Curriculum Vitae
Spirituality - Theology. Theological issues in my books

I am interested in theology as being existential. My focus is on what deeply heals and on God amidst suffering. God’s silence in hours of extreme agony and despair can not be dealt with empty words. Is it possible that “God is happening” right here and now when a last openness, an all-encompassing “Yes” is ultimately accomplished? The book Grenzerfahrung Gott [Spiritual Experiences in Illness and Affliction] (3rd ed. 2006) is about such spiritual experiences. Religious as well as unreligious people experience the Inconceivable.

Spirituality is not the same as religiousness. To me spirituality means the experience of something far larger than what we can grasp and conceive. Spiritual experiences can never be made or induced, e.g. by music. Spirituality is more than extension of consciousness. It is an experience of grace and happens where people bear up against all odds and into the void “the question that I am to myself” (Karl Rahner) and such become open to the dimension God. Act of revelation.

Renz, Monika
Chancen letzter Reifung
Bioethica Forum: Schweizer Zeitschrift für Biomedizinische Ethik (Swiss Journal of Biomedical Ethics), 7(4), 142-143, 2014. ISSN 1662-6001; EISSN 1662-601X


Renz, Monika: Chances of final maturation:

The article describes psychological processes which often amazingly occur in dying. Dying processes also seem to stagnate sometimes. Monika Renz recognizes three reasons for this stagnation: 1) obstructed letting-go processes, 2) fear, 3) unfinished business such as finding a final identity and dignity, reconciliation or encounter with a spiritual reality that transcends the ego and gradually gains in importance. Even though dying is individual and personal, dying processes unfold in phenomenologically distinct stages. In her book Dying: a Transition (New York: Columbia University Press, 2015) Monika Renz suggests that a transformation of perception and thereby passing over a threshold of consciousness into a different state of non-dualistic being is the preeminent process in dying, a key to many other symptoms and features of the dying process. In the context of this transformation of perception maturation often occurs. Understanding this dynamic substantially improves care of the dying.

Published in The Philosopher's Index http://philindex.org/

Crucial theological statements in my publications:

Zwischen Urangst und Urvertrauen
[Between Primeval Fear and Primeval Trust] (1996)
Primeval Trust as utmost experience of „being part of“ and „being within“ is older than all anxiety. It is first to all other experiences.
Later concepts of God are based on experiences of „being whole“.
Primeval Fear often hinders being open to God.
First experiences of wholeness are different from intuitions/experiences of the eschatological God.

Zeugnisse Sterbender
[Testimonies of the Dying] (3rd rev. and enl. ed. 2005):
apocalyptic agony as reality for the dying
experience and significance of being dignified (cf. Last Judgment)
visions of future, of completion
what happens in and after death remains a mystery

Grenzerfahrung Gott
[Spiritual Experiences in Illness and Affliction] (3rd ed. 2006):
five modes of experience of the One Holy Whole
God as the eternal Other
how to deal with experiences of God

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