Gabriel Marcel 

(1889 - 8 Oct. 1973)

Christian Existentialism

Bibliography: complete
Philosophy Research Base
Stanford Encyclopedia
HRC Research
Biographical Sketch
Philosophy of Gabriel Marcel: Vol. 17


"...Existentialism stands to-day at a parting of the ways: it is, in the last analysis, obliged either to deny or to transcend itself. It denies itself quite simply when it falls to the level of infra-dialectical materialism. It transcends itself, or it tends to transcend itself, when it opens itself out to the experience of the suprahuman, an experience which can hardly be ours in a genuine and lasting way this side of death, but of which the reality is attested by mystics, and of which the possibility is warranted by any philosophy which refuses to be immured in the postulate of absolute immanence or to subscribe in advance to the denial of the beyond and of the unique and veritable transcendence. Not that there is anything in this which, in our itinerant condition, we can invest like capital; this absolute life can be apprehended by us only in flashes and by virtue of a hidden initiative which can be nothing other than grace."

"Being is — or should be — necessary. It is impossible that everything should be reduced to a play of successive appearances which are inconsistent with each other… or, in the words of Shakespeare, to 'a tale told by an idiot.' I aspire to participate in this being, in this reality — and perhaps this aspiration is already a degree of participation, however rudimentary." (Marcel, Philosophy of Existentialism. 1995, 15)



Select Bibliography

  • 1949, Being and Having. Translated by Katharine Farrer. Westminster, UK: Dacre Press.
  • 1951a, The Mystery of Being, vol.1, Reflection and Mystery. Translated by G. S. Fraser. London: The Harvill Press.
  • 1951b, The Mystery of Being, vol.2, Faith and Reality. Translated by René Hague. London: The Harvill Press.
  • 1952, Metaphysical Journal. Translated by Bernard Wall. London: Rockliff.
  • 1962a, Homo Viator: Introduction to a Metaphysic of Hope. Translated by Emma Crawford. New York: Harper Torchbooks.
  • 1962b, Man Against Mass Society. Translated by G. S. Fraser. Chicago: Henry Regnery Company.
  • 1963, The Existential Background of Human Dignity. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
  • 1964, Creative Fidelity. Translated, with an introduction, by Robert Rosthal. New York: Farrar, Strauss and Company.
  • 1965, Philosophical Fragments 1909-1914 and the Philosopher and Peace. With an introduction by Lionel A. Blain. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press.
  • 1967, Presence and Immortality. Translated by Michael A. Machado. Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press.
  • 1973, Tragic Wisdom and Beyond. Translated by Stephen Jolin and Peter McCormick. Publication of the Northwestern University Studies in Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy, ed. John Wild. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press.
  • 1984, “An Autobiographical Essay.” In The Philosophy of Gabriel Marcel. Translated by Forrest Williams. The Library of Living Philosophers, vol. 17. La Salle, IL: Open Court.
  • 1995, The Philosophy of Existentialism. Translated by Manya Harari. New York: Carol Publishing Group.

Secondary Bibliography

  • Busch, Thomas W. The Participant Perspective: A Gabriel Marcel Reader . (Edited) Lanham , Md.: University Press of America, l987.