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Without Passport

The Life and Work of Paul Richard


Michel Paul Richard

Without Passport is the intimate portrait of a French intellectual whose memoirs span the period 1874 to 1919. The details of his childhood are followed by an account of his military service in Tunisia. Then seminary training and an active street ministry in Lille, lead him into conflict with the Church. With him we visit Devil's Island as it was in 1905, observe his brief career as an attorney in the Paris Court of Appeals, and follow him to India and Japan in the company of Mira Alfassa who later founded the largest spiritual community (Auroville) in India. Along the way we encounter other prominent figures in the colonial independence movement, including Abdul Baha, Aurobindo Ghose, Rabindranath Tagore, and Mitsuru Toyama. Then, a severe personal crisis followed by a new life in the United States, where his most influential book, entitled The Scourge of Christ, was published in 1929. It is a good counterpoint to the adventures described in Without Passport, because it enables us to share his spiritual voyage as well.