To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
The landscape of contemporary religious ecology is presented in this article as a variety of responses to disenchantment and what Lynn White identified as the theological roots of environmental ruin (Biblical divine transcendence and human exceptionality). The various positions are mapped in terms of those who deny divine transcendence and make nature, either as actually or only potentially infinite, the highest (pantheists); those who deny divine unicity and return to a pre-Christian, “enchanted” nature (neo-pagans); and those who defend in various ways the ecology of the Biblical account of creation (Jewish, Muslim, and Christian monotheists).
The mind is the seat of trance. The ways that we think, consciously and unconsciously, shape our creative process and structure its creative trance. Every thought we have, every movement we make, changes the landscape of our brain, producing its own neural signature from the solution of everyday problems to meditations that progress toward transcendent states. With its contradictory styles of thought, creativity has a unique assembly of neural processes not usually found in ordinary cognition, and is associated with the release of dopamine, endorphins, serotonin, and oxytocin, and can be shaped by insight and synesthesia. Cognitive neuroscience reveals the heterogeneity of creative trance states through activation of different brain regions, such as the medial temporal lobe memory network, the prefrontal cortex, both brain hemispheres, and significantly the default mode network, which is associated with divergent thinking and daydreaming. As the Nobel Prize–winning pharmacologist James Black said, “I daydream like mad.”
Inherited discussions of ‘science and religion’ too much assume an interaction between two historically constant phenomena in terms of stories of ‘progress’ and ‘conflict’. Instead, it is better to recognise long-term and varying modes of tension between three different approaches to nature, pivoted about attitudes to ‘enchantment’ and to transcendence versus immanence. Within such a perspective, it appears that the dominant model of science as ‘disenchanted transcendence’ is a Newtonian one that historically quickly proved inadequate. Alternative and earlier traditions of ‘natural magic’ later returned under new guises and are closer to the essence of the ‘ergetic’ or experimental attitude that lies at the real core of ‘science’. The Newtonian model also implausibly suppressed the realities of motion, time, change, substantial form and secondary qualities. But contemporary physics points towards their restoration and to nature as a vital habit and form-shaping process, as well as to the ‘magical’ character of powers and causes. Magic, rightly understood, is a necessary mediator between religion as theory and science as practice and is a crucial aspect of an ergetic understanding of ‘enchanted transcendence’ which is the most promising perspective for today.
The popular field of 'science and religion' is a lively and well-established area. It is however a domain which has long been characterised by certain traits. In the first place, it tends towards an adversarial dialectic in which the separate disciplines, now conjoined, are forever locked in a kind of mortal combat. Secondly, 'science and religion' has a tendency towards disentanglement, where 'science' does one sort of thing and 'religion' another. And thirdly, the duo are frequently pushed towards some sort of attempted synthesis, wherein their aims either coincide or else are brought more closely together. In attempting something fresh, and different, this volume tries to move beyond tried and tested tropes. Bringing philosophy and theology to the fore in a way rarely attempted before, the book shows how fruitful new conversations between science and religion can at last move beyond the increasingly tired options of either conflict or dialogue.
The absence of a singular first-person voice in music may simply indicate that such music is speaking in the plural, in the third person, or in some more objective manner. These questions are examined in the opening chapter of Part IV, ‘Hearing Others’. Looking first at the use of quotation, allusion, and intertextuality in Schumann’s music (in this, picking up the question of ‘whose voice?’ left at the close of Chapter 4), ‘Hearing Another’s Voice’ goes on to explore questions of intersubjectivity and the collective seen in the ‘objective’ tendency of Schumann’s music across the 1840s, the distinction between a divided subject and multiple subjects in the composer’s choral, orchestral, and chamber works, before considering the attempted union of self with world, the subjective with the objective, in two of his later songs, ‘Abendlied’ and ‘Nachtlied’. This eighth chapter thus focuses on those examples from Schumann’s music that have a generally positive ethos, when self and other can still be still distinguished.
