Talk:Meister Eckhart

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works and doctrines[edit]

Hi, person who reverted my "vandalism". The section on Eckhart's doctrines is much too long and detailed to be a section of the main article - hence I moved it to it's own page, which I conveniently linked to when I removed the text. I'm going to go ahead and revert your reversion, and if you want to discuss this change, please do so here. Thank you. Cantara 01:01, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

I added the quote where Eckhart describes the subjects of his preaching. The paragraph was already discussing Eckhart's themes, and that quote is the standard summary of what Eckhart said in his German sermons.

Need Clarification[edit]

What do the words "mysticism is penetrated by the spirit of the University in which it occurred" mean? Lestrade 17:12, 7 June 2006 (UTC)Lestrade

Go read Ferruolo, The Origins of the University, Stanford UP 1985. The University of Paris was not much more significant than any other Cathedral School or scriptorium libnrary until Abelard set fire to rational debate in his dispute with William of Champeaux about the rules of philosophic ontology. Ths spirit of the University was originally dogmatic Roman, but it attracted a number of free-thinking young men who disputed the Realist schola. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 87.65.153.183 (talk) 05:51, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

Eudemonism and Christianity[edit]

After contrasting the eudemonism of Protestant Christianity with original Christianity and other religions – according to the article on eudemonism, the Christian use of the concept came from Aquinas through Augustine (both lived prior to the Protestant movement). I reverted my edit that noted this, because I don't have a copy of Welt to check on why Schaupenauer may have described it as a Protestant concept. Can you shed some light on this question? --Blainster 19:16, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

By eliminating asceticism and its central point, the meritorious nature of celibacy, Protestantism has already given up the innermost kernel of Christianity, and to this extent is to be regarded as a breaking away from it. In our day, this has shown itself in the gradual transition of Protestantism into shallow rationalism, that modern Pelagianism. In the end, this results in a doctrine of a loving father who made the world, in order that things may go on very pleasantly in it (and in this, of course, he was bound to fail), and who, if only we conform to his will in certain respects, will afterwards provide an even much pleasanter world (in which case it is only to be regretted that it has so fatal an entrance). This may be a good religion for comfortable, married, and civilized Protestant parsons, but it is not Christianity. Christianity is the doctrine of the deep guilt of the human race by reason of its very existence, and of the heart's intense longing for salvation therefrom.

Schopenhauer, The World as Will and Representation, Vol. II, Ch. XLVIII

Lestrade 19:59, 9 June 2006 (UTC)Lestrade

I have to say I am very uneasy reading Schopenhauer's words on Eckhardt. Full of insight though they may be they are filtered through S's very particular negative view of the world. Eckhardt's vision was one of Joy and Love, not despair - he uses these words continously in regard to the experience of achieving union with God. I'm also bored of people, when the encounter someone working in the Christian tradition who's views they have sympathy with automatically calling them a Bhuddist or Hindu (people call the Cathars Buddhists, S saying Eckhardt had to dress his Eastern Mysticism up in Christian garments etc). Because we don't like what Christianity has become doesn't mean when we find people who got close to its true spirit that they weren't Christians. At some point we are going to have to accept that in their purest forms all religious movements get close to a profound spiritual truth, Christian, Jew, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu or whatever. Eckhardt regarded himself as a Christian and we're going to have to accept that.

It is simply incorrect to attribute his views to other creeds without hard references - if you're arguing "ecumenity of the spirit", you should extract these considerations to another section named something like "Parallels with other creeds". If you wish to prove it the hard way, I would suggest you prove the oriental explorer Rusbroec (from the Pas de Calais) was linked to Jan van Ruusbroec's family, which WOULD be an interesting addition to our understanding of the roots of European mysticism. The area to research there is genealogy, Jan was almost certainly descended from the Counts of Flanders, but "almost certainly" is not hard documented genealogy. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 87.65.153.183 (talk) 06:04, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

I'm going to find some quotes by Eckhardt to counterbalance S's interpretation - I may even find some Jung on him. ThePeg 10:28, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

Eckhardt's Death[edit]

