Eckhart’s Why and Heidegger’s What: Mystical Theology and Continental Philosophy Beyond Subjectivistic Thought

Williams, Duane (2017) Eckhart’s Why and Heidegger’s What: Mystical Theology and Continental Philosophy Beyond Subjectivistic Thought. In: Eckhart’s Why and Heidegger’s What: Mystical Theology and Continental Philosophy Beyond Subjectivistic Thought. Contemporary Theological Explorations in Christian Mysticism . Ashgate Publishing. (Submitted)

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Abstract

This paper explores similarities between the mystical theology of Meister Eckhart and the continental philosophy of Martin Heidegger. It begins by looking at passages from some of Eckhart’s German sermons, in order to explore the significance of his notion of being ‘without a why.’ The second part of this paper draws on John D. Caputo’s study of how Heidegger too adopts and understands the notion of being ‘without a why’, through his reinterpretation of Leibniz’s Principle of Sufficient Reason, and his defence of Johannes Scheffler’s mystical poetry. The final section explores Heidegger’s understanding of the word ‘what’ by drawing on his work, ‘What is Philosophy’, which I will argue is as significant to his mystical thinking as the word ‘why’ is in his study of Leibniz and Scheffler. My overall aim is to show how the words ‘why’ and ‘what’ can lead to a delimitation or circumscription of our thinking, which compromises or obstructs our relation to the abyss of Godhead or of Being. I will close by highlighting the importance of releasement or letting-be (Gelassenheit) in both Eckhart’s and Heidegger’s approach.

Item Type: Book Section
Keywords: Meister Eckhart, Martin Heidegger, Gottfried Leibniz, Johannes Scheffler, Why, What, Subjectivity, Gelassenheit.
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > Theology, Philosophy and Religion
Depositing User: Lauren Whiston
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2016 15:51
Last Modified: 23 Mar 2016 15:51
URI: http://hira.hope.ac.uk/id/eprint/993

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