Meister Eckhart and the Varieties of Nothing

Williams, Duane (2013) Meister Eckhart and the Varieties of Nothing. Medieval Mystical Theology, 20 (1). pp. 85-98. ISSN 2046-5726

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This paper identifies five different uses of the word ‘nothing’ in the work of Meister Eckhart. These senses of nothing are understood to function within an ontological hierarchy, beginning with the understanding that all nothings are things, and moving in ascending order to the assertions that all things are nothing, that things are nothing but God, nothing but God, and finally God as Nothing. This scale of degrees is ultimately understood to mean that the nothings are nothinged by the nothinger nothinged. The mystical, theological, and philosophical implications of this are then discussed. Accordingly, the metaphysical significance of the word ‘nothing’ as relative rejection, rather than absolute denial, is seen to point to a grammatical ground as opposed to a grammatical fiction.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Nothing,seeing,negation,detachment,oneness, being
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > Theology, Philosophy and Religion
Depositing User: Susan Murray
Date Deposited: 07 Oct 2013 17:01
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2013 17:01

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