Johannes Eckhart

(redirected from Meister Eckhart)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.

Eckhart, Johannes


Born circa 1260 in Hochheim, near Gotha; died late 1327 or early 1328 in Avignon. German thinker; leading philosophical mystic of the late Middle Ages in Western Europe. Dominican monk.

Eckhart studied and taught at the University of Paris, and later in Strasbourg and Cologne; J. Tauler and H. Suso were his students. In 1329 a papal bull declared 28 articles of Eckhart’s doctrine to be false.

The sermons and treatises that Eckhart wrote in German, most of which have come down to us in his students’ notes, deviate significantly from the norms of Scholasticism in both form and philosophical content. He elaborated and refined the Christian Neo-platonism of Dionysius the Areopagite. Eckhart’s main theme is the godhead (Gotheit)—the impersonal and featureless absolute beyond the tripartite god—as the totality of qualities and creative source of the world process. Man is able to know god because of the existence in man himself of a divine “spark” that is consubstantial with god. Renouncing its selfhood and becoming one with divine nothingness, the human soul becomes an instrument of god’s endless self-perpetuation.

Eckhart’s conception, which was unacceptable to orthodox Christianity, was open to interpretation in the spirit of pantheism. His doctrine gave impetus to the tradition of German mysticism, which frequently acquired the overtones of popular heretical beliefs. His teachings anticipated the idealist dialectics, developed by F. von Schelling and G. Hegel, of the oneness and divine nature of the world process. Eckhart and his followers played an important role in the development of German literary language.


Die deutschen und lateinischen Werke. Stuttgart, 1936–48.
In Russian translation:
Izbr. propovedi. Moscow, 1912.


Kopper, J. Die Metaphysik Meister Eckharts. Saarbrücken, 1955.
Oltmanns, K. Meister Eckhart, 2nd ed. Frankfurt am Main, 1957.
Degenhardt, J. Studien zum Wandel des Eckhartsbildes. Leiden, 1967.


References in periodicals archive ?
Chesterton's hero, Gabriel Syme, confronts "matter more dark and awful" that is finally beyond all religious orthodoxy and even beyond Meister Eckhart himself.
This book introduces the concept of spiritual seeing and explicates it through the thought and writings of Meister Eckhart, Nagarjuna, Huang Bo, and the Diamond Sutra.
In studying the writings of Meister Eckhart, I found his spiritual teachings and practices as a way to share myself as a child and mother of God with others.
In spite of a burgeoning scholarly interest in religious women overall, beguines have been widely neglected, with the exception of some studies of their spirituality and connection to the mysticism of Meister Eckhart.
In an analysis of Meister Eckhart and John of the Cross, and in a challenge to what he sees as the overoptimistic views of "creation spirituality," Williams affirms that a stripping and questioning, a descent into silence, is the necessary condition of an emergence into effective speech, into mission.
3 THE ECKHART SOCIETY Meister Eckhart, the fourteenth-century Dominican mystic, was accused of heresy and written out of ordained Catholic history.
Through all of this discussion of linguistic philosophy runs a strong Heideggerian current -- and Stone is energetic in highlighting medieval antecedents, such as Meister Eckhart.
Meister Eckhart appears several times in their correspondence as a reference both to the lifestyle as well as theological issues.
Meister Eckhart: A Mystic-Warrior for Our Times" by Matthew Fox is a 336 page compendium showcasing Eckhart's thought and relevancy for contemporary students of Christian Metaphysics and what Fox describes as Creation Spirituality by means of posing metaphorical discussions between the 13th Century theologian and philosopher Meister Eckhart with such luminaries as Teilhard de Chardin, Thich Nhat Hanh, Carl Jung, Black Elk, Rumi, Adrienne Rich, and others.
You learn it from the great masters like Black Elk and Meister Eckhart and the Sufi poets and the interpreters of kabbalah.
As Light Belongs to Air: Thomas Aquinas and Meister Eckhart on the Existential Rootlessness of Creatures, ANDREW T.