Lucretius was the first philosopher of immanence. It is he and not Democritus or Epicurus who holds this title.
Recovering the immanentist tradition
A cluster of terms delimits religion in contemporary debates by naming that which it is not: immanentism, naturalism, materialism, monism, and of course, atheism. One of these terms appears in the title of this website and the rest in many of its essays. Though they do a lot of heavy lifting, they rarely receive elaboration.
This forum proposes a return to the work of a set of authors from the Western tradition who have attempted to create a self-sufficient, coherent description of an immanentist world. We wager that within the prevailing trends of Western thought there is a tradition that has challenged the widespread assumption that any sound philosophical understanding of the world must necessarily culminate in “metaphysics” or “theology.” Moreover, in uniting the various strands of this tradition, we expect a new picture will emerge that offers a better account of a presence that has for too long been figured as an absence.
By recovering a positive presence within that which exceeds or negates the religious, we can, perhaps, initiate a new frame that moves beyond a historical dialectic and embraces a more complex intellectual ecology.
This forum was guest edited by Joseph Blankholm and editorial board member Carlo Invernizzi Accetti. -Eds.
What is reality? This is a question historians and philosophers can ask together. Let me use it to ponder the…