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The Knowability of Divine Being according to Meister Eckhart’s Principal Thesis: «The Act to Be Is God»

The Knowability of Divine Being according to Meister Eckhart’s Principal Thesis: «The Act to Be Is God»

By Rupert J. Mayer

Alpha Omega, Volume 20, Number 3, 2017

Fragment of Sermon 5b by Meister Eckhart, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

Introduction: Meister Eckhart loves to hide his thought under the appearance of extreme positions. The church condemned some of his teachings prout sonant verba, as the words sound or seem to speak, in 1329.

But Meister Eckhart warns his readers not to interpret his text according to its exterior appearance. He knows that his writings appear to be false or monstrous at first sight, though not when the reader treats them with diligence. The diligent reader may find, that Eckhart’s words are in accord with the truth of scripture, with the words of saints, or famous teachers.


Thus, Eckhart intentionally uses a provocative style in order to incite his readers to a more diligent thinking. Even the principal thesis of his tripartite work (Opus tripartitum) contains such a provocation. At first, this article tries, therefore, to clarify the meaning of the thesis ‘The act to be is God.’ Then it asks the questions how we come to know the act to be, and how God is known as the act to be.

Click here to read this article from Ateneo Pontificio Regina Apostolorum



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