Am I wrong or is the inference in this article that Eckhart might not have died but just disppeared off somewhere else? I may be muddling things up but its pretty clear there is no record of his death and the article suggests he may have just continued his teaching elsewhere. Could he have avoid the stake? ThePeg 10:28, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

Not so. Eckhart had completely and officially submitted to the authority of the Holy Roman See and recanted his supposed doctrinal errors long before the papal bull In agro dominico, condemning certain propositions drawn from his works, not him, was published on March 27, 1329. He was under no danger of "the stake". The bull clearly refers to him as dead. It is the one document that establishes his death as having occurred before March 1329. Since he defended his theology at the process for heresy that the Archbishop of Cologne had instituted against him (February 1327) and then travelled to Avignon to defend himself before the Pope, it is deduced that he died sometime between July 1327 and the end of 1328. If he died anywhere near Avignon, and not on his way back from there, he would undoubtedly have been buried at the Dominican friary at Avignon, an important foundation.

what were the charges[edit]

What heresy, specifically, was Eckhart charged with? Or "heresies," I imagine. Jonathan Tweet 20:23, 9 June 2007 (UTC)

He had the bad luck to run into the founders of the Inquisition. The head of the Cistercian Order, Cardinal Konrad von Urach (d.1327 as a defeated papabile), Second Papal Legate to the Albigensian Crusade 1220-1223 and founder of the Inquisition, was on the heels of the Cathars, who were not confined to the south of France - his follower Boniface of Brussels was exiled from Paris during the student troubles of Carnival 1229, and was present in Cologne February 1229 - March 1231, investigating the Archbishop of Cologne's activities. This made Boniface enemies, which he added to in his next job as Bishop of Lausanne, chasing the Holy Roman Emperor (and ostensible Muslim) Frederic II, who had not delivered on his commitments to Konrad to undertake a new Crusade. Boniface was eventually the target of an attempted assassination, and retired to Konrad's Abbey of the Cambre just outside Brussels. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 87.65.153.183 (talk) 06:25, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

Johannes Eckhart[edit]

Why Johannes? Show me one - only one hand where "Johannes" is named! There is only one Meister Eckhart and his name is "Eckhart von Hochheim". Forget your Johannes. --Eckhart Triebel (talk) 23:16, 28 December 2007 (UTC)


the article[edit]

I am shocked: "Coming into prominence during the decadent Avignon Papacy and a time of increased tensions between the Franciscans and Eckhart's Dominican Order of Preacher Friars, he was brought up on charges later in life before the local Franciscan-led Inquisition."
Was ist das für ein Quatsch? Was erzählt der uns hier eigentlich? Eckhart hatte es nicht nötig, von der päpstlichen Seite her "prominent" zu werden, er tritt auch nicht erst durch seinen prozess in "prominence" und mit den hier konstruierten "increased tensions" hatte Eckhart nun soviel wie gar nichts zu tun - und die "lokal Franciscan-led Inquisition" ist reine Fiktion. An diesen Aussagen ist nichts wahr, aber auch gar NICHTS. Eckhart Triebel (talk) 23:55, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

See above on the charges against him. Konrad von Urach was the second son of Count Egino von Urach, founder of the House of Wurttemberg, and was Head of the Cistercians - he refused the Papacy in 1227, and did not long outlive the deed. It has been posited that there was a hidden schism within the Great Schism, between the Major Orders, particularly the Benedictines, Franciscans and Cistercians on the one hand, and the mendicant orders represented in Germany by the Dominicans. There most certainly was a plan afoot to move the Papacy to Brussels under the Duke of Brabant and with the help of the de Montforts, a cadet line of their common scion the Duchy of Flanders, as testified by Pope Leo XII in the 1890s, declaring the ArchiAssociation of the Eucharist as being perpetually and universally based there - the Inquisition was publicly understood (Brussels Region Archeaological Atlas vol 10.2, p151) to have placed one of the great relics there. Eckhart was simply a bystander in a larger conflict, between the Muslim Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II, and the House of Zahringen, representing the Southern German aristocracy and the Papacy, who could not stand his lifestyle. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 87.65.153.183 (talk) 06:53, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

Superfluous Info[edit]

I just removed some info which didn't have anything to do with Meister Eckhart. It's from the Overview section. I'll post it below. If I was wrong, please feel free to re-include it. Alphabet55 (talk) 19:51, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

The lack of imprimatur from the Church and anonymity of the author of the "Theologia germanica" did not lessen its influence for the next two centuries — including Martin Luther at the peak of public and clerical resistance to the irrationality of the Catholic indulgences — and was viewed by some historians of the early twentieth century as pivotal in provoking Luther's actions and the subsequent Protestant Reformation.