The politicization of religion is the result of the competition over loyalties between the nation-state and religious groups. The state regulates the immanent and the transcendent. Allegiance to the state transcends the allegiance to God on the Chinese territory. The genealogy of this habitus is traced back to the Jesuit mission to China in the 16th century through the rise of the Communist Party and the current mode of regulation/repression of religion by the state, especially the Muslims in the Xinjiang province.
The teaching of creation has been much misunderstood and under-developed because it has been taken to be primarily about how the world began a long, long time ago. Religious naturalists have often abandoned this teaching so as to give a more scientifically informed characterization of our cosmos and humanity’s place within it. Wirzba argues that this is a big mistake because the rejection of the idea that our world is a divinely created world makes it impossible to speak of life as a gift. This chapter develops what it means to say that each creature is gift cherished and sustained in its being by God. As such, it opens the idea of creation to encompass life’s meaning and purpose, and it creates a way for people to become involved in the nurture and healing of our world and our shared life. The logic of creation, upon further examination, is not about God’s power “over” the world but about God’s presence to the world in the forms of love that invite human participation in it.
The secularisation paradigm, the notion that religion faded into irrelevance in the post-Enlightenment era, has long defined perceptions of Romantic religiosity and religious art. From this perspective, art – in particular, the phenomenon of art-religion – served to fill the void left by the retreat of religion, offering new secularised forms of transcendence to replace those once offered by conventional religious art. This chapter aims to overhaul our received picture by arguing that rather than usurping the place of religion, art-religion serves as its dynamic continuation. It reveals the porous nature of the boundaries between religious art and art-religion in early Romantic thought, examining key texts by Schleiermacher, Wackenroder, and Tieck. It then demonstrates how a similar logic of recuperation and reinvention is at work in Romantic music, drawing on examples ranging from quasi-liturgical music to the monuments of absolute music. The chapter culminates with an exploration of what are arguably the most complex, multilayered examples of Romantic art-religion in the musical sphere, Liszt’s Christus and Wagner’s Parsifal.
Dante’s vision presents the letters of Scripture as the speech of God. In Dante’s text, speaking (favellare) is presented as sparking (sfavillare), which makes it a kind of writing, a communication through a contingent, combustible, material medium. Speech, as the immediate communication of intention, is unmasked by Dante, long before Derrida, as grounded in the mediations of writing, with all the latter’s materiality and contingency. Dante explores the implications of the medium of writing as itself supremely significant, thereby opening a vista reaching all the way to modern and contemporary art. Dante’s text, in effect, performs the miracle of making the invisible God to be seen by deconstructing the sign as signifying a definable intention and opening signification infinitely, instead, to the immediate and infinite presence of the medium. This highlights the immediacy of the divine presence in writing. Its written medium is key to achieving the immediacy that characterizes Dante’s vision and makes it God’s “speech.” Speaking, as a sort of sparking, makes divine revelation in the Word of Scripture, as seen by human understanding, the revelation of an unpredictable indeterminacy. The spectacle of written letters of Scripture as sparking in heaven concretely presents what nevertheless remains an incommunicable transcendence of all that can be intentionally articulated in finite, human language. Randomness and absolute contingency are the hallmarks of a speech that is not merely human and guided by definable intentions, but a communication of the transcendent.
In a detailed study of the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, Stephen Barton examines the character of God in each narrative. He shows that controversial claims about God are implied at every point in the gospel stories of Jesus, shaped as they are by an apocalyptic worldview and by the parting of the ways between the synagogue and the church.
Term ‘transcendental cinema’ was first used by Paul Schrader in the context of slow cinema, characterized by long shots, austere camerawork and acting devoid of self-consciousness. This style expresses a spiritual state and comes closer to metaphysic dimension. All these features bring transcendental style closer to philosophy of mindfulness characterized by the practice of purposely bringing one’s attention to experiences occurring in the present moment without judgment, a skill one develops through meditation or other training.
