World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Transtheism

Article Id: WHEBN0001710440
Reproduction Date:

Title: Transtheism  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Nontheism, Theism, Post-monotheism, Agnosticism, Existence of God
Collection: Jain Philosophy, Nontheism, Theology, Transtheism
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Transtheism

Transtheism is a term coined by either philosopher Paul Tillich or Indologist Heinrich Zimmer[1] referring to a system of thought or religious philosophy which is neither theistic, nor atheistic, but is beyond them.

Zimmer applies the term to the theological system of Jainism, which is theistic in the limited sense that the gods exist, but become irrelevant as they are transcended by moksha (that is, a system which is not non-theistic, but in which the gods are not the highest spiritual instance). Zimmer (1953, p. 182) uses the term to describe the position of the Tirthankaras having passed "beyond the godly governors of the natural order".

The term has more recently also been applied to Buddhism,[2] Advaita Vedanta[3] and the Bhakti movement.[4]

Nathan Katz in Buddhist and Western Philosophy (1981, p. 446) points out that the term "transpolytheistic" would be more accurate, since it entails that the polytheistic gods are not denied or rejected even after the development of a notion of the Absolute that transcends them, but criticizes the classification as characterizing the mainstream by the periphery: "like categorizing Roman Catholicism as a good example of non-Nestorianism". The term is indeed informed by the fact that the corresponding development in the West, the development of monotheism, did not "transcend" polytheism, but abolish it, while in the mainstream of the Indian religions, the notion of "gods" (deva) was never elevated to the status of "God" or Ishwara, or the impersonal Absolute Brahman, but adopted roles comparable to Western angels. "Transtheism", according to the criticism of Katz, is then an artifact of comparative religion.

Paul Tillich uses transtheistic in The Courage to Be (1952), as an aspect of Stoicism. Tillich stated that Stoicism and Neo-Stoicism

are the way in which some of the noblest figures in later antiquity and their followers in modern times have answered the problem of existence and conquered the anxieties of fate and death. Stoicism in this sense is a basic religious attitude, whether it appears in theistic, atheistic, or transtheistic forms.[5]

Like Zimmer trying to express a religious notion that is neither theistic nor atheistic. However, the theism that is being transcended in Stoicism according to Tillich is not polytheism as in Jainism, but monotheism, pursuing an ideal of human courage which has emancipated itself from God.

The courage to take meaninglessness into itself presupposes a relation to the ground of being which we have called "absolute faith." It is without a special content, yet it is not without content. The content of absolute faith is the "god above God." Absolute faith and its consequence, the courage that takes the radical doubt, the doubt about God, into itself, transcends the theistic idea of God.[6]

Martin Buber criticized Tillich's "transtheistic position" as a reduction of God to the impersonal "necessary being" of Thomas Aquinas.[7]

Contents

  • See also 1
  • Notes 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4

See also

Notes

  1. ^ In published writings, the term appears in 1952 for Tillich and in 1953 for Zimmer. Since the two men were personally acquainted, it is difficult to say which of them coined the term. Note that the term transtheism is avoided by both.
  2. ^ Antonio Rigopoulos, The Life and Teachings of Sai Baba of Shirdi (1993), p. 372; J. L. (Ed) Houlden, Jesus: The Complete Guide (2005), p. 390
  3. ^ Steven T. Katz, Mysticism and Sacred Scripture, Oxford University Press (2000), p. 177 ; Pulasth Soobah. Roodurmun, Kanshi Ram, Bhāmatī and Vivaraṇa Schools of Advaita Vedānta, Motilal Banarsidass (2002), p. 172
  4. ^ Werner Karel, Love Divine: Studies in Bhakti and Devotional Mysticism (1993), p. 153
  5. ^ Writings on Religion, Walter de Gruyter (1988), p. 145.
  6. ^ Paul Tillich. Theism Transcended (Yale: CT 1952) 185-190, in the Courage to Be, in the Essential Tillich: an anthology of the writings of Paul Tillich, ed. F. Forrester Church (Macmillan: NY 1987) 187-190
  7. ^  
    As reprinted in: Novak, David (2005), Talking With Christians: Musings of A Jewish Theologian, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, p. 101 

References

  • Ruth Reyna, Dictionary of Oriental Philosophy, Munshiram Manoharlal (1984).
  • Heinrich Robert Zimmer, Philosophies of India, ed. Joseph Campbell (1953).

External links

  • The dictionary definition of transtheistic at Wiktionary
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.