Search this journal:     Advanced search
Original Research

God in de (Post)moderne cultuur - George Steiner over transcendentie in kunst en cultuur

W Stoker

Verbum et Ecclesia; Vol 29, No 2 (2008), 475-491. doi: 10.4102/ve.v29i2.44

Submitted: 20 June 2008
Published:  17 November 2008


God in the (Post modern culture – George Steiner on transcendence in art and culture

In his 1989 study Real Presences the well-known philosopher and literary scholar George Steiner argues that there is a crisis in philosophy, art and literature. The contract between word and world has been broken, whereby we can no longer make any assertions about human beings and the world. Communication thus becomes problematic. The (post)modern world has become nihilistic. Steiner provides a theological explanation for what in his view is a serious crisis in (post)modern art and in Western culture in general: he blames this crisis for the loss of transcendence through the “death of God”.

This paper will show that Steiner, on the basis of his metaphysical view of transcendence ends up with the dilemma of having to choose between transcendence or immanence/nihilism. This dilemma is unnecessary to the extent that it suggests that transcendence is identical with metaphysical transcendence. If we reject this identification, then the alternative for Steiner’s metaphysical transcendence is not only immanence, viewed as nihilism but can also be another form of transcendence. And this casts another light on the crisis Steiner has indicated in culture.

Full Text:  |  PDF (72KB)

Author affiliations

W Stoker, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam



Total abstract views: 1499
Total article views: 2173


No related citations found

Comments on this article

Before posting your comment, please read our policy.
Post a Comment (Login required)

ISSN: 1609-9982 (print) | ISSN: 2074-7705 (online)

Connect on: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube

Subscribe to our newsletter

All articles published in this journal are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license, unless otherwise stated.

Website design & content: ©2018 AOSIS (Pty) Ltd. All rights reserved. No unauthorised duplication allowed.

AOSIS Publishing | Empowering Africa through access to knowledge
Postnet Suite #110, Private Bag X19, Durbanville, South Africa, 7551
Tel: 086 1000 381 
Tel: +27 21 975 2602 
Fax: 086 5004 974

publishing(AT) replace (AT) with @

Please read the privacy statement.