Meister Eckhart on Divine Knowledge is not only the most profound study of the core theological and philosophical themes of Christianity’s greatest mystic ever written. It is also the greatest exegesis of Christian non-dualism ever published.
Of all Christian mystical teachings, those of the Dominican theologian Meister Eckhart (c. 1260–c. 1328) are increasingly recognized as the most compatible with the non-dualistic traditions of Buddhism and Hinduism. Based on the author’s three decades of formal study and spiritual practice, this book offers a clear path to understanding the breadth and depth of Eckhart’s unique achievement. C.F. Kelley argues that the fundamental principle that elevates Eckhart above all other Western mystics, and links him to Eastern spiritual approaches, is his insistence that we “think principally” in divinis—that is, from within the mind or orientation of the Godhead or “Divine Knowledge” itself.
“What is here presented to the reader supersedes all former interpretations of Eckhart’s teaching. It refuses to ignore what he precisely and repeatedly says cannot be ignored, that is, his exposition of the doctrine of Divine Knowledge in terms of the highest and most essential of all possible considerations.”
—C.F. Kelley, from the Preface
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The late C.F. Kelley was a Benedictine monk at Downside Abbey, UK, who became a professor of philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley. Aldous Huxley and two major Eckhart scholars encouraged Kelley to write this book, the culminating work of his career, originally published in 1977. William Stranger is the founder of DharmaCafé.com and DharmaCafé Books. He lives by the Mountain Of Attention Sanctuary in Seigler Canyon, CA.Review:
“The most engaging and illuminating study of a ‘mystical thinker’ I have read. Those who read it carefully will find the most sympathetic and sophisticated treatment of Eckhart in English.”
—Steven E. Ozment, author of Mysticism and Dissent: Religious Ideology and Social Protest in the Sixteenth Century and Flesh and Spirit: A Study of Private Life in Early Modern Germany
“C. F. Kelley’s Meister Eckhart on Divine Knowledge, first published in 1977, is a true classic of modern research on Eckhart. The first major study of the German Dominican in English, it effected an important shift in understanding Eckhart by demonstrating that he teaches and preaches primarily from a ‘principial’ perspective—that is, from God’s viewpoint as the source and principle of all things. Eckhart’s principial knowledge, as Kelley shows, ‘starts within God and then proceeds to understand all things from the standpoint of divine instasis.’ Once one grasps this fundamental, if startling, insight, many of the seeming contradictions and conundrums of Eckhart’s thought fall away to reveal the true profundity of his teaching about the relation of God and human. This reissue of Kelley’s book will be welcomed by all students of Eckhart.”
—Bernard McGinn, author of The Mystical Thought of Meister Eckhart: The Man from Whom God Hid Nothing and The Harvest of Mysticism in Medieval Germany
“In my view, no other study of Meister Eckhart has so well penetrated to the marrow of the great Dominican teacher and preacher’s philosophical and theological achievement. In the process of exploring what he has called the ‘axial theme’ in Eckhart’s teaching, Kelley has also managed to produce the greatest philosophical and theological exegesis on non-dualism to come out of the Christian tradition.”
—William Stranger, DharmaCafé.com
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