Meister Eckhart

Ideas

– Beyond ‘God’ lies the Godhead; that is, ‘God’ as Father, Son and Spirit is merely representation of the true God, or Godhead.

– The ground of God and the ground of the human soul are the same; thus God, or union with God, is to be sought within oneself: Here occurs ‘the birth of God’s Son in the soul.’

– God cannot be ‘known’ rationally, but only through immediate experience, normally as the result of disinterest and detachment and usually, but not necessarily, arrived at through ascetic practices.

– The spiritual and interior are superior to the material and exterior.

Biography

Meister Eckhart is one of the great Christian mystics. He was born near Erfurt in Thuringia and in his distinguished career became a Parisian Professor of Theology and took a leading pastoral and organisational role in the Dominican Order.

In the language of the Christian tradition Eckhart expounds the eternal mysteries in a style that is fresh and original in the best sense. Through the vividness of his use of imagery (alluding to the mysteries of the spark of the soul, the Abyss, the desert, the birth of the Word in the heart, etc.) Eckhart paradoxically directs us to that which lies beyond image.

The depth and universality of Eckhart’s teaching has drawn seekers of truth Christian and non-Christian alike. His radical and penetrating insight makes him a natural point of reference for a genuinely ecumenical understanding.

Major Works of Meister Eckhart

– Discourses of Discernment (before 1298)
– The Book of Divine Consolations and On the Nobleman (1315)
– On Detachment (1315)

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