About the author: Jolana Poláková studied philosophy and classical philology at the Faculty of Arts at Prague’s Charles University, receiving her PhD in 1975. During the 1970s, she applied herself to the research of creativity and ethics at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, which she had to leave in 1981 for political and ideological reasons. She was a pioneer in the then unofficial humanitarian movement. After the fall of the communist regime in Czechoslovakia, she resumed her work there. In 1993, she won the URAM Award for Excellence in Creative Scholarly Writing, and since 1994 she has been a member of the New York Academy of Science. She is the author of Possibilities of Transcendence (Mellen 1995).1995 0-7734-8896-0
This book studies the issue of whether and how, when directly pursuing the experience of ultimate reality, it is possible to spell out this authentic experience and the chief paths leading to it using the language of philosophy. It probes the central themes of spirituality such as absolute love, truthfulness of faith, etc. The outcome is an experimental verification of the viability of the original conception of the non-intentional philosophy of transcendence which functions outside the limited framework of both objectifying natural theology and anthropocentric phenomenology of religious experience. Proceeding from an independent scrutiny of the external prerequisites of philosophical theology, this study shows just how various methodologically elaborated perspectives serve to pinpoint (both practically and theoretically) the unique, unexchangeable character of a lively relationship with a transcendental God and its transforming potential. Unlike the hitherto most advanced Lévinasian philosophical rendering of this relationship, this approach has not been abstracted to mere ethical commitment, but has been thematized in its polyfunctionality. Accent is placed on its structured universal dynamics and its precise distinguishing criteria, which are given by the nature of transcendence itself.1999 0-7734-7925-2
This is a comparative analysis of the basic types of postmodern search for transcendence, taking a philosophical, generally contextual viewpoint. It covers, in a panoramic sweep, the complete spectrum of modes of postmodern spirituality and, proceeding from their mutual comparison without setting any preconceived totalizing or reducing criteria, it first seeks to design their typology: according to the modes of penetration toward transcendence, transpersonality, transculturality, transuniversality, transalterity, etc, and according to the scope of the penetration, reaching out at relative or absolute transcendence. The requisite criteria are found within the framework of the process of postmodern search itself. Thus, the questions after relative transcendence as well as those concerning an absolutely transcendent God are philosophically justified within the postmodern context.