Transcendence and Religion


  • Meerten B. ter Borg University of Leiden, The Netherlands



Transcendence, Religion


This essay deals with the relationship between religion, both implicit and explicit, and transcendence. The starting point is Thomas Luckmann’s idea that man is a religious animal. After all, it is necessary for human beings to transcend their biological habitus in order to survive. It is suggested that transcendence is a necessary, rather than a sufficient precondition for religion.

Author Biography

Meerten B. ter Borg, University of Leiden, The Netherlands

University of Leiden, The Netherlands


Berger, P. L. and T. Luckmann. 1967. The Social Construction of Reality, A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge. New York: Doubleday.

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Heidegger, M. 1972. Sein und Zeit. Tübingen: Niemeyer.

Luckmann, T. 1967. The Invisible Religion. New York: MacMillan.

———. 1990. Shrinking Transcendence, Expanding Religion? Sociological Analysis 51(2): 127–138. doi:10.2307/3710810

Schutz, A. 1971. On Multiple Realities. In M.A. Natanson and H.L. van Breda (eds.), Collected Papers I: The Problem of Social Reality, 207–259. The Netherlands: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.

Schutz, A. and Thomas Luckmann. 1984. Strukturen der Lebenswelt. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp



How to Cite

Borg, M. B. ter. (2009). Transcendence and Religion. Implicit Religion, 11(3), 229–238.




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