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Richard Woods OP (ed): Meister Eckhart – Master of Mystics

Richard J Woods OP (Ed)

Meister Eckhart – Master of Mystics

ISBN: 9781 4411 3442 4

Continuum, N.Y., 2011, 194pp, £17.99

This is a book of essays, variously commenting on Eckhart’s work. The title Meister, which for reasons unknown stuck with him, derives from his position at the University of Paris.

In his preface, Timothy Radcliffe compares Eckhart’s teachings with the Buddhist teacher who said, ‘I pray to God to rid me of God!’ Eckhart’s version was, ‘For you to know God in God’s way, your knowing must become a pure unknowing, and a forgetting of yourself and all creatures.’ It should not surprise us to know that his writings influenced the writer of The Cloud of Unknowing.

Born in the thirteenth century, the son of a knight, Eckhart of Hochheim was influenced by the growth of Rhineland mysticism. He was a follower of Aquinas; and as a vicar in their Order, a teacher and friend of many educated women who joined the Dominicans, attracted by the combination of study and spirituality. When, in later life, he was discredited unjustly as a heretic, many of his writings and sermons were saved through being memorised by these women. Sadly he died before he could be vindicated. His principal thesis was of an imageless God, to be discovered by each one in the way of God for that one.

Elizabeth CSF