The purpose of this project is to demonstrate the connection between transcendental style in cinema and mindfulness. Moreover, we would like to present the cinema as a tool approaching meditation and mindfulness. Particularly, we will use the example of David’s Lynch movie Blue Velvet.
In our research we use the approach proposed by Paul Schrader and David Lynch to analyze the principles of mindfulness and transcendental cinema in Blue Velvet.
There are a number of presenting positive impact of mindfulness and meditation on mental and physical health of patient not only with neurological or psychological problems. Transcendental cinema is a representation of mindfulness as it teaches paying attention to single stimulus and staying in one thought. Particularly, the combination of meditation music, slow sequences as well as contemplation of human mind and emotional reactions displayed in Blue Velvet is perfect example of transcendental cinema.
We think that transcendental cinema should be treated as a technique of mindfulness used to understand psychological state of health and disease.
This chapter explores Wallace Stevens’s understanding of the secular condition and the terms he cultivated to describe it. Familiar words from Stevens’s lexicon—“reality,” “imagination,” “the earth,” “repetition”—are linked to his vision of secularity. Mutter argues that this vision of the secular is highly dramatic: though Stevens viewed secularity as a condition of both deprivation and liberation, he transforms loss into a tragic theater in which the self is thrown into hostile territory and must depend on its own resources. The chapter suggests that while Stevens was enticed by the secular model of the real as a domain of neutral, impersonal fact, as his career progressed he increasingly recognized that secular reality was itself an imaginative construal. This recognition is linked to Stevens’s effort to rehabilitate, for his secular anthropology, the imaginative human capacities that historically generated religious ideas. Finally, the chapter elaborates Stevens’s understanding of play as a central mode of his secularism. Play reconciles the secular values of freedom and sensuousness with the discordant necessity of the world. Mutter concludes by observing an ongoing tension in Stevens’s view of desire between the good of immanence and the need for transcendence.
Seamus Heaney’s poetry and criticism kept up a regular conversation with Romantic and post-Romantic poetics: from Wordsworth to Hopkins, Frost, Plath and more. He initially found in Frost’s relation to the natural, ‘a primal reach into the physical’. This he developed into a poetic which balanced the need for roots in an account of the formation of the poet’s self, and the need for an individual voice which found responsibility in ‘an unconceding pursuit of poetic insight and poetic knowledge’. The route was via watery places, and an approach to the autobiographical grounded in Wordsworth, which was figured through the making and unmaking of gender. If Heaney’s later poetry was to trade this rootedness in for a sort of transcendence – ‘walking on air’ – he still remained preoccupied with its forging in imitation, its duty to communicate, and its desire for its own autonomy.
This chapter explores how the reformer William Tyndale prompts a rethinking of arguments about Protestant biblicism’s capacity for disenchantment. It analyzes Tyndale’s exceptionally elevated portrayals of the Bible’s divine origin, which elide the shaping roles of materiality, history, and human action on the scriptural texts, and which he mobilizes in order to advance his argument about the primacy of Scripture over the institutional authority of the Roman Catholic Church. The chapter challenges the picture of Tyndale put forward by scholars in which he is seen to replace a communal mediation of the sacred with a nascent individualism. It does this by focusing on Tyndale’s representations of Bible reading as the means by which the Christian is caught up in a personal and affective relationship with God, a relationship which in turn transforms the human community. This chapter argues that Tyndale’s apparently disenchanting separation of Scripture’s origin from history is paradoxically the means by which he advances a vision of the human community’s participation in God. Tyndale’s account of Scripture thus disrupts the binary and unidirectional logic of disenchantment.
