In His Own Words

  • by Meister Eckhart, Simon Parke
  • Narrated by Andy Harrison, Simon Parke
  • 3 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In many ways, Meister Eckhart has had to wait seven centuries to be heard. Born in 13th century Germany, much of his life was spent in a monastery; though not all. The 'Meister' in his name means 'Master', and is an academic title from the University of Paris. An admired member of the Dominican Order, he was often sent to reform ailing priories. He was known also as a spiritual counsellor; a safe haven for many who sought God in their life, but found themselves troubled by the dire state of the institutional church. And in a century of flowering female spirituality, he was a supportive figure for many Dominican nuns and women in the burgeoning lay communities which arose.
He was best known, however, as a preacher - an original preacher who used his native German language to startling effect. Eckhart preached a spiritual vision which distrusted the artifice of both ritual and church dogma. Instead, he aimed at nothing less than the spiritual and psychological transformation of those given to his care. To this end, Eckhart made the disposition of the human heart the key to all things.
Conversations with Meister Eckhart is an imagined conversation with this 13th-century mystic, around such themes as detachment, which he famously placed above love; spirituality; God; the soul; and suffering. But while the conversation is imagined, Eckhart's words are not; they are authentically his own. One of his controversial claims was that God cannot be described. Indeed, in one sermon, he went so far as to say 'We must take leave of God.'
'The church became very hostile towards him,' says Simon Parke, 'accusing him of heresy; and he spent his last days on trial before the pope. They also tried to ensure he'd be forgotten when he died, and nearly succeeded. But he's more popular now than ever.'
Eckhart's teaching is an adventure, not a system; a call, not a creed. The depth and universality of his work means it can be ...


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Medieval Mysticism for Modern Ears

I do not label myself as a Christian, but part of my fascination with the Middle Ages comes from building an understanding of how Christianity evolved through the ages and influenced the people and events. The two are inseparable. But sometimes studies get so big that we forget history and all of its ideas are first and foremost about people. Learning their personal views and ideas transcends all time barriers once the language barrier is broken.

The idea of this book is one that allows the reader to step back through time, to speak directly with Meister Eckhart. The questions are contrived in such a way as to facilitate this conversation. The answers are the master's own words, which are deeply spiritual (as one would expect) and worthy of comparison to studies of modern doctrine and belief. Much of it will be surprising, as this is the mind of a Medieval monk who was revolutionary even in his own time. Regardless of whether or not you agree with Eckhart's words, if you're inclined towards historical or spiritual studies (and I'm assuming you are if you're looking into this book), then this is worth the time. It's only about 3 hours long, but it's excellence of content is worth every second. Historically and spiritually, it's interesting to compare his views alongside, say Aquinas or Von Bingen, amongst others. This book can be an historical curiosity or a meditative quest, depending upon how the reader identifies with the material. It's the sort of thing that reminds us that both historically and spiritually, there are always other ways to see anything. There is always more to learn, more to experience, and more facets to the bigger picture than any one person or any one doctrine can illuminate.
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- Troy

Great performance with an even greater message

I enjoyed this presentation very much. I had never heard of Meister Eckhart until I listened to John O'Donohue. I know there are more to listen to and read. I am looking forward to it. He teaches in a way that makes sense but I never thought of. A truly amazing man.
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- Lynne

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-19-2009
  • Publisher: White Crow Books