Maréchal, Père Joseph

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Maréchal, Père Joseph Gender: M
Joseph-Marie-François Maréchal
born on 1 July 1878 at 11:00 (= 11:00 AM )
Place Charleroi, Belgium, 50n25, 4e26
Timezone LMT m4e26 (is local mean time)
Data source
BC/BR in hand
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Astrodienst
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_cancol.18.gif 09°24' s_mo.18.gif s_cancol.18.gif 21°17 Asc.s_vircol.18.gif 25°58'

Père Joseph Maréchal


Belgian Jesuit priest, philosopher, theologian and psychologist.

His father taught mathematics.

Maréchal joined the Jesuits in 1895 and after a doctorate in biology at Leuven (1905) he first specialized in experimental psychology, spending some time in Munich with Wilhelm Wundt (1911). Until the end of his life Maréchal would say that his real interest was more in psychology than in philosophy.

Under the influence of the encycliek AEterni Patris (4 Aug. 1879) of Pope Leo XIII, who wished to to revitalize the theology of St. Thomas Aquinas (Thomism), he started studying in depth the works of Aquinas, along with the works of other scholastic thinkers, comparing them to modern philosophers and scientists like Henri Poincaré and Henri Bergson. From this, and in particular from Kant’s transcendental idealism, emerged a new and more dynamic Thomism, recapturing the union of "act and power" in Aquinas.

Between 1924 and 1937 he wrote "Etudes sur la psychologie des mystiques" (Studies in the Psychology of the Mystics), writing about mystical experiences in all cultures.

He recognised three stages in Christian mysticism: (1) the gradual integration of the ego under the mastery of the idea of a personal God according to a program of prayer and asceticism, (2) a transcendent revelation of God to the soul experienced as ecstatic contact or union, frequently with a suspension of the senses, and (3) a kind of readjustment of the soul’s faculties by which it regains contact with creatures “under the immediate and perceptible influence of God present and acting in the soul” . This final stage, must prevent that mysticism and asceticism result in a selfish flight from the world and an avoidance of moral responsibility.

Until his death on 11 December 1944 he taught philosophy and experimental psychology at the Jesuit House of Studies in Leuven.

The work of Maréchal had a great influence on such contemporary theologians and philosophers as Andre Marc, Gaston Isaye, Joseph de Finance, Karl Rahner, Bernard Lonergan, Johannes Baptist Lotz, Bernard O'Brien and Richard De Smet.

Link to Wikipedia


  • (has as) teacher relationship with Wundt, Wilhelm (born 16 August 1832). Notes: Visited him in 1911 and became an experimental psychologist
  • (has as) student relationship with Rahner, Karl (born 5 March 1904)
  • (has as) boss relationship with Mercier, Desire J. (born 22 November 1851). Notes: initiated him as a priest, both were followers of Saint Thomas Aquinas (Thomists)


  • Work : Begin Major Project 16 August 1908 (became priest under Désiré-Joseph Mercier)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 6 October 1936 in Mechelen (Études sur la Psychologie des Mystiques, part 2)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

Svi retrieved the BC from the on-line municipal archive of Charleroi: 1 July 1878 at 11:00 (á onze heures du matin).

Christianity - Aspects of the Christian religion |


  • Traits : Mind : Education extensive
  • Vocation : Education : Teacher (philosophy and psychology)
  • Vocation : Healing Fields : Psychologist (Le point de départ de la Métaphysique (5 cahiers), Brugge-Leuven, 1923-47.)
  • Vocation : Occult Fields : Other Occult Fields (Thomism)
  • Vocation : Religion : Ecclesiastics/ western (Catholic priest)
  • Vocation : Science : Biology (PhD in biology)
  • Vocation : Writers : Religion/ Philosophy