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Religions 2017, 8(1), 4; doi:10.3390/rel8010004

Transcendence Un-Extra-Ordinaire: Bringing the Atheistic I Down to Earth

Department of Religion and Philosophy, Young Harris College, Young Harris, GA 30582, USA
Academic Editor: Justin Sands
Received: 13 November 2016 / Revised: 14 December 2016 / Accepted: 23 December 2016 / Published: 30 December 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [262 KB, uploaded 30 December 2016]

Abstract

I examine challenges to images of a personal god definitive for normatively policed theism (often called “traditional theism”), questioning whether a subject can be conscious of a transcendent being. I examine the challenges to show that disappointment with such images calls for rethinking terms like “transcendence” in horizontal rather than vertical registers. Through this, I indicate an irony in yearning for transcendence, one in which there is movement toward—rather than beyond—the utterly ordinary. We will see that such un-extra-ordinary transcendence makes a difference once difference is no longer determined under the hegemony of what Levinas calls “the atheistic I.” I bring together resources from feminist philosophies and Asian religions both to elaborate on the nature of the atheistic I and to rehabilitate a redeeming appreciation of the ordinary. My hope is to ameliorate disempowered estrangement by indicating ways the ordinary generates, not inhibits, becoming. However, my broader intent is to contribute to shifting sands in contemporary philosophy of religion due to recent calls for diversifying the field by including multiple religions, questioning the centrality of belief, and engaging multiple methods relevant in religious studies. View Full-Text
Keywords: traditional theism; transcendence; Levinas; Irigaray; Feuerbach; metaphor; Ricoeur; Zhuangzi; semantics; the ordinary traditional theism; transcendence; Levinas; Irigaray; Feuerbach; metaphor; Ricoeur; Zhuangzi; semantics; the ordinary
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Dickman, N.E. Transcendence Un-Extra-Ordinaire: Bringing the Atheistic I Down to Earth. Religions 2017, 8, 4.

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