arrus

arrus

21-03-2022

11:53

Eckhart agreed with the condemnation of every single proposition so he was no heretic. Every single serious theologian thereafter evaluating that "condemnation" has agreed that it was largely misconstrued.

This includes Pope Benedict XVI who told the Dominican order that he wouldn't lift the condemnation on Eckhart because there was no condemnation on Eckhart, only condemnation of propositions, thus they were free to continue using his works.

The first three propositoins - the eternity of the world - were never taught by Eckhart. Supposed source was from Eckhart's expression of God's impassibility such that using predicating temporality of the Godhead is inadequate.

The rest of the propositions are either theological benign (Pope Benedict XXII even tacitly recognised this possibility) or ignore the structure of his sermons whereby he opens with an offensive expression to the later clarify and clear up.

The only proposition I can think of that was directly sourced and never properly explained by Eckhart was sourced from a letter, to a grieving Aristocratic widow, turned into a book and not a sermon so it has better grounds for condemnation given textual context:

14) "A good man ought so to conform his will to the divine will that he himself wishes whatever God wishes; because God wishes me to have sinned in some way, I would not wish that I had not committed sins, and this is true repentance." This is probably rightly condemned

The only way to potentially salvage this is to invert the expression as one of total abandonment to divine providence: "I will only what God wills, so that if he wills what I consider sinful so I shall to will it, but given that God never wills sin, I shall never too."

Thus the conformity of will entails, as the Meister says, true repentance and reconciliation. But given that such clarification is absent from the book of divine consolation, although implicit in the rest of his theological project, the proposition is rightly condemned.

Otherwise, Eckhart would be contradicting his own Dionysian-Thomist theodicy & ethics. But the man who held the chair of the University of Paris, twice, was definitely smarter than this, so it is probable that he did not intend the face-value meaning as per his Sermons.

The entire condemnation is typically considered to have came about due to ecclesiastical spats between the Franciscan and Dominican Orders. Thankfully at least even the Catholic Encyclopedia, multiple Popes, the Domincan Order & most Eckhart scholars acknowledge his orthodoxy.

Was he killed by the condemnations? Perhaps yes incidentally given his failing health and old age. But he willingly died to acquiesce to the authority of the Church, he died in humility and obedience and thus in the love of God.


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