Absurdity, time, death—each poses a profound threat to Being, compelling us to face our limits and our finitude. Yet what does it mean to fully realize and experience these threats? Finite Transcendence: Existential Exile and the Myth of Home presents a thoughtful and thorough examination of these challenges and questions, arguing the universality of the realization of finitude in the experience of exile. By tracing the historical presence and experience of notions of “faith” and “exile” in Western thought from the Ancient Greeks to the present, Steven A. Burr demonstrates the character of each as fundamental constitutive components of what it means to be human. The book discusses essential elements of each, culminating in a compelling account of “existential exile” as a definitive name for the human experience of finitude. Burr follows with a comprehensive analysis of the writings of Albert Camus, demonstrating an edifying articulation of, engagement with, and reconciliation of the condition of existential exile. Finally, based on the model suggested in Camus’s approach, Burr discusses responses to exile and articulates the meaning of home as the transcendence of exile.
Finite Transcendence is a work that will be of great value to anyone working in or studying existentialism, philosophy of religion, hermeneutics, and social theory, as well as to anyone interested in questions of faith and society, religion, or secularity.