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Catholic Dictionary




General name for the spiritual teaching of Meister Eckhart (1260-1327), the German Dominican mystic and of his followers. In 1329, Pope John XXII condemned twenty-eight of Eckhart's sentences as heretical or dangerous, e.g.: "We are totally transformed into God and changed into Him . . . Though a person commits a thousand mortal sins, if he is rightly disposed, he should not wish not to have committed them . . . A good man is the only begotten Son of God." Investigation of his doctrine has since indicated Eckhart's personal orthodoxy, while admitting indiscretion in language and the fact that his writings have been used by persons unfavorable to the Church, as Kant to defend agnostic idealism, Hegel to defend pantheism, and Rosenberg to defend Nazism.