Monday, 31 October 2016

Michael Stausberg delivered a working paper on 'Reconstruction of Religion as Emancipation and civilisation'

This is a package comprising two draft chapters on Solomon Schechter (1845–1915), Mordecai Kaplan (1881–1983), and Bhimrao Ambedkar (1891–1956). The chapters are part of a book project on “A Global History of Religions in the 20th Century as Serial Biography” (working title). All three figures have transnational biographies. Kaplan and Ambedkar studied at Columbia University at the early 20th Century, where they were exposed to the emerging social sciences. Schechter and Kaplan were mainly educated in religious (Jewish) matters, while Ambedkar took degrees in economics and law. Schechter and Kaplan who had migrated to the USA, sought to overcome the liberal-orthodox divide in Judaism, Schechter by his idea of “Catholicity”, Kaplan by a “reconstruction” of Judaism as a “civilization”. Both were driven by the desire to devise a viable future for Judaism in the modern world as they perceived Judaism to be under threat of extinction. Both are considered founders of new “denominations” in Judaism. As Kaplan introduced changes to Jewish ceremonies he was branded heretic and was excommunicated by an association of orthodox Rabbis shortly after the end of WW2. Ambedkar, who being from a group (“class”; “caste”) reckoned as “untouchables” (now Dalits) had endured discrimination, theorized that this discrimination was an integral part of Hinduism; disintegration would only stop if Hinduism disintegrated. Ambedkar emerged as the political leader of the “untouchables” since the 1930s. In 1935 he announced that he would renounce Hinduism. In 1956, shortly before his death, he, together with five hundred thousand of his followers, in a public ceremony took his refuge to Buddhism. In an extensive comparative study of religions Buddhism had appeared to him as the only religion to satisfy his pragmatic criteria of a good religion. At the same time, Ambedkar “reconstructed” Buddhism and this branch of Buddhism has spread widely among the “oppressed” (Dalits). Kaplan and Ambedkar were severe critics of Judaism and Hinduism respectively. They devised views of religion that renounced supernaturalism and emphasized the necessity of historical change and the pragmatic affordances of religion in terms of constituting collectivities and social order that allow individuals to become fully human.

Anthony Carroll presents a working paper on 'Thinking Beyond Secularistion: Panentheistic Humanism'

The idea of developing a theory of ‘panentheistic humanism’ in which the human person is considered to be open to and constituted by a relation to ‘ultimate reality’, or God in Christian terms, arose out of my recent work, which has been concerned to foster a constructive dialogue between religious people, atheists, and agnostics.[1] There I discovered that at bottom many, though not all, of the blockages of communication between these different groups arise out of issues to do with language, metaphysics, and the challenges of coming to terms with the varieties of human experience. This position paper represents an introduction to the general idea of ‘panentheistic humanism’ and a discussion of one central issue with which it is concerned, namely, naturalism.

The project is currently at the ‘scoping’ stage. That is to say, as a part of the Max-Planck-Forschungspreis, I am probing the robustness of the idea and its potential fruitfulness for thinking about religion and modernity, secularization, and social and religious plurality. This entails developing an historical narrative, structured by the heuristic thesis of ‘panentheistic humanism’, as one reasonable way to speak of the openness of human beings to ‘ultimate reality’. This historical-methodological approach is used to both justify the systematic thesis of the emergence of ‘panentheistic humanism’ as a more adequate contemporary philosophical anthropology than that of the currently dominant ‘exclusive humanism’, and to demonstrate how the former binary concepts of the sacred and the profane, of the immanent and the transcendent, and of the religious and the secular, have traded upon a dualistic metaphysics, which no longer presents a coherent vision of reality within which to envisage human beings in relation to God.[2]

