The “Sacred River” Toward God: Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka’s Phenomenology of Religious Experience

  • 1 University of Macerata,, Macerata, Italy

Abstract

In 1988, Tymieniecka explored the religious phenomenon, pursuing the spiritual experience of the sacred as it surges in the life of our soul. She described three movements of the human soul that lead to revelation of the spiritual experience of the sacred. A first movement of “radical examination” is followed by one of “exalted existence” in which the soul proceeds beyond the usual reflection on the interior of the ongoing current of life. Here, we experience sadness at not being able to transcend our finiteness. When the screen of objectivity is broken, the soul surprisingly does not plunge again into its underground turmoil; on the contrary, it dives into the life-giving waters of an underground stream which, like a “sacred river”, flows imperturbably and silently. On this basis, the soul can move “toward transcending”, and lay the groundwork for the life of the spirit, which seeks the Other from finiteness. Tymieniecka stopped at this threshold in 1988. In 2008, she reiterated that from her phenomenology of life no theology had arisen, and yet she hinted that glimpses in this direction had opened with the start of a metaphysics of the fullness of the logos in a vital key.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Baldwin, James. Blues for Mister Charlie. New York: Dial Press, 1964.

  • De Lisieux, Thérèse. The Story of a Soul. Garden City and New York: Doubleday, 1957.

  • Falque, Emmanuel. “The Collision of Phenomenology and Theology” (Interview). In: Tarek R. Dika and W. Chris Hackett, editors. Quiet Powers of the Possible, Interviews in Contemporary French Phenomenology. 211-227. New York, Fordham University Press, 2016.

  • Husserl, Edmund. Ideas Pertaining to a Pure Phenomenology and to a Phenomenological Philosophy. Second Book: Studies in the Phenomenology of Constitution. Richard Rojcewicz and André Schuwer, translators. Dordrecht/Boston/London: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2000.

  • Kant, Immanuel. Critique of Pure Reason. Paul Guyer and Allen W. Wood, translators. Cambridge (UK): Cambridge University Press, 1998.

  • Kemp, Peter. “La Bio-ethique Antropo-Centrifuge”. Acta Institutionis Philosophiae et Aestheticae, 11 (1993): 119-129.

  • Mardas, Nancy. “Creative Imagination - The Primogenital Force of Human Life. Following Tymieniecka’s Thread from Elemental Stirrings to the Human Fulfillment”. Analecta Husserliana. LXXXIII (2004): xxi-xlii.

  • Maturana, Humberto R. and Francisco J. Varela. Autopoiesis and Cognition: the Realization of the Living. Dordrecht, Holland: Reidel Publishing Company, 1980.

  • Merleau-Ponty, Maurice. The Visible and the Invisible, Followed by Working Notes. Alphonso Lingis, translator. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1968.

  • Scheler, Max. On the Eternal in Man. Bernard Noble translator. New Brunswick (USA) and London (UK): Transaction Publishers, 2009.

  • Strasser, Stephan. The Soul in Metaphysical and Empirical Psychology. Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, (USA): Duquesne University Press, 1957.

  • Torjussen, Lars Petter, Johannes Servan and Simen Andersen Øyen, “An Interview with Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka.” Phenomenological Inquiry. 32 (2008): 25-34.

  • Tymieniecka, Anna-Teresa. “‘Imaginatio Creatrix’: The ‘Creative’ versus the ‘Constitutive’ Function of Man, and the ‘Possible Worlds’”. Analecta Husserliana. III (1974): 3-41.

  • Tymieniecka, Anna-Teresa. “The Prototype of Action: Ethical or Creative?”. Analecta Husserliana. VII (1978): 177-211.

  • Tymieniecka, Anna-Teresa. “The Phenomenology of Man and of the Human Condition - The Human Individual, Nature, and the Possible Worlds”. Analecta Husserliana. XV (1983): xi-xx.

  • Tymieniecka, Anna-Teresa. “First Principles of the Metaphysics of Life Charting the Human Condition. Man’s Creative Act and the Origin of Rationalities”. Analecta Husserliana. XXI (1986), 3-73.

  • Tymieniecka, Anna-Teresa. Creative Experience and the Critique of Reason. “Logos and Life” - Book 1. Analecta Husserliana. XXIV (1988).

  • Tymieniecka, Anna-Teresa. The Three Movements of the Soul. “Logos and Life” - Book 2. Analecta Husserliana. XXV (1988).

  • Tymieniecka, Anna-Teresa. “From the Sacred to the Divine”. Analecta Husserliana. XLIII (1994), 3-18.

  • Tymieniecka, Anna-Teresa. “The Golden Measure. Self-Individualization of Life Bringing to Fruition the Ideal for a New Epoch”. Analecta Husserliana. XLIX (1996), 3-25.

  • Tymieniecka, Anna-Teresa. Impetus and Equipoise in the Life Strategies of Reason. “Logos and Life” - Book 4. Analecta Husserliana. LXX (2000).

  • Tymieniecka, Anna-Teresa. “The Triumph of Imagination in the New Critique of Reason”. Analecta Husserliana. LXXXIII (2004): xi-xviii.

  • Tymieniecka, Anna-Teresa. “Human Development between Imaginative Freedom and Vital Constraints”. Phenomenological Inquiry. A review of Philosophical Ideas and Trends. 31 (2007), 7-16.

  • Tymieniecka, Anna-Teresa. The case of God and the New Enlightenment. “The Fullness of the Logos in the Key of Life” - Book 1. Analecta Husserliana. C (2009).

  • Tymieniecka, Anna-Teresa. “The New Enlightenment”, Analecta Husserliana. CV (2010): 7-15.

  • Tymieniecka, Anna-Teresa. Christo-Logos: Metaphysical Rhapsodies of Faith (Itinerarium mentis in deo). “The Fullness of the Logos in the Key of Life” - Book 2. Analecta Husserliana. C (2012).

  • Tymieniecka, Anna-Teresa. “Lungo il nuovo sentiero della fenomenologia della vita. Testimonanza di una fondatrice”. In: Vie della fenomenologia nella Post-Modernità. Confronto con la fenomenologia della vita di Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka, edited by Daniela Verducci, 9-12. Roma: Aracne, 2014.

  • von Uexküll, Jakob. Theoretical Biology. New York: Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1926.

  • Verducci, Daniela. “The development of the vital seed of intentionality from E. Husserl and E. Fink to A.-T. Tymieniecka’s ontopoiesis of life”. Analecta Husserliana. CV (2010), 23-37.

  • Westphal, Merold. Overcoming Onto-Theology: Toward a Postmodern Christian Faith. New York: Fordham Univ Press, 2001.

OPEN ACCESS

Journal + Issues

Open Theology is an international Open Access, peer-reviewed academic journal that welcomes contributions written in English addressing religion in its various forms and aspects: historical, theological, sociological, psychological, and other.

Search