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The Self-Emptying SubjectKenosis and Immanence, Medieval to Modern$
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Alex Dubilet

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780823279463

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823279463.001.0001

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Conceptual Experimentation with the Divine

Conceptual Experimentation with the Divine

Expression, Univocity, and Immanence in Meister Eckhart

(p.60) Chapter 2 Conceptual Experimentation with the Divine
The Self-Emptying Subject

Alex Dubilet

Fordham University Press

This chapter shifts from Eckhart’s sermons to his Biblical commentaries to show how his theorization of univocity and immanence has a concrete theological and exegetical basis. It argues that for Eckhart, God is not a name for a pious barrier to thought or action, but the site of the most fruitful conceptual experimentation. Through speculative exegesis of key Christian theological topics, Eckhart subverts the theological and cosmological hierarchies in order to make room for a dispossessed, univocal life of radical equality “with God.” By showing how Eckhart employs the divine in order to theoretically articulate absolute immanence, this chapter acts as a provocation to the standard discursive distributions—between philosophy and theology, between medieval and modern, between religious and secular—and the assumptions that underwrite them. It articulates a figure unacceptable to common secularization narratives—a religious figure that prayed to God to be free of God in order to become free of one’s self as a possession, and yet in so doing was not espousing a covertly atheist position, but an exegetically-grounded formulation of life free not only from the regime of disciplinary practices, but also from all transcendent grounding.

Keywords:   divine immanence, medieval mysticism, Meister Eckhart, speculation, univocity

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