Sartre and God: A Spiritual Odyssey? Part 2

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These two articles examine whether Sartre’s final interviews, recorded inL’Espoir maintenant [Hope Now] indicate a final turn to God and religious belief throughan overview of his engagement with the idea of God throughout his career. In Part 1,published in Sartre Studies International 19, no 1, we examined Sartre’s early atheism,but noted the pervasive nature of secularised Christian metaphors and concepts in hisreligion of letters and also the centrality of man’s desire to be God in L’Etre et le néant[Being and Nothingness]. His theoretical writings sought to refute the idea of God, but indoing so, God was paradoxically both absent and present.In Part 2 we consider his antitheism and its implications for his involvement with the ideaof God before examining in detail his final encounter with theism as outlined in L’Espoirmaintenant, arguing that it is part of Sartre’s long-term engagement with the divine, butrefuting the idea that he became a theist at the end of his life.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
JournalSartre Studies International
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2014


  • KEYWORDS: absence
  • absolute
  • anti-theism
  • the death of God
  • evil
  • freedom
  • God
  • good
  • metaphysics
  • morality
  • paradox
  • religion.


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