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On Becoming GodLate Medieval Mysticism and the Modern Western Self$
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Ben Morgan

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780823239924

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823239924.001.0001

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Becoming God in Fourteenth-Century Europe

Becoming God in Fourteenth-Century Europe

(p.101) 6 Becoming God in Fourteenth-Century Europe
On Becoming God

John D. Caputo

Fordham University Press

The chapter sketches the context for Meister Eckhart's preaching, and the spiritual and psychological project of which his texts are a part. The two major aspects of the context are the sense of being called that informed the vita apostolica as it developed from the twelfth century, and the way in which spiritual experience tended to be gendered: female visionaries being controlled more or less sympathetically by male clerics. Both sides of the partnership can be read as forms for the management of the sense of connection. The second half of the chapter presents three examples of this spiritual symbiosis: 1) the relationship between the Dominican nun Margarethe Ebner and her confessor Heinrich von Nördlingen; 2) similar relationships as they can be reconstructed from Eckhart's own milieu, and finally, 3) the most radicalized version as it is found in the anonymous Sister Catherine treatise in which a beguine declares she has “become God”.

Keywords:   vita apostolica, gender, gendered identity, Margaretha Ebner, Heinrich von Nördlingen, spiritual autobiography, Meister Eckhart, Sister Catherine treatise (Schwester Katrei)

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