Meister Eckhart: Thought and Language (Middle Ages Series)

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9780812280098: Meister Eckhart: Thought and Language (Middle Ages Series)

Meister Eckhart was a thirteenth-century Dominican mystic who became famous as a teacher, thinker, and preacher. His brilliant career, which included a chair of theology at the University of Paris and several important posts within his order, ended tragically when he was tried and convicted of heresy.

In Meister Eckhart Frank Tobin presents an overview of Eckhart's thought and language and of the relationship between the two. Tobin finds Eckhart's thinking unusual in its insistence that neither the division nor the union between God and creation had been expressed adequately. Moreover, Eckhart was radical in uncompromisingly applying metaphysics to a study of human spiritual progress and insisting that all ethical value derives from the "interior" work of the soul rather than its expression in "exterior" work.

The originality of Eckhart's thought is nowhere more evident than in his interpretations of the Bible. His sermons and treatises are distinguished from others by his ability to uncover unexpected and intellectually stimulating, and at times breathtaking, meaning of a speculative or mystical nature in what often seemed to be straightforward and even drab biblical passages. Part of this originality stemmed from Eckhart's attitude toward exegesis and his theory of language, both of which centered on the difficulty of expressing speculation on the infinite through finite and limited language. As a result of this attitude, Eckhart became a master of the startling paradox.

Through an analysis of Eckhart's linguistic strategies, Tobin shows that the Dominican's use of language follows with remarkable consistency from his view of language. He shows also that an understanding of Eckhart's style gives invaluable insight into his thought.

Tobin compares Eckhart's ideas with those of Thomas Aquinas to help clarify both Eckhart's originality and his place in the scholastic tradition.

Meister Eckhart: Thought and Language will be of value to scholars interested in medieval studies, church history, philosophy, intellectual history, and medieval German language and literature.

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About the Author:

Frank Tobin is Emeritus Professor of German at the University of Nevada, Reno. He is the author of "Gregorius" and "Der arme Heinrich": Hartmann's Dualistic and Gradualistic Views of Reality.

From Library Journal:

Tobin's book on Eckhart contributes to the current surge of interest in medieval spirituality. The author explores the relationship between the Dominican mystic's language and the religious views he sought to convey. Eckhart's scholastic contemporaries created logical systems and stated their conclusions in summas in an effort to establish the objective existence of God. By contrast, Eckhart employed poetic and metaphoric devices, commensurate with the more subjective and open-ended view he espoused. Because words are doomed to inadequacy when trying to express the nature of God, said Eckhart, we can only speak analogically. A careful, scholarly work, Tobin's book is essential for anyone seeking to understand Eckhart and the tradition of medieval mysticism. Murray L. Wagner, Bethany Theological Seminary, Oak Brook, Ill.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Book Description University of Pennsylvania Press, United States, 2017. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Meister Eckhart was a thirteenth-century Dominican mystic who became famous as a teacher, thinker, and preacher. His brilliant career, which included a chair of theology at the University of Paris and several important posts within his order, ended tragically when he was tried and convicted of heresy. In Meister Eckhart Frank Tobin presents an overview of Eckhart s thought and language and of the relationship between the two. Tobin finds Eckhart s thinking unusual in its insistence that neither the division nor the union between God and creation had been expressed adequately. Moreover, Eckhart was radical in uncompromisingly applying metaphysics to a study of human spiritual progress and insisting that all ethical value derives from the interior work of the soul rather than its expression in exterior work. The originality of Eckhart s thought is nowhere more evident than in his interpretations of the Bible. His sermons and treatises are distinguished from others by his ability to uncover unexpected and intellectually stimulating, and at times breathtaking, meaning of a speculative or mystical nature in what often seemed to be straightforward and even drab biblical passages. Part of this originality stemmed from Eckhart s attitude toward exegesis and his theory of language, both of which centered on the difficulty of expressing speculation on the infinite through finite and limited language. As a result of this attitude, Eckhart became a master of the startling paradox. Through an analysis of Eckhart s linguistic strategies, Tobin shows that the Dominican s use of language follows with remarkable consistency from his view of language. He shows also that an understanding of Eckhart s style gives invaluable insight into his thought. Tobin compares Eckhart s ideas with those of Thomas Aquinas to help clarify both Eckhart s originality and his place in the scholastic tradition. Meister Eckhart: Thought and Language will be of value to scholars interested in medieval studies, church history, philosophy, intellectual history, and medieval German language and literature. Bookseller Inventory # LIE9780812280098

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