“The two eyes of the soul of man,” says the Theologia Germanica,”cannot both perform their work at once: but if the soul shall see with the right eye into eternity, then the left eye must close itself and refrain from working, and be as though it were dead. For if the left eye be fulfilling its office toward outward things, that is holding converse with time and the creatures; then must the right eye be hindered in its working; that is, in its contemplation. Therefore, whosoever will have the one must let the other go; for ‘no man can serve two masters.’“[1]

It's not superflous, it provides some linkage to his philosophical descent, as a key player in proto-Protestantism and, indeeed, the birth of liberal humanism in a time of great feudalism. I think this needs enhancement, rather, so I've reinstated it as a Posteriority section, as distinct from the "Where we are now" which is affected by everything which happened later.

Housekeeping[edit]

Hi, just to let folks know I started reading this page, and notice some of the Wiki links had no object to link to, so have started going through taking out the linkage & reverting back to text. While doing so I noticed a comment, rephrased it slightly and inserted reference to support it. I also reformated a couple of references into the citations template. The 'Christianity through the centuries' one didn't make sense, so I re-did it using the info available to men - if I missed something, and you have the actual book, feel free to correct me - but on the internet there are a number of references to this where the author and publisher are mixed up. I went to Google scholar and Amazon to establish these, but if you have an author for a particular section, let me have it and I'll insert in the citation in the appropriate place. I have had an interest in Eckhart for twenty years, and have several translations of his works, but only a few commentaries. Mish (talk) 10:59, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

Twentieth century theologians influenced by Eckhart[edit]

Was Paul Tillich influenced by Eckhart? I believe he was. I shall leave some one more informed me to note this. ACEOREVIVED (talk) 21:28, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

here's a start - Paul Tillich, Carl Jung and the Recovery of Religion, John P. Dourley, Taylor & Francis (2008) [1]
That's just a reference. What does it actually say about this question? David Spector (user/talk) 21:47, 1 December 2012 (UTC)

Tillich said: "To say 'God exists' is to deny Him." I'd say that statement itself shows an influence by Eckhart. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 169.133.253.21 (talk) 22:47, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

If you want to convince others, or add to the article, that this statement shows direct influence by Eckhart, you need to provide a rationale, or better, a reliable reference. Otherwise, it's just your opinion, which cannot be added to an encyclopedia. David Spector (user/talk) 21:47, 1 December 2012 (UTC)

Heresy[edit]

I found this articles about the rehabilitation of Master Eckhart:

Meister Eckhart's rehabilitation after 750 years culminates in the verdict that he never needed a rehabilitation. Such is the summary of the response which the then Master of the Dominicans, Timothy Ratcliffe, received from the Vatican in 1992, and which he had summarized in a letter to Peter Talbot Wilcox, the then President of the British Eckhart Society, dated 15 August 1992.

Sources: http://www.academici.com/blog/7263/meister_eckhart_rehabilitated_by_the_pope.html

My main language is french, so I can't edit the english version of the articles. But I would appreciate if someone could edit in order to reflect this informations.

