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Marcel, Gabriel (1889–1973)

Subject Religion

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631198963.2005.x


French existentialist philosopher and playwright. A convert to Catholicism, he was influenced in the development of his existentialist theories by his wartime experience as a Red Cross official. He was preoccupied with the phenomenon of existential malaise in modern society, and with the onward march of technology, which he saw as a threat to man's dignity in assigning him a purely functional role in the tableau of history. Unlike existentialists such as J.-P. Sartre, he argued that man is a transcendent being and his existence cannot be reduced to the merely abstract and impersonal. His theories found dramatic expression in his plays; his theoretical works include The Philosophy of Existence (1949), Mystery of Being (Gifford Lectures, 1949–50), Homo Viator: Introduction to a Philosophy of Hope (1951) and The Existential Background of Human Dignity (1963). 1972 : An Existential Approach to God: A Study of Gabriel Marcel . The Hague . 1984 : The Philosophy of Gabriel Marcel . La Salle, Ill . ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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