For Eckhart, then, scriptural commentary serves as the instrument for the creation of a philosophical-theological exposition of the deepest mysteries of God, nature, and ethics, an exposition that, in turn, provides the material for Eckhart’s novel form of biblical preaching. Although the German Dominican had once planned a systematic presentation of his thought in The Three-Part Work, the bulk of his surviving writings indicates that he came to the conclusion that his audience was best served through his exegesis and preaching rather than system-building. As Niklaus Largier has argued, this shift suggests that Eckhart believed that the goal of attaining true “subjectivity,” that is, mystical union, was best realized within a hermeneutical situation in which the exegete-preacher and the attentive hearer “break through” the surface of the biblical word to reach the hidden inner meaning that negates ordinary reason and the created self. Like the great masters of the monastic mystical tradition, but in his own key, Eckhart believed that mystical consciousness was fundamentally hermeneutical; that is, it is achieved in the act of hearing, interpreting, and preaching the Bible.

“The Mystical Thought of Meister Eckhart: The Man from Whom God Hid Nothing”, Bernard McGinn

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