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Title: Transcendence matters : rethinking transcendence, materialism and the divine in philosophical context
Author: Haynes, Patrice.
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2005
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Where there has been a shift by certain strands of modern! postmodern thinkers towards rethinking 'transcendence' and the 'the divine' in strictly material and immanent terms, this thesis hopes to show that such a shift leads to problematic formulations of material immanence. Given such concerns a move is made towards developing an ontology that will properly sustain otherness (transcendence) within material immanence. Significantly, it will be suggested that this ontology is best supported given a theistic framework, where a more traditional understanding of divine transcendence is acknowledged. The turn towards thinking transcendence and! or the divine as entirely inherent within the world, rather than discontinuous with it in any way, is prompted by the worry that the affirmation of traditional, theistic understandings of divine transcendence invariably encourages the discrediting of the material world and inaugurates every kind of unwelcome hierarchical dualisms, for example, God! World, Transcendence/ Immanence, Spirit! Matter, etc. This thesis examines the philosophies of Giles Deleuze, Luce Irigaray, Jacques Derrida and Theodor Adorno to see how they might enable us to re-conceptualise 'transcendence' and! or 'the divine' in this-worldly, immanent terms. Specifically, I look at Deleuze's reading of Spinoza, Jrigaray's notion of the 'sensible transcendental', Derrida's 'differance', and Adorno's 'negative dialectics' in order to assess whether these deliver an account of material immanence broadly characterised by the otherness and becoming of embodied life. Through a careful analysis of their arguments I hope to demonstrate that these thinkers are unable to successfully account for otherness within material immanence in the ways that they claim. In light of the difficulties ascertained in these 'immanentist' philosophies, I argue for what I call a 'strong' ontological realism with respect to upholding otherness within material immanence. Such a realist ontology, I maintain, is most successfully accounted for given the reality of divine transcendence conceived in a monotheistic sense. I thus urge for a reconsideration of a more traditional conception of divine transcendence as one that actually secures otherness or difference within the material world rather than negates this.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available