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Meister Eckhart: Philosopher of Christianity PDF

338 Pages·2015·1.494 MB·English
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Meister Eckhart This page intentionally left blank ; Meister Eckhart Philosopher of Christianity Kurt Flasch Translated by Anne Schindel and Aaron Vanides new haven and london The translation of this work was funded by Geisteswissenschaften International—Translation Funding for Humanities and Social Sciences from Germany, a joint initiative of the Fritz Thyssen Foundation, the German Federal Foreign Office, the collecting society VG WORT, and the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels (German Publishers & Booksellers Association). Published with assistance from the Ronald and Betty Miller Turner Publication Fund. Published with assistance from the Mary Cady Tew Memorial Fund. English translation copyright © 2015 by Yale University. Translated 2015 by Anne Schindel and Aaron Vanides. All rights reserved. This book may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, including illustrations, in any form (beyond that copying permitted by Sections 107 and 108 of the U.S. Copyright Law and except by reviewers for the public press), without written permission from the publishers. Originally published as Meister Eckhart: Philosoph des Christentums, 3rd ed. Copyright © Verlag C.H. Beck oHG, München 2011. Yale University Press books may be purchased in quantity for educational, business, or promotional use. For information, please e-mail [email protected] (U.S. office) or [email protected] (U.K. office). Set in Fournier type by IDS Infotech, Ltd. Printed in the United States of America. ISBN: 978-0-300-20486-5 (cloth; alk. paper) Library of Congress Control Number: 2015943082 A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. This paper meets the requirements of ANSI/NISO Z39.48–1992 (Permanence of Paper). 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 For Maria Antonietta Terzoli November 27, 2009 This page intentionally left blank One must speak wholly differently of the grounds of being of things and the knowledge of them, differently also of the things outside in nature. Likewise, it is to be spoken differently of substance and differently of accident. Those who fail to consider this will often fall into error. —Meister Eckhart, In Ioh., LW 3, n. 514, 445 All things, or almost all, that we ask about God are easily solved. And what is written about God—often also the obscure and difficult things—is explained clearly through natural reason. —Meister Eckhart, Prologus generalis, LW 1, n. 2, 39.3–4 Everything that is written or taught about the blessed Trinity is not necessarily so or true. —Meister Eckhart, Latin sermon 4, LW 4, n. 1, 31 It is a kinship of the divine kind. It is one within itself. It does not have anything in common with anything. In this matter, many a great scholar stumbles. —Meister Eckhart, German sermon 28, DW 2, n. 66, 4–5 If only they understood what mind is. —Meister Eckhart, DW 4, n. 1, 652.211, stating his reason for rejecting all the theologians of his time We are concerned here with a thinker who presents—granted, at times more casually than we are accustomed to demand— thoughts, not impressions, and strives to prove them by a strict method. He would believe that he was merely treading water if he were to keep his sentences unexplained and unproven. —Adolf Lasson, Meister Eckhart: Der Mystiker (Berlin, 1868), 3 This page intentionally left blank Contents Translators’ Preface xi Preface xiii part one 1 . Life and Works around 1300 3 2 . A Forgotten Concept: Philosophy of Christianity 14 3 . Self-Portrayals 31 4 . Beginnings: Paris and Erfurt, 1292–1298 45 5 . The Sermon Cycle on Eternal Birth 57 6 . Too Grand a Plan: Prologues to the Opus tripartitum 75 7 . Parisian Debates, 1302–1303 88 8 . Programmatic Speeches 102 9 . Golden Apples in Silver Peels: The Origin of the World—An Explanation of Genesis 115 10. Wisdom: In Sapientiam 131 11. Departure: In Exodum 142

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