The President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, evoked and thanked the essayist Eduardo Lourenço, who said that, since the beginning of the second half of the last century, he was the “most outstanding public intellectual” and an “essential figure” in Portugal.
The essayist Eduardo Lourenço, 97 years old, died today in Lisbon, confirmed the source of the Presidency of the Republic to the Lusa agency.
“Eduardo Lourenço was, from the beginning of the second half of the last century, our most important essayist and critic, our most distinguished public intellectual”, says the note on the website of the Presidency of the Republic.
According to Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, the essayist was never “unaware of the debates of our time, nor of the vicissitudes of politics”.
“We owe him some of Pessoa's most decisive readings, which mark a before and an after, and an involvement, often heterodox, in contemporary religious, philosophical and ideological issues, from existentialism to conciliar Christianity and the Revolution”, he praised.
Among “all Portuguese intellectuals of his stature”, in the perspective of the head of state, “no other was so oblivious to haughtiness, self-satisfaction, intellectual disdain, disinterest for the following generations”.
“Winner of several awards, including Pessoa and Camões, distinguished four times with national orders, and also recognized abroad, Prof. Eduardo Lourenço gave me the honor of being a member of the State Council ”, he said.
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa offered his heartfelt condolences to the family “for the loss of this friend, this sage, this essential figure of Portugal in which we live”.
The President of the Republic also said that he is very grateful to the essayist Eduardo Lourenço, for having dedicated “practically a century of service” to the country.
“Portugal is very, very grateful to you. It was practically a century of service to our homeland, ”said Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, who spoke to journalists at the end of the 1st December celebrations in Lisbon.
The President of the Republic highlighted the “symbolic coincidence” of “the greatest thinker about Portugal alive” having died on the day of the Restoration of Independence.
"It almost looked like it would have to be that way," he added.
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa stressed that Eduardo Lourenço “thought Portugal throughout his life”.
“He always wrote about Portugal, about what Portugal is, about the history of Portugal, what it means to be Portuguese, what our identity is, what we mean today and in the future, and our whole life was truly dedicated to thinking about Portugal”, highlighted.