Gabriel Marcel

Gabriel Marcel (gäbrēĕl´ märsĕl´) 1889–1973, French philosopher, dramatist, and critic, b. Paris. A leading Christian existentialist, he became a Roman Catholic in 1929. He called himself a "concrete philosopher," indicating a reaction to his early idealism. He saw philosophy not as formulation of a system but rather as a personal reflection on the human situation. He held that the philosopher must be engagé, or personally involved, because existence and the human person are more significant than any abstraction. Involvement must be with other persons. To counter the impersonality of the mechanistic modern world and to recall man to an awareness of the mystery of being, Marcel spoke of the development of the individual in person-to-person dialogue. Human existence finds its earthly satisfaction in a God-centered communion of persons that is characterized by mutual fidelity and hope. His chief works include Metaphysical Journal (1927), Being and Having (1935), The Mystery of Being (1950), Presence and Immortality (1959), and a collection of essays, Philosophy of Existentialism (1961). His best-known plays are Un Homme de Dieu (1925) and Le Chemin de Crete (1936).

See his Tragic Wisdom and Beyond (tr. 1973); studies by S. Cain (1963, repr. 1979), J. B. O'Malley (1967), and K. T. Gallagher (1975).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Gabriel Marcel: Selected full-text books and articles

The Philosophy of Gabriel Marcel By Kenneth T. Gallagher Fordham University Press, 1962
The Mystery of Being By Gabriel Marcel Regnery Publishing, Inc., vol.1, 1950
Awakenings: A Translation of Gabriel Marcel's Autobiography By Gabriel Marcel; Peter S. Rogers Marquette University Press, 2002
Ghostly Mysteries By Gabriel Marcel; Katharine Rose Hanley Marquette University Press, 2004
Marcel: The Playwright Philosopher By Hanley, Katharine Rose Renascence: Essays on Values in Literature, Vol. 55, No. 3, Spring 2003
Philosophy in the Twentieth Century: An Anthology By William Barrett; Henry D. Aiken Random House, vol.3, 1962
Librarian’s tip: "On the Ontological Mystery" by Gabriel Marcel begins on p. 364
The New Orpheus: Essays toward a Christian Poetic By Nathan A. Scott Sheed and Ward, 1964
Librarian’s tip: "The Finality of the Drama" by Gabriel Marcel begins on p. 328
Gabriel Marcel's Catholic Dramaturgy By Michaud, Thomas A Renascence: Essays on Values in Literature, Vol. 55, No. 3, Spring 2003
Aspects of Marcel's Essays By Reed, Teresa I Renascence: Essays on Values in Literature, Vol. 55, No. 3, Spring 2003
Catholic Author, Musician, Philosopher: Gabriel Marcel in Postmodern Dialogue By Bourgeois, Patrick Renascence: Essays on Values in Literature, Vol. 55, No. 3, Spring 2003
Marcel and Phenomenology: Can Literature Help Philosophy? By Sweetman, Brendan Renascence: Essays on Values in Literature, Vol. 55, No. 3, Spring 2003
Crucial Issues in Philosophy: Studies of Current Problems and Leading Philosphers from the Standpoint of Philosophical Idealism By Daniel S. Robinson Christopher Pub. House, 1955
Librarian’s tip: Chap. XXV "Tillich and Marcel: Theistic Existentialists"
The Challenge of Existentialism By John Wild Indiana University Press, 1955
Librarian’s tip: "Gabriel Marcel" begins on p. 167
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