Through Thinking Being and Nothingness to Praising the Absolute
Postmetaphysical philosophy presents itself today as religious-friendly, as it seeks to accommodate religious ideas within an immanent framework. Yet, whether such an approach is powerful enough to do justice to the inner-religious concept of transcendence remains an open question. This is a crucial question since the elucidation of the relation between immanence and transcendence, finite and infinite, directly informs one’s view of religious activities such as prayer, which is arguably the religious practice par excellence. A suitable account of transcendence should avoid two major pitfalls. First, a reduction of transcendence to immanence, as defended by G. Vattimo and J. Caputo, in which prayer becomes merely therapeutic. Second, a radical distance between transcendence and immanence, as suggested by E. Levinas and J.-L. Marion, since it fails to properly account for the communication between human beings and the divine that believers assume to take place in prayer. This project investigates the various understandings of transcendence in contemporary postmetaphysical philosophy of religion with a focus on the measure in which they are compatible with the practice of prayer.