Religious History

An Existential Approach to God: A Study of Gabriel Marcel by Clyde Pax

By Clyde Pax

Man's challenge approximately God is either a query and a quest. We search to grasp with simple task that God is actual; we search additionally to attract as regards to God, to understand that he's rather for us. My goal during this paintings is to re-think this two-fold trouble and to take action with Gabriel Marcel. through the paintings i've got mixed the presentation of Marcel's perspectives with a serious exam of his proposal, and within the spirit during which Marcel meets his personal predecessors and contemporaries i've got held myself loose to simply accept, to amend or to reject what he has written. therefore the focal point of the paintings is barely by the way at the writings of Marcel; the direct concentration, as for Marcel, is on man's trying to recognize and to attract with regards to God. the hassle to re-think that size of our adventure which we designate non secular can't commence except a severe attention of what we suggest by way of wisdom and sure bet. what is going to count number as a solution to the query of no matter if God is actual and no matter if he's fairly for us? If, because the believer keeps, God is the reply to guy - a solution fully not like another resolution - then the strategy of looking for this resolution has to be assorted from different equipment of looking out. in addition, even for the believer, God is still the hidden God, Deus absconditus, and at top we see via a pitcher darkly.

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If it is further objected that such a notion makes the being of all objects purely relational, Marcel, it seems, can only agree. For him, not only objects but personal existence as well is constituted in being only by an intersubjective bond. To refuse to recognize the participative character of being is so to isolate beings that our experience of persons and of nature becomes totally unintelligible. The unifying force of philosophical reflection must be allowed to modify the divisive report rendered by primary reflection.

Thus, there is no more need or possibility of establishing the existence of the extramental world than there is of establishing my own existence. Heidegger 8 "Existence and Objectivity" (printed as a supplement to the Metaphysical Journal) pp. 33I-2. A similar analysis, but one that seemed at the time of its writing still "rather obscure", is given in the Journal, p. 256, entry dated Oct. I920. MYSELF AND THE OTHER is correct when he notes that the scandal of modern philosophy is not that we have been unable to prove the existence of the world but that we should ever have thought that such a proof was called for.

Marcel 16 "Existence and Objectivity", p. 323. 34 MYSELF AND THE OTHER himself uses the word feeling to designate the kind of awareness which is possible here. By the use of this term he wishes to express the inadequacy of all attempts to conceptualize the experience, which he perceives would be condemned to failure because the experience is one prior to and constitutive of the level where the concepts of subject and object have their meaning. The term feeling, although perhaps somewhat unfortunate in its everyday connotations, also warns us against taking the fruit of our reflections simply as a theory to explain perception.

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