Reading Questions for Eckhart, Sermons



  • What is love?
  • How is God "born in the soul" and the soul "born in God"? How are the "two springs" relevant?
  • What is the "Now of eternity"?
  • What does Eckhart mean when he says "love has no why"?
  • What is it to "be seized by justice and become justice?
  • What does he mean by "God is in all things. The more he is in things, the more he is outside them"
  • Outline what Eckhart has to say about speaking and words in this sermon.
  • How are something and nothing related?
  • What is the point of Eckhart's "eye-wood" example?
  • What does Eckhart say about time? How is God "becoming without becoming"?
  • What does Eckhart mean when he says we should "live without a why"?
  • What does Eckhart mean when he says "The Father gives birth to the Son"?
  • Does Eckhart think that God is born in us, or that God's image is in us?
  • How could the person who is one with God "bring forth all creatures with God"?
  • How are the merchants relevant to Eckhart's mysticism?
  • What is "is-ness"?
  • What is a virgin? What is a wife?
  • What is "being?"
  • Eckhart speaks of "breaking through" - what is this?
  • What is the significance of the eye(s)? (this sermon and the next)
  • Eckhart says we should "take leave of God for the sake of God." What does this mean?
  • What is equality
  • What is oneness? Why is oneness purer than goodness and truth?
  • What relation does oneness have to intellect?
  • Eckhart says that "my soul is as young today as when she was first created. Indeed, she is far younger!" What does this mean?
  • Why do reason and the will have nothing in common with the body? What implications does this have?
  • How does Eckhart describe sin?
  • How do Eckhart's two analogies express the nature of the soul?
  • What is Eckhart's interpretation of the story of Jesus' visit to Mary and Martha?
  • What are the "three ways to God"?
  • What is virtue?
  • What is poverty? Outline Eckhart's three senses of poverty.
  • Eckhart speaks of "flowing forth" from God. What does he mean?
  • What is the intellect like, when it contemplates God?
  • Does Eckhart add anything to his idea of the "birth of God in the soul" compared to his earlier sermon?
  • Augustine sees memory, understanding, and will as the imago dei, and the object of contemplation. How would Eckhart react to that?
  • How are the body and soul related?
  • How does Eckhart think creation happens?
  • How does God become God?
  • How can Eckhart say "I am better than God?"
  • How should one love God?
  • Who is the Holy Spirit? What is its function?
  • What does Eckhart mean when he says that the soul should forsake God?
  • In what way is the soul noble?

Eckhart's Latin Sermons

  • How does the intellect relate to God?
  • Eckhart uses the term "The One" throughout the sermon. Is this the same as Plotinus' use of the term?
  • What is the relationship between God, Christ, and the soul?
  • How does what Eckhart says about prayer relate to his discussion of prayer in "The Talks of Instruction"?