Transcendence : what on earth are we talking about?

16 Apr 2012

Within the scope of contemporary discourses on transcendence, this article presents and critically discusses the four models of transcendence that have been identified by the Dutch theologian Wessel Stoker. Two questions guide the discussion, namely whether our thinking of transcendence is any more than an unconscious way of being caught up in certain hard-to-shake spatializing and / or representational schemas, and how far we can interpret / translate the various phenomena of transcendence in terms of modal transformations of the quality of our responses to the world and to others, setting aside all onto-theological constructions referring to a beyond. To answer these questions, an argument is developed and motivated for relocating reflection on transcendence, and at the same time, pointers are formulated that should be considered in pursuing an interdisciplinary understanding of transcendence.