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Marcel, Gabriel (1889–1973)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-DE018-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved December 05, 2023, from

Article Summary

Marcel was a distinguished French playwright and music critic as well as philosopher. It was he who coined the term ’existentialism’, although he was reluctant to be pigeon-holed a ’Christian existentialist’. Born into a well-off family of civil servants, Marcel – never a healthy man – worked for the Red Cross during the First World War, an experience which shaped his view of human relationships and confirmed a religious conviction that led to conversion to Roman Catholicism in 1929. After an early flirtation with F.H. Bradley’s idealism, Marcel independently developed a phenomenology of human existence and a religious conception of being similar, in several respects, to those of Karl Jaspers and Martin Buber. He was much in demand as a lecturer in his later years.

Citing this article:
Cooper, David E.. Marcel, Gabriel (1889–1973), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-DE018-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2023 Routledge.

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