Meister Eckhart Birthday & Fun Facts

Height, Age, Net Worth, Biography & More

Christian Mba
Feb 08, 2024 By Christian Mba
Originally Published on Dec 06, 2023
Discover some of the amazing and lesser-known things about the popular German Catholic philosopher, Meister Eckhart.
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Read time: 3.8 Min

About Meister Eckhart

Meister Eckhart (1260-1328) was a prominent German Catholic theologian, philosopher, and mystic during the Avignon Papacy. He gained the title 'Meister' after obtaining the academic title of 'Magister in Theologia' from the University of Paris. His original name was Johannes Eckhart, but he is more commonly known by his academic title, Meister Eckhart.

Eckhart's teachings, which often explored the relationship between God and humanity, were considered radical and thought-provoking, capturing a mystical element often underplayed. He was one of the first to write inquisitive prose in German, contributing significantly to the development of the language.

Despite his innovative ideas, Eckhart faced controversy due to his unconventional theological beliefs. He was accused of heresy and brought before the local Franciscan-led Inquisition. However, he remained true to the teachings of the Church. His works continue to captivate modern readers, and his influence extends to thinkers of the Reformation, including Martin Luther.

Childhood And Education

Meister Eckhart was born Eckhart von Hochheim around 1260, near Gotha in the Landgraviate of Thuringia, now central Germany, in the Holy Roman Empire. Little is known about his family and early life, and there is no concrete information about his parents or siblings. It was previously believed that he was born into a noble family of landowners, but this has been debunked as a misinterpretation of the archives in that period.

Eckhart's education likely began in his late teenage years when he joined the Dominican Order. He may have studied under the influence of Albert the Great in Cologne before Albert died in 1280. Eckhart later moved to Paris to further his studies and work as a lecturer. He received his master's degree from the University of Paris in 1302, earning him the title 'Meister', which means 'Master'.

Family And Relationship

Meister Eckhart was a member of the Dominican Order, and he did not have a wife or children. The focus of his life was on his theological, philosophical, and mystical teachings, rather than on personal relationships or family life.

There is a legend about a woman referred to as 'Meister Eckhart's Daughter', but this is a metaphorical title, not a literal one, and does not indicate that Eckhart had a biological daughter.

Career And Professional Highlights

Best Known For…

Meister Eckhart was popular as a prominent German theologian, philosopher, and mystic. His most notable accomplishments include his profound influence on Western mysticism and philosophy and his unique approach to the inner journey of the soul.

Master Eckhart was an accomplished academic theologian, best known for his vernacular sermons. His teachings, often delivered in the form of sermons, were transcribed and translated, expressing the personal, mystical aspects of his beliefs.

Eckhart had a unique interpretation of the doctrine of the Trinity, which was influenced by, but also diverged from Thomas Aquinas' teachings. Eckhart exaggerated the scholastic distinction between the Divine essence and the Divine persons.

Eckhart's writings, including 'The Complete Mystical Works Of Meister Eckhart', are considered spiritual treasures. This collection of his teachings, translated by Maurice O'C. Walshe is the most comprehensive single volume available of Eckhart's works in English.

Josiah Royce attributes Eckhart's reputation for originality to his translation of scholastic philosophy into German, and to the fact that Eckhart wrote his speculations in German. This made his ideas more accessible to a broader audience and contributed to the development of the German language, as well as the expression of philosophical ideas in the vernacular.

Eckhart's teachings have found resonance with a wide range of audiences. However, some Eckhart scholars argue that this broad appeal and the subsequent categorization of Eckhart as a mystic have led to less focus on his philosophical and theological ideas.

Despite facing accusations of heresy, Eckhart's teachings have endured. His legacy is seen in his enduring influence on Western mysticism and philosophy, and his teachings continue to inspire spiritual seekers today.

Other Interesting Meister Eckhart Facts And Trivia

  • Eckhart's teachings are often related to a diverse array of traditions, including Advaita Vedanta, Zen Buddhism, Confucianism, Sufism, Zoharic Kabbalism, and Taoism.
  • His book, titled 'Meister Eckhart: The Essential Sermons, Commentaries, Treatises, And Defense', also known as the 'Rechtsfertigung' or 'Vindicatory Document', was re-published in 1923.
  • Matthew Fox's book 'Breakthrough: Meister Eckhart's Creation Spirituality In New Transition' (later republished as 'Passion For Creation: The Earth-Honoring Spirituality Of Meister Eckhart') offers a comprehensive translation and commentary on 37 of Eckhart's sermons.
  • Heinrich Seuse Denifle, a prominent paleographer and historian, was the first to recover Eckhart's Latin works, starting in 1886.
  • The critical edition of Eckhart's works, which is considered the most authoritative, accepts only four of Eckhart's vernacular treatises as genuine.
  • Meister Eckhart's German sermons are considered more precise and analytical than his Latin sermons.

Image credit: www.shutterstock.com/image-vector/meister-eckhart-1260132

Meister Eckhart Birthday & Fun Facts Facts

Birth Name

Eckhart von Hochheim

Nationality

Roman

Place of Birth

Gotha

Child Star?

No

Occupation

Theologian, Philosopher, Mystic
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Sources

www.biographyonline.netwww.britannica.comwww.everand.comharpers.orgonlinephilosophy.organamchara.comwww.thefamouspeople.comopwest.orggeniuses.clubbrill.comen.wikipedia.orgimere.orgplato.stanford.eduwww.newworldencyclopedia.orgwww.goodreads.comwww.amazon.comthemarginaliareview.com

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Written by Christian Mba

Bachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

Christian Mba picture

Christian MbaBachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

Christian Mba is an experienced blogger and content writer with over a decade of experience. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Nigeria and has a keen interest in Python programming. Along with his writing and blogging expertise, he is also an SEO specialist with more than six years of experience. Chris, as he is commonly known, has a passion for music and enjoys playing the piano.

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