Thank you

Dominic — Preceding unsigned comment added by 66.254.34.122 (talkcontribs)

Good find, thanks. Working on it right now. Ian.thomson (talk) 18:10, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
Hi. I tried checking the source but it's not available anymore. Found this alternative. I think that neither could be considered reliable sources. I suggest including the appropriate template(s) (maybe 'one source' or 'better source') or deleting the section altogether. Thank you. Paulienator (talk) 03:47, 28 June 2013 (UTC)

Commentary on St. John[edit]

People! Please help! Where can I find the full text of Eckhart's Commentary on St. John, in English, online? Thanks. Rasool-3 (talk) 08:44, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

POV on papacy[edit]

In first paragraph "decadent" in re the Avignon papacy, if unsupported, is a bit POV, no?43hellokitty21 (talk) 13:04, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

POV on papacy[edit]

In first paragraph "decadent" in re the Avignon papacy, if unsupported, is a bit POV, no?43hellokitty21 (talk) 13:04, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

Jacob's Ladder[edit]

I've moved these two inline comments to the Talk Page:

  • "This needs a citation of the actual quote from real life. If it's not citeable, it's not very encyclopedic, and quite misleading to put in a quote that a movie just made up and attributed to the subject."
  • "This section is on Eckhart's portrayal in Pop Culture, accurate or not. It ought to be pointed out if it's made up, but it still shows how the subject is popularly perceived and therefore still relevant information, possibly more so if it's fake or a broad interpretation/popular misinterpretation"

Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 07:29, 19 April 2013 (UTC)

Birthplace[edit]

Maybe McGinn's publication has settled the case for English speakers. Yet, it does not seem to have reached Germany so far. In the meantime, I'd prefer to mention both Tambach and Hochheim as potential birthplaces. -- Zz (talk) 15:15, 22 April 2013 (UTC)

Matthew Fox[edit]

The section on Matthew Fox has several problems. First, it is as much about Fox as Eckhart. I suggest editing to shorten description of Fox (he has his now page, after all) and to state that Fox has written a number of articles and at least one book about Eckhart's theology, and that Eckhardt appears along with other similar medieval theologians, in Fox's Original Blessings, a foundation work of "creation spirituality" (which also has its own page). Second, someone added several statements about Fox's interpretation of Eckhart and the reaction of other scholars that is unsupported by any references. The last sentence has the same problem. This at least needs references, and if there is in fact a significant disagreement, that should be explored in depth. Third, the relationship between creation spirituality and other movements does not belong in this section; that is a topic for the creation spirituality entry. I am going to make the suggested changes and deletions. If someone wants to defend them with references, they can be added back in. Below is the text as it appeared before my edits:

Matthew Fox (priest)|Matthew Fox]] (born 1940) is a former American priest and theologian.[2] Formerly a member of the Dominican Order within the Roman Catholic Church, he was also once a member of the Episcopal Church. Fox was an early and influential exponent of a movement that came to be known as Creation Spirituality. The movement sought to draw inspiration from the mystical philosophies of such medieval Catholic visionaries as Hildegard of Bingen, Thomas Aquinas, Saint Francis of Assisi, Julian of Norwich, Dante Alighieri, Meister Eckhart and Nicholas of Cusa, as well as the wisdom traditions of Christian scriptures. Fox's readings of Eckhart and other Christian mystics has been highly disputed. It has had little positive reception among scholars of medieval mysticism, though he has marked a whole generation's popular perception of Eckhart and others. Creation Spirituality is also strongly aligned with ecological and environmental movements of the late 20th century and embraces numerous spiritual traditions around the world, including Buddhism, Judaism, Sufism, and Native American spirituality, with a focus on "deep ecumenism".

Fox draws heavily on Eckhart for his own theology and whose "Breakthrough" presents an alternative and substantially different view of the nature and significance of Eckhart's thinking from that taken in earlier sections of this article.

CTLandman (talk) 03:19, 15 February 2014 (UTC)

Modern Spirituality[edit]

The thesis of this section is highly debatable and rests on an idea attributed to a unreliable source, The discussion of colonialism and mysticism is also highly debatable. THis is one theory but there are many others. Throwing Eckhart into this discussion seems unsupported, if not unsupportable. This section should be completely rethought and rewritten, or deleted. CTLandman (talk) 03:54, 15 February 2014 (UTC)

What makes Hanegraaff or King unreliable, you think? See D.T. Suzuki, Mysticism Christian and Buddhist for an example. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 07:57, 15 February 2014 (UTC)

Start with the definition of mysticism and Hanegraff. Hanegraff is the leader of a small Christian organization whose goal is to oust "cults" Christian and otherwise. From Wikipedia: "He is an outspoken figure within the Christian countercult movement where he has established a reputation for his criticisms of non-Christian religions, new religious movements or cults and heresies within conservative Christianity. He is also an apologist on doctrinal and cultural issues." He has no formal training in theology, let alone the Bible, no training in comparative religions, and has never published anything like a study of mysticism. Reliable verification requires someone who has some kind of credentials and expertise in the area. He has none.

