Original Research

Transcendence, immanence and religious experience in a post-transcendence era

Johan A. van Rooyen
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 39, No 1 | a1838 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v39i1.1838 | © 2018 Johan A. van Rooyen | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 23 January 2018 | Published: 16 October 2018


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Abstract

This article presents and critically discusses transcendence and immanence as discussed by the contemporary South African theologians Cornel W. du Toit, Klaus Nürnberger and Anné H. Verhoef. Two questions categorise and guide the discussion: (1) If Western thought has already moved to a notion of post-transcendence, why does transcendence still resonate in our religious academic context? Why is transcendence and immanence still discussed, interpreted and explained in various interdisciplinary disciplines (theology, philosophy and literature) – especially as an expression of the divine? (2) Why is it important in terms of religious experience (in a post-transcendence era) to emphasise that we as Homo sapiens are genetically ‘coded’ for transcendence? Are we by nature ‘biologically wired’ to be self-transcended; to be transcended orientated beings? What does this mean in terms of religious experience and our need to continuously shift (displace) the borders of transcendence and immanence? This article develops an answer to these questions that encourages and motivates a better understanding of the shifting borders of transcendence and immanence and the necessity thereof in terms of interpreting religious experience. It will also be pointed out that such an understanding should be informed by an interdisciplinary understanding of transcendence and immanence, which also elucidate the reality that transcendence and immanence are Homo sapiens, experience of the divine in a post-transcendence area.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: Why is transcendence and immanence still discussed, interpreted and explained in various interdisciplinary disciplines (theology, philosophy and literature) – especially as an expression of the divine? And why is it important in terms of religious experience (in a post-transcendence era) to emphasise that we as Homo sapiens are genetically ‘coded’ to transcendence? Are we by nature ‘biologically wired’ to be self-transcended and to be transcended orientated beings? These questions have implications for all disciplines – such as theology, religious studies, philosophy, art, literature, psychology and natural sciences – which focus on the question of transcendence.


Keywords

Transcendence; immanence; religious experience; displacement; post-transcendence; Cornel W. du Toit; Klaus Nürnberger; Anné H. Verhoef

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