Kunskapens gräns, gränsens vetande : En fenomenologisk undersökning av transcendens och kroppslighet

Sammanfattning: The limit between the proper and the foreign – how this limit is established, but also crossed and dissolved – has remained a crucial issue in phenomenology. Setting these questions in the context of the phenomenology of religion, this thesis develops an analysis of the relation between transcendence and body understood in terms of a certain limit. The introductory part is rooted in Edmund Husserl’s discussions of the concept of transcendence, which is shown to have an essential connection to the analysis of inner time-consciousness. Here we encounter a decisive limit to objectifying knowledge, which also comes across in his investigations of the body and its spatiality.The second part discusses Max Scheler’s critique of Husserl’s excessively objectifying view of knowledge, with a particular focus on Scheler’s understanding of love as a condition of possibility for any knowledge. Scheler is shown to have developed a new concept of transcendence that avoids the pitfalls of objectivism, although in his philosophy of religion he tends to downplay the importance of the body.The third part undertakes a reading of Edith Stein, who develops ideas similar to Scheler’s, though in a phenomenologically more nuanced fashion. Although her philosophy of religion also bypasses the body, Stein provides a more genuine access to the writings of the mystics, the analysis of which forms the core of the fourth and concluding part. Drawing on the work of the 13th century Beguine Mechthild of Magdeburg, this concluding chapter develops a phenomenological understanding of religion with an emphasis on transcendence and limit, while also retaining the centrality of our experience of the body. This means: a phenomenology of the limit is investigated, rather than a limit of phenomenology.