Transcendental model (contextual theology)

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Transcendental Model is one of the models comprising Stephen Bevans's contextual theology. This model proposes that constructing a contextualized theology is not about producing a particular body of texts, but is instead about attending to the affective and cognitive operations in the self-transcending subject. In other words, "theology happens as a person struggles more adequately and authentically to articulate and appropriate this ongoing relationship with the divine."[1] The emphasis here is on theology as an activity and process as opposed to a particular context. This model is not about finding right answers that exist in some transcultural realm, but rather revolves around a passionate search for authentic expression of one's religious and cultural identity.[1]


The term transcendental echoes the "transcendental method" created by Immanuel Kant in the eighteenth century and developed in the twentieth century by thinkers like Pierre Rousselot, Joseph Marechal, Karl Rahner, and Bernard Lonergan, all attempting to understand a genuine "intellectualism" they found in Thomas Aquinas with regard to modern subjectivity and historical consciousness.[2]


  1. ^ a b (English) Stephen B. Bevans. Models of Contextual Theology. USA: Orbis Books.
  2. ^ (English) Otto Muck. The Transcendental Method. New York: Herder and Herder.