Gabriel Marcel (1889-1973) stands outside the traditional canon of twentieth-century French philosophers. Where he is not simply forgotten or overlooked, he is dismissed as a 'relentlessly unsystematic' thinker, or, following Jean-Paul Sartre's lead, labelled a 'Christian existentialist' - a label that avoids consideration of Marcel's work on its own terms. How is one to appreciate Marcel's contribution, especially when his œuvre appears to be at odds with philosophical convention? Helen Tattam proposes a range of readings as opposed to one single interpretation, a series of departures or explorations that bring his work into contact with critical partners such as Henri Bergson, Paul Ricœur and Emmanuel Lévinas, and offer insights into a host of twentieth-century philosophical shifts concerning time, the subject, the other, ethics, and religion.
Helen Tattam's ambitious study is an impressively lucid account of Marcel's engagement with the problem of time and lived experience, and is her first monograph since the award of her doctorate from the University of Nottingham.