The Introduction lays out the book’s main argument about the uses to which accounts of the Bible’s origins were put in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It sketches the historical context for this phenomenon, discussing how the period was characterized by heightened attention on the Bible’s ultimate divine origin, transcendent of all historical contexts, and at the same time by a new focus on the human and historical mediations shaping Scripture’s extant forms. The Introduction proceeds to a critical analysis of how modern scholars have understood these modes of biblical reception according to theories of secularization and modernity, with some arguing that the early modern Bible’s transcendence, and some its immanence, played important roles in the development of secularity, disenchantment, and modernity. Through engaging this scholarship, the Introduction develops arguments that challenge contemporary thinking about secularity. Following a discussion of the scholarly field of political theology and the present book’s relationship to it, the Introduction ends with an overview of the book's chapters.
This chapter examines the portrayal of Scripture as miraculously transcendent of history, human activity, and material conditions in Francis Bacon’s utopian narrative New Atlantis. It considers how this imagined Bible founds a mode of social organization oriented towards human mastery over created nature. Drawing on Maurice Blondel’s concept of “extrinsicism,” which describes a stark separation of revelation from its human and historical mediations, this chapter analyzes the significance of this transcendent Bible, including the displacement of human agency, history, and culture from its production and transmission. This chapter argues that the social organization oriented to the acquisition and implementation of natural knowledge imagined by Bacon is enabled by the seemingly secularizing boundaries between revelation and reason, and theology and philosophy, which this miraculous Bible establishes. However, the apparently secularizing consequences of a wholly transcendent Bible are disrupted when considered in the larger frame of Baconian philosophy, which in fundamental ways retains a theological conception of nature and of the social organization needed to harness its power.
In this article I reflect on my experience of adapting physically, mentally and spiritually to a medical trauma that had life-changing consequences. I consider how, over 7 years to the time of writing, mental difficulties were inseparable from the physical; and how, for me, both are aspects of a form of understanding knowable only as mystery. Writing from a position of religious faith, I try to convey my experiences in a way that will be of interest to others regardless of their views. At the end, I reflect on aspects of my care that might be particularly relevant for a holistic, person-centred therapeutic approach.
Philo’s interest in music is as known as it is overlooked in its philosophical implications. This chapter focuses on the importance of the musical paradigm in Philo’s thought and its relation to the other complementary model adopted by the philosopher: the pattern of the scala naturae, inherited from Stoicism. More specifically, Philo’s appeal to the notion of harmony introduces the idea of some orderly discontinuity in nature, implying both the transcendence of God and the limited condition of human rationality: the world is indeed governed by harmony, but only in the very qualified sense that it implies harmonically defined relationships between very distant entities. This ‘vertical’ harmony, however, is combined with a ‘horizontal’ one, for God also exerts his providence through harmony, while, in turn, music is the intellectual means by which man can contemplate the heavens and draw closer to God. These are not mere metaphors, for music represents a proper philosophical model for Philo that he applies to aspects which will prove fundamental in the post-Hellenistic age.
The relation of early Christianity to ancient Platonism has been a conflicted issue in historical scholarship, bringing to the fore latent questions about the nature of philosophy and shape of Christian theology. This chapter is intended to build upon recent advances in the scholarly interpretation of both Platonism and Early Christianity, in order to disentangle some long-standing interpretive issues. It emphasizes the role of Platonism and Christianity in the emergence of monotheism in late antiquity and the importance of Platonism in the development of the philosophical idea of transcendence.
Religious concerns, manifested in thought and behaviour, have a complex, bidirectional and sometimes conceptually overlapping relationship with mental health and mental disorder. Psychiatry, concerning itself with what is measurable in research, and with the relief of distress in clinical practice, has a different perspective on these complex interrelationships than does theology or religion. That which is transcendent, and therefore not measurable, is often important to patients, and sometimes distress may (theologically) be a sign of human well-being. The giving of careful attention to transcendence and distress may variously be conceived of as prayer, religious coping or clinical care. Applications of research to clinical practice, addressing as they do a sensitive and controversial boundary between psychiatry and religion, must therefore be patient centred and culturally sensitive.