Phenomenological Approaches to the Uncanny and the Divine: Adolf Reinach and Gerda Walther on Mystical Experience
Adolf Reinach (1883–1917) and Gerda Walther (1897–1977) were two figures of the early movement who gave phenomenological description to mystical and uncanny experiences; and, while the phenomenological approach each employs is slightly different, both commit to phenomenological description of the experiences of God and the uncanny, including the foreseeing of one’s death, in a manner that is open-minded and unprejudiced. In this chapter I will discuss the experiences of foreseeing and of God for both Reinach and Walther. I will rely on their first-hand accounts of such experiences, utilizing the battlefield notes of Reinach from WWI found in his Sämtliche Werke and the mystical experience Walther describes having in 1918 in her book Zum Anderen Ufer. In the end it will become clear that phenomenology is an approach for all kinds of experiences, even those that are most unconventional, and thus the potential for further and fresh research is great.