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Meister EckhartPhilosopher of Christianity$
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Kurt Flasch

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780300204865

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300204865.001.0001

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Eckhart’s Trial: The Charges

Eckhart’s Trial: The Charges

(p.234) 18. Eckhart’s Trial: The Charges
Meister Eckhart

Kurt Flasch

, Anne Schindel, Aaron Vanides
Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on Meister Eckhart's inquisitorial trial in Cologne, Germany. Two of Eckhart's Dominican confreres, Hermann of Summo and William of Nidecke, opened the list of doctrinal errors that accused him of being a heretic to the archbishop of Cologne, Heinrich II of Virneburg. It happened between August 1325 and September 1326; the episcopal inquisition initiated a trial. Some of Eckhart's errors comprised fifteen passages taken from the Book of Divine Consolation, others from his second commentary on Genesis and from his German sermons. Eckhart's brothers had found no fewer than forty-nine passages that were suspect of heresy. This chapter examines the ten main errors with which Eckhart was charged, including those relating to the concept of divine filiation, the relation between God and world, Trinity, divine birth, negative theology, the soul, universals, prayer, and interpretation of the Bible. It also considers how Eckhart justified his teachings that were attacked and whether he retracted anything.

Keywords:   heresy, Meister Eckhart, trial, Cologne, Germany, doctrinal errors, Heinrich II of Virneburg, divine filiation, God, inquisition

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