Marcel eschews being systematic, relying rather on reflection on everyday events, as emerges from the Metaphysical Diary, which appeared in 1927
Gabriel Marcel (right). (Photo supplied)
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Gabriel Marcel, perhaps the most important philosophical exponent of contemporary Christian existentialism.
Although employed for many years in various universities, where he taught philosophy, he nevertheless devoted much of his energies and interests to the fields of literature and theater.
Gabriel Marcel was born in Paris on December 7, 1889. His thought was strongly influenced by authors belonging to very different philosophical schools, such as Léon Brunschvicg, Henri Bergson, Friedrich Schelling (the subject of his doctoral dissertation), Martin Heidegger and Karl Jaspers.
He takes up these authors in a very personal synthesis, and is interested above all in investigating the role that intuition plays in the knowledge and detection of values in the subject’s life, caught up in tragedy and evil.
His output was strongly influenced by a religious dimension, which provides inspiration for reason and allows for the discovery of meaning in the dramatic nature of existence.
For this reason, Marcel eschews being systematic, relying rather on reflection on everyday events, as emerges from the Metaphysical Diary, which appeared in 1927 (the second part would be incorporated into the 1935 work Being and Having), which is also a testimony to his spiritual journey that would lead him to convert to Catholicism in 1929.
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This article is brought to you by UCA News in association with "La Civiltà Cattolica."
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