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Zeitschrift für Spiritualität und Transzendentale Psychologie 2011, 1 (1) /
Journal for Spirituality and Transcendental Psychology 1 (1), 2011



This first issue of the Journal for Spirituality and Transcendental Psychology  will be published – like all further issues – exclusively as an open access journal, however, we plan to publish a printed yearbook with the most important contributions at the end of each year. Thus, the here published articles are accessible to a broad readership. By releasing some articles in English and German, we want to underscore that we are focussing on an international audience. This tradition shall be continued in the future. In any case, we appreciate the contribution of articles in both languages. Nevertheless, the fact that a journal is published primarily online should not be regarded as an indicator of its quality. We set a high value on the fact that the Journal for Spirituality and Transcendental Psychology is comparable to other journals of academic status. The treatise of two adapt authors contribute to this end: Gerhard Wehr as well as Bernhard Wegener are both scholars who can look back on a considerable own bibliography. Gerhard Wehr’s article (only in German) about Meditation as a Mystical Practise leads the reader through the long occidental history of meditative practice. That the history of contemplation is not just the history of India, the author demonstrates impressively.


Bernhard Wegener’s article (in German), The Saints’ Salvation and Healing, carries out a similar project with regard to the history of the Christian veneration of saints. Substantiated by diverse historical evidence, the author demonstrates the ambivalence coming over the contemporary observer when confronted with the partially naïve, partially deliberately exploited piety of the Christian Middle Ages. But in doing so, he does not render an apodictic judgement about hagiolatry, but remains with the historic phenomenon and admits eventually – following the postulate of transcendental openness – that about the nature of the saint nothing can be said by the form of his/her veneration.


When the first issue of a new journal goes to the start – be it in printed or online form – the reader asks himself what the specific of that new publication may be, what special profile distinguishes it from other products, thus granting it its own right to exist. And on the other hand, editors or publishers ask themselves what kind of readership they will acquire. Reader and journal, first of all, have to come together, and therefore it is essential from the very beginning to demonstrate clearly what distinguishes us from other journals. These essentials will be provided by the editor’s contributions to this first issue, beginning with an editorial Statement of Purpose of the journal. In his first essay, entitled Fundamentals of a Transcendental Psychology, a survey has been attempted over the subject we want to call “transcendental psychology”, at least here in this journal.


In the second contribution of the editor, Is Transcendental Psychology Metaphysics?, the project of a groundwork for transcendental psychology will be continued. Here the epistemological premises of such a psychology are discussed in two respects: With respect to the difficulties related to any metaphysical psychology on the one hand, and with respect to the essential concept of spiritual or religious experience on the other. This article might suit best the expectations of a philosophically interested but otherwise specialised audience.


In the editor’s third contribution, Investigating God Instead of Proofing God, the project of establishing a transcendental psychology will be temporarily finished by a methodological consideration: Which premises, research designs and operationalisations are needed to open the concept of transcendence to psychological research? The article may be primarily interesting for persons educated in methodology and philosophy within the social sciences or religion.


Further articles contribute to periodical series we want to initiate now. Under the heading, Spirituality Check, the authors will answer the question what a spiritual subject really is. In this first issue, we deal with the concept “spirituality” itself. Under the heading, The Practice Test, we will show personal, subjective, but justified impressions the authors got from spiritual institutions. In this issue, a (German only) description of the author’s visit to a QiGong centre in Berlin will be presented. In the permanent category Commentary and Review this time a book is reviewed (in German) that is lacking equivalents as much as readers: and exactly this was interesting for us.



I wish all visitors an interesting and interested reading and look forward to your commentaries and contributions (in English or both languages).



E. W. Harnack