In Part I, I begin by introducing the philosophical and scientific background to the theory of ‘panentheistic humanism’, and then go on to sketch the meaning of this concept in contrast with Karl Rahner’s philosophical anthropology.[3] Using a modified version of Hans Joas’s method of ‘affirmative genealogy’,[4] I argue that current binary thinking, which attempts to demarcate two metaphysically distinct domains: ‘nature’ and ‘super-nature’, fails to provide a satisfactory picture of reality. This has resulted in ‘scientific naturalist’ accounts becoming dominant in philosophy. In order for current impasses between ‘exclusive humanism’ and religious ‘super-naturalism’ to be overcome, I argue that it is necessary to develop a conception of humanism in which reason is open to the full range of human experience.[5] The concept of ‘panentheistic humanism’ is used to orchestrate this historical and systematic project of philosophical anthropology.
In Part II, I then focus on one of the central claims upon which the theory is grounded, namely, the openness of human beings to ‘ultimate reality’, which include experiences of God, as a constituent part of human identity.[6] I approach this particular issue here through an engagement with recent discussion on the philosophical question of naturalism.

[1] See Anthony J. Carroll and Richard Norman (eds.), Religion and Atheism. Beyond the Divide, London and New York: Routledge, 2016.
[2] Whilst these binaries have been typically viewed as in various relations with each other, these relations have often been conceived, in oppositional terms: eternal/mortal, infinite/finite, super-natural/natural and so on. Here I am developing the idea of constitutive relations between God, humans, and nature.
[3] See Karl Rahner, Grundkurs des Glaubens, Freiburg, Basel, Wien: Herder Verlag, 1976, pp. 13-142.
[4] See Hans Joas, Die Sakralität der Person. Eine neue Genealogie der Menschenrechte, Berlin: Suhrkamp Verlag, 2011, pp. 147-203.
[5] For a discussion of experiences of ‘self-transcendence’, see Hans Joas, Braucht der Mensch Religion? Über Erfahrungen der Selbsttranszendenz, Freiburg in Breslau: Verlag Herder, 2004.
[6] I use the concept of ‘ultimate reality’ as a summary term for the various experiences of ‘self-overcoming’ and of absolute value commitments, which are associated with religious traditions and also, at least with respect to absolute value commitments, with the humanist morality of some atheist traditions. The term ‘ultimate reality’ indicates that each person has some ultimate concern(s) in their life though this/these varies/vary between individuals, communities, religious and non-religious traditions, and between civilizational epochs. As such the language of ‘ultimate reality’ or indeed of ‘ultimate realities’ conveys the basic idea that whether it be God, Enlightenment, living a moral life, being in harmony with the cosmos, or money and power, everyone needs something ‘to get them out of bed’ in the morning. How one deals with proximate concerns thus indicates attitudes to ultimate concern(s), and proximate concerns often combine as subsets of ultimate concern(s). In this sense, the term ‘ultimate reality’ is more inclusive than the concept of ‘God’, which is necessarily particular to religious traditions that are theistic. However, as a Christian, I write from the point of view of someone for whom the Trinitarian God of Christianity is ‘ultimate reality’. I thus describe ‘panentheistic humanism’ from a Christian point of view and hope to show that though not equivalent to other conceptions of ‘ultimate reality’ ‘panentheistic humanism’ points towards significant points of overlapping concern for all human beings. In matters pertaining to ‘ultimate reality’, I presume that no one can claim a ‘view from nowhere’ and has a responsibility to combine ‘internal’ and ‘external’ perspectives as best as they can. See See Robert Neville Cummings (ed.) Ultimate Realities. A Volume in the Comparative Religious Ideas Project, Albany: State University of New York Press, 2001, Robert Neville Cummings, Ultimates. Philosophical Theology Volume One, Albany: State University of New York Press, 2013.  Thomas Nagel, The View from Nowhere, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986.

