Bernard McGinnUniversity of Chicago
Meister Eckhart (d. ca. 1328) was a famous and popular German mystical writer and preacher. After formal theological training in the University of Paris, following the footsteps of Thomas Aquinas and Bonaventure, Eckhart charted a distinctive mystical dialectical theological in his writings and sermons and drew theological controversy. His thought became an inspiration for a tradition of mystical thought after him and remains a wellspring of religious and theological thought today. Professor Bernard McGinn will introduce the life and some of the principal themes of Eckhart’s enigmatic thought.
What can reason discover about God? Are there other possible ways to know God? Medieval Christians undertook great rational enterprises—including the sharp logic of Abelard and the grand system of Thomas Aquinas—as well as practiced experiential and contemplative modes of knowing, as did Bernard of Clairvaux. This course will examine how different preeminent medieval Christian thinkers saw the relationship between reason and wisdom, how to arrive at them, and so how to seek the face of God.
This series is cosponsored by the Calvert House Catholic Center, the Collegium Institute, the Harvard Catholic Center, the Nova Forum, the Saint Benedict Institute, the Beatrice Institute, and the Institute for Faith and Culture.
Thursday, June 4, 7PM
Nicholas of Cusa | David Albertson (University of Southern California)
Bernard McGinn is the Naomi Shenstone Donnelley Professor Emeritus of Historical Theology and of the History of Christianity in the Divinity School and the Committees on Medieval Studies and on General Studies at the University of Chicago. He has written extensively about the history of apocalyptic thought, spirituality, and mysticism. McGinn's many books include Antichrist: Two Thousand Years of the Human Fascination with Evil, The Presence of God, a multivolume history of Western Christian mysticism, and most recently Thomas Aquinas’s Summa theologiae: A Biography.