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The Yearbook on History and Interpretation of Phenomenology 2016

Vocations, Social Identities, Spirituality: Phenomenological Perspectives

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Jana Trajtelová

The fourth volume of the «Yearbook on History and Interpretation of Phenomenology: Vocations, Social Identities, Spirituality: Phenomenological Perspectives» presents variety of contemporary authors who explore the problem of vocation and closely related phenomena of personal, social, cultural (and transcultural) identity. They, altogether, point to its indispensable significance for our deeper understanding of the philosophical category of a «person», and a personal community, with all of its moral and axiological weight. The elucidation of our personal and social identities also unavoidably accompanies an ongoing, mutually respectful dialogue with other distinctive cultural life-worlds.

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Introduction (Jana Trajtelová)

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Jana Trajtelová

Introduction

The fourth volume of the Yearbook on History and Interpretation of Phenomenology, “Vocations, Social Identities, Spirituality: Phenomenological Perspectives,” has a special significance for me. It is not only because the problem of vocation, personal identity and spirituality unceasingly remain in the center of my scholarly interest and my own existential quest. The theme recently relates the variety of contemporary scholars who are exploring it with new zeal and a sense of urgency. They, altogether, point to its indispensable significance for our deeper understanding of the philosophical (“western”) category of a person, and a personal community, with all of its moral and axiological weight; the meaning of person is that toward which we still fortunately tend to turn to when we are faced with serious social, political or cultural challenges. The elucidation of our personal and social identities also unavoidably accompanies an ongoing, mutually respectful dialogue with other distinctive cultural life-worlds. In order to remain (or to become newly) an open and welcoming universal community (universal and ethical in Husserl’s sense, as Timo Miettinen explores below), we need to expose once more our own cultural roots and traditions to the light of critical and responsible reflections. The question of vocations stands at the very core of such efforts and reaches toward the depths of our individual and cultural self-understanding.

Of course, there are various layers (i.e. socio-cultural, political, ethical, religious and existential) and various aspects of a vocational experience...

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