Transcendence vs. Immanence

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Transcendence vs. Immanence

Transcendence and immanence represent two viewpoints of the relationship people have with God and how they experience him. Transcendence emphasizes the distance between God and humanity. A transcendental point of view sees God as omnipotent, meaning all powerful and distant from man whose responsibility is obedience. Immanence focuses on the union between God and humanity. God is seen as being present in the world, to be experienced in many ways, and humanity’s response is cooperation. Transcendence and Immanence are almost completely opposite each other.

Transcendence describes a God beyond our understanding leaving us to rely on a privileged source to provide us knowledge about him. A transcendent God leaves us to find a privileged source. By making people find a privileged source, people are going to see different sources. For Christianity the bible is seen as a privileged source. Catholics don’t see the bible as literally as other Christian religions.

It is hard to find a meaningful role for human life if God is seen as omnipotent. Whereas obedience is emphasized, any responsibility that humans have to change the conditions of the world is diminished. If he is seen as all powerful, all knowing, and all loving then he would know everything that happens before it does and because he is all loving, he is the only one who could change the bad conditions in the world. In saying we cannot change anything; we have no point of living, except to obey God.

By focusing on an imminent point of view one focuses on the union of God and humanity. An imminent point of view also sees God in everything one experiences. If God is in everything then that means he is in evil things and in good. The bible says that God is evil in no way, shape, or form. I do not believe that God is evil.

Personally encountering a God who permeates our lives in an effort to help us develop as people is an attractive viewpoint...
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