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Searching for the Divine in Contemporary Philosophy

Tensions Between the Immanent and the Transcendent

Jan Valeska, translator


This is a comparative analysis of the basic types of postmodern search for transcendence, taking a philosophical, generally contextual viewpoint. It covers, in a panoramic sweep, the complete spectrum of modes of postmodern spirituality and, proceeding from their mutual comparison without setting any preconceived totalizing or reducing criteria, it first seeks to design their typology: according to the modes of penetration toward transcendence, transpersonality, transculturality, transuniversality, transalterity, etc, and according to the scope of the penetration, reaching out at relative or absolute transcendence. The requisite criteria are found within the framework of the process of postmodern search itself. Thus, the questions after relative transcendence as well as those concerning an absolutely transcendent God are philosophically justified within the postmodern context.


“This analysis informs Poláková’s portrait of the four most important thinkers of the search for transcendence in European philosophy until now, which simultaneously indicates the development of the self-conception of philosophy vis-à-vis transcendence: Plato and Kant, Jaspers and Levinas. . . . In her demanding yet understandably written book, the Czech philosopher succeeds admirably with the tools of philosophical reflexion to bring order to the apparently heterogeneous field of postmodern searches for transcendence.” – Prof. Dr. Bernhard Casper

Table of Contents

Preface by Nicholas Lobkowicz

I. Two Constitutive Movements of the Postmodern Era: Release from the System Societal Links; The Breaking of Horizons of Modern Reason Transcendence in European Philosophy: Plato, Kant, Jaspers, Levinas The Dominating Feature of Postmodern Spirituality: Search

II. Relative Transcendence: Transpersonality – Secularization of Religious Experience, a Topography of Transpersonal Experiences; The Highlighting of Spiritual Meaning of Spontaneous Crises of Identity Transculturality – Esoteric Assimilation, Interreligious Dialogue Absolute Transcendence: Transuniversality – Divine Freedom, Dark Night; Transalterality – Human Freedom, Dialogue; Proexistence

III. The Main Crossroads of Postmodern Spirituality: Two Modes of Self-formation of Postmodern immanentism – Totalization, Negation The Specific Features of Postmodern Search for Transcendence – Openness to Experiences, Need of Participation The Philosophy of Transcendence and Postmodern Spirituality Bibliography, Index of Names, Index of Subjects

ISBN10: 0-7734-7925-2   ISBN13: 978-0-7734-7925-8    Pages: 132    Year: 1999   

Series: Problems In Contemporary Philosophy Number: 42

Subject Area: Philosophy

Imprint: Edwin Mellen Press

© The Edwin Mellen Press, 2004

© Jolana Poláková | Licence Creative Commons
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