Thou Shall Not Die

978-1-58731-861-0
Cloth $14
112 pages, 4¼" x 7", preface, introduction, notes, biographic notes, bibliography of works in English, index

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Thou Shall Not Die

Marcel, Gabriel

Compiled here for the first time are some pithy and incisive sayings of philosopher/playwright Gabriel Marcel, which give rich insight into his spirituality. Written withparticular attention to the nature of man’s mortality and his longing for life and sure knowledge of his death, this intimate self-portrait introduces a new Marcel to the reader of his intricate philosophy, perhaps best said by Anne Marcel:

We must note that this philosopher was primarily the little boy who asked his parents: “Where are those who have died?” And as the grown ups replied that they didn’t know, well then, said he, when he grew up, he would seek to find out . . . The grown man did not betray the child’s promise. As a student, then a young professor of philosophy, Gabriel Marcel consecrated his reflections principally on themes most intimately affecting our life: what is the relation between memory and presence, and between knowledge and faith?

During nearly twenty years, spiritual experience was at the heart of his preoccupations; but without his ever feeling the right to proclaim himself a Christian.

It was only at the age of thirty nine that he would have the conviction of being on the way of Christ, and would enter the Catholic Church. There he found his true family, to which in spite of everything, he remained faithful unto his dying breath. His reflection taught him to understand one thing: our faith can only be real to the extent it is received as grace and not conquered by meditation. The Epistle to the Romans affirms this: It is the Spirit Himself, who is joined to our spirits attesting that we are children of God, that enables us to cry out, finally: Abba Father! Faced with the increasing dehumanization at work in our contemporary world, this philosopher found his response in the spiritual resources of a man of faith. A response needed in our times more than ever.