican / Algerian War/ Third World Revolution / Comités d’Action

Born 19 June 1934 in Lille suburb of Templemars, but moved to Lyon during German Occupation. Modest parents - father delivered for wine merchant, then clerk, then commercial traveller; mother a seamstress. Both democratic Christian and Marxist traditions in the family.

Lycée Faidherbe of Lille, then Lycées Louis-le-Grand and Henri IV in Paris after 1953. Attended École Normale Supérieure de Saint-Cloud, took degree in history-geography at Sorbonne. Became Dominican in 1956, after and because of Papal condemnation of their worker-priests and associated Dominican preachers. Ordained 1964.

Political Apprenticeship
Radicalised by Algerian War. Wanted to draft-dodge but persuaded not to his superiors. Served but refused to become an officer or NCO, and set up a school in the bush. Member of Union National des Étudiants Français (UNEF) and Parti Socialiste Unifié (PSU). Tiers-mondiste, inspired by Latin American revolutions. Attended Congress of Intellectuals in Cuba Jan. 1968 and contributed with other Latin American priests to Castro’s closing speech.

Gave lecture on ‘Christianity and Revolution’ March 1968. Issued an ‘Appeal to Christians’ ON 21 May 1968 to get them politically involved. Comité d’Action of 13th arrondissement collecting for striking Panhard factory.

post 1968
Invited to Poland 1969 but did not find it a paradise of Catholicism and socialism. Lecturer at Institut Catholique de Paris till 1973, then journalism – Politique hebdo, Revue politique. Taught sociology at University of Paris/Val-de-Marne. Lectured at Beaubourg Centre de Création industrielle.

En bâtardise. Itinéraires d’un Chrétien marxiste, 1967-1980 (Paris, Karthala, 1981).


Around 1968: Activism, Networks, Trajectories

Arts and Humanities Research Council

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Date of interview


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Name of activist

Paul Blanquart

Activist date of birth


Activist Gender

  • Male

Activist nationality


Name of interviewer

Robert Gildea

Name of transcriber

Nora Khayi