Creative Fidelity

Creative Fidelity

Creative Fidelity

Creative Fidelity

Synopsis

These lectures and essays were regarded by Marcel as the best introduction to his thought. Creative Fidelity not only deals with perennial themes of faith, fidelity, belief, incarnate being, and participation, but also includes chapters on religious tolerance and orthodoxy and an important critical essay on Karl Jaspers.

Excerpt

“I must somehow make room for the other in myself” (p. 88).

Creative Fidelity has always been my favorite book by Marcel. He seldom keeps me fully focused and excited for several pages or even paragraphs at a time, so rambling is his style. But again and again, while I’m trying to figure out how he got from there to here, there bursts upon me a sentence or a paragraph so illuminating that my impatience vanishes. “Yes, of course,” I say to myself. “It is so obvious, but not for that reason all that easy to notice without so skillful a guide. This is phenomenology’s ‘to the things themselves,’ not as a slogan but as a deed and a gift.”

My love of this text focuses around what I take to be its central theme: intersubjectivity. It doesn’t seem to matter what Marcel chooses to talk about; the next thing you know he is reflecting on some dimension of my relation to the Other (the self, the person, the thou with whom I find myself engaged). He might be trying to articulate the concreteness of experience over against idealisms of the cogito or empiricisms of sense data; or he might be talking about our situated finitude, especially in relation to the body; or the topic might be death, or time, or the relation of being to beings, or proofs of the . . .

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