Immanence vs Transcendence

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As the structures of social theories continue to grow and other theories develop, one key underlying theme has aided in the creation of these theories. This theme is the opposing conflicts of transcendent and immanent thought.

The key issue of this essay is to give a clear and evaluated understanding of what both transcendent and immanent thoughts are, their differences and their main elements. This is to be done through reference to the three readings from the Socy 340 and its lecturer notes.

Transcendent and Immanent thought has guided many famous sociologists like Marx, Durkheim, Weber and Mead in the quest to understanding the social world we live in, investigate it, and represent it through research and theories. Transcendence, belief that ‘God' or other divine forces control our world, and Immanence, belief in looking within; both have been represented by certain sections and people of our society. From transcendent thinker like religious groups and people who believe in ‘fate' and ‘Reason' to immanent thinkers like Atheists and even Charles Darwin best known for his discovery of ‘Natural Selection', these two opposing yet equal thoughts have been present in social order and the social world.

When referring to transcendence within sociology, the first thought that comes to mind is God. Why god, because that is where the main element of transcendence is derived from. The idea that there is a higher and greater force outside of our own creation is the governing factor in transcendent thought.

When a transcendent thinker looks at the social world, they attempt to see patterns and links which are believed to be the guide to making the world and its social aspects all inter-related and therefore explainable. The explanation is often determined as God. God, in transcendent thinking, created the world, its social aspects and is the cause of all elements of being. Patterns and links are not seen as chance, but by conditioning from a divine spirit, whose power is



Bibliography: 1. Thiele, S., 2007, Social Theory Unit Information, University of New England, 2007 2. Thiele, S., 2007, Social Theory Lecture Notes, University of New England, 2007 3. Free Online Dictionary, 2005, immanent - definition of immanent by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia, Farlex, 2004, Retrieved 3rd of August 2007 from: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/immanent

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