The first clause, that Eckhart is a "timeless hero" is opinion and recycled from above, where it first appears, also without any support. If the article said that Eckhart was looked to by many etc.etc. - and then cite to works by those others - that would seem appropriate.

And the idea that "mysticism thrives on an all-inclusive syncretism" is patently false. As the wikipedia entry on "mysticism" shows, there have been mystics in almost every religious tradition and almost all of them were embedded within their own religions tradition, for reasons of history and geography if no others. Eckhart is of course a leading example - his mysticism (if it is indeed that) was completely embedded within the Abrahamic/Christian tradition and theology. While of course there has been syncretism, and out of that may have emerged mystics, syncretism is certainly not a defining characteristic of mysticism. In any case, this seems more properly addressed under the "mysticism" article. It is tangential to an article about Eckhart.

I did not say that King was unreliable, but rather that this area is highly controversial. "Orientalism" has been in great dispute in the US and elsewhere for years and was kicked into high gear by 9/11. I have no particular beef with King, or Suzuki for that matter (although Suzuki's area of expertise was religion, not history) but their views are but two opinions among many, many in this area. And using such a loaded term of opinion as "culture wars" would seem to be adding nothing other than argumentation to what should be a factual article. And again, this seems more properly addressed under the "mysticism" article, where the topic could be fully explored.

I'm not sure just what the point of this section is: that Eckhart's theology was a factor in the the modern development of mysticism for at least some individuals? Perhaps just say that, after all, it is just an introduction, and then move on to the examples.184.166.86.49 (talk) 21:50, 15 February 2014 (UTC) CTLandman (talk) 21:52, 15 February 2014 (UTC)

Hi. Some remarks:
  • It's not Hank Hanegraaff, it's Wouter Hanegraaff. Quite a difference...
  • The article does not say ""mysticism thrives on an all-inclusive syncretism", it says "modern spirituality, which thrives on an all-inclusive syncretism"
  • "their views are but two opinions among many, many in this area" - yeah, that's the kind of relativism which relativizes everything. Wikipedia is absed on WP:RS, Richard King is a reliable source
  • I've rephrased "culture battles" into "these developements and exchanges."
Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 18:21, 16 February 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for the clarification on Hanegraff.

To point out that there are differences of opinions hardly "relativizes everything." What it does do is make clear that, although you may find one source that says one thing, other equally reliable source disagree. THis is what honest scholarship is all about. Inserting only one point of view is fundamentally dishonest, because it misleads casual readers who may believe that the single view expressed is the only view of any particular matter. The wikipedia page on Orientalism uses this introduction to it's discussion of Orientalism and Religion "Due to the colonisation of Asia by the western world, since the 19th century an exchange of ideas has been taking place between the western world and Asia, which also influenced western religiosity.[34]" This is factually supportable, it doesn't try to prove a particular pint of view, it and allows a casual reader to dig deeper if they wish. I suggest replacing "Western monotheism was projected onto eastern religiosity by western orientalists, trying to accommodate eastern religiosity to a western understanding, whereafter Asian intellectuals used these projections as a starting point to propose the superiority of those eastern religions.[66]" with the text from the Orientalism article cited above. It is important to remember that WIkipedia isn't about projecting and protecting our own views however right we might think they are- that is for other forums - but instead providing a clear, factual basis for a casual reader. — Preceding unsigned comment added by CTLandman (talkcontribs) 23:31, 16 February 2014 (UTC)

Agree, go ahead. Best regards, Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 08:27, 17 February 2014 (UTC)


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