Implicit Religion, Vol 14, No 4 (2011)

Transcending Towards Transcendence

Eckart Ruschmann
Issued Date: 29 Dec 2011


The following analysis aims to illustrate how, over the course of time, different meanings have become associated with the term transcendence. The article proposes distinguishing between the ontological meaning (i.e. the realm of transcendence) and the anthropological or epistemic use (i.e. the act or process of transcending, experientially and conceptually). Presenting examples from sociology (Thomas Luckmann) and psychology (Abraham H. Maslow) it will be illustrated that lack of discrimination may support or even foster an ontological reductionism which impedes adequate differentiation between humanistic (secular) and spiritual/religious ways to constitute values and meaning. A structural epistemological approach is described and recommended, as a respectful reconstruction of various ontological and metaphysical positions and background convictions in personal world-views.

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DOI: 10.1558/imre.v14i4.421


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