Cesare Cuttica presents a working paper on 'All against Homo Democraticus: reflections on democracy in early modern England'

Winston Churchill once famously declared: ‘democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time’.1 This was certainly not true for the great majority of thinkers who wrote about politics in the early modern period. Not that things had been any better in ancient Greece: for Plato Demokratia was the rule of the rabble. Likewise, Socrates, Aristotle, Thucydides and Aristophanes all decried democracy, and Polybius used the pejorative ‘ochlocracy’ to describe its degeneration. The legacy of this mistrust towards popular rule persisted through to the Roman epoch into the Middle Ages and found fertile ground in England, not just from the Civil Wars (1642) onwards, but since the start of the Elizabethan reign (1558). By accepting this picture, or by observing that since democracy then did not exist, criticisms of it are not worth exploring before the nineteenth century, the historiographical mainstream has left a few major questions unanswered:2 why was this so? How was such widespread criticism of popular government articulated? In what ways did different authors and genres depict the people and their power? Which political concerns and social prejudices informed this anti-democratic paradigm? What was democracy actually thought to stand for? In order to address these points the following pages analyse how anti-democratic ideas were elaborated in political, theological, philosophical and public discourse in the Elizabethan, Jacobean and Caroline reigns. In particular, they offer a panoramic view onto the variegated landscape of anti-democratic thought to show continuity and changes informing its rhetoric. Inevitably selective, the chronologically-ordered sections of the paper provide a hopefully innovative illustration of an important but overlooked topic as well as an examination of the long-term relevance of principles that are still much debated today.

Jutta Vinzent presents a working paper 'On Dividuality and Contemporary Religious Iconography'

This essay will contribute to the exploration of concepts of individuality and dividuality. Its focus will be the role of art objects as mediating processes of constructing, becoming and being in/dividuals. 2 Individuality has been defined as ‘indivisible,’ and in terms of society, the smallest unit to which society can be reduced. It also has been described as fixed, autonomous and self-reflective. The term as such has played a major role in many disciplines and centre-stage in the recent project on individualising titled ‘Religious Individualization in Historical Perspective’ under the PIs of Professor Dr. Jörg Rüpke and Professor Dr. Martin Mulsow (University Erfurt, MWK, 2008-2017). In recent years, scholars have increasingly questioned as to whether subjects are self-contained or cannot be rather broken down and thus deserve to be called dividual. In this light, dividuality have been described as permeable, relational and positional, and often also been associated with pre-modern, non-western concepts, as the discussion about the individual and dividual has been dominated by anthropology. 1 Although there are many conceptions of dividuality, none is a synonym for deindividual, if understood as a defiance of individuality or mourning of the loss of the self-contained individual. Instead, dividuality would rather celebrate the partiality of the self, either as division of the self in a process of constant segmentation or as the abandoning of or detaching from a self-contained individual. In modern and contemporary art, the term has not been applied to personhood, but objects. It was particularly Paul Klee (1922) and Gilles Deleuze (1986 and 1992) who developed a theory of the dividual in the light of painting respectively early cinema. Scholars, such as Joanna Latimer (2009), Glenn Peers (2012) and Michaela Ott (2015) have used the term dividual in view of Frida Kahlo’s self-portraits, Byzantine art and new technologies respectively. Latimer defines dividuality with notions such as fragmentation and fragility, unstableness and leakiness.2 Peers uses the term as opposed to ‘discrete entities like individuals’ and for ‘quasi-object’ that are only superficially objects.3 Both do not refer to a specific theory Ott, on the other hand, has based her book on Deleuze. She interprets ‘dividual’ as part-taking and cites particularly new technology as a reason for the end of the ‘distinctiveness and authenticity of the art work.’4 Consequently, she then applies the term ‘dividual’ to digital art works circulated over the Internet,such as UrsulaBienmann’s Egyptian Chemistry (2012), a multi-channel video installation, with which the artist attempts to penetrate real and virtual realities. Some contemporary artists also call their work ‘dividual’, including Victor Timofeev, who explores hybrid worlds.5 Furthermore, an artist couple, collaborating on Facebook, produces and publishes digital photosfrom everyday life. Here dividual (though not specifically defined) is understood as being produced by more than one artist and able to be shared with others who can contribute to the work via the Internet.6 So far, however, the dividual has not played a huge role in the fine arts, particularly if compared with the numerous articles published on individuality and usages of the term individual. Thus, this essay also contributes to an exploration of the terminology and meaning of the ‘dividual’ in art. In the following, I will consider the theories of Klee and Deleuze first, and then apply the term dividual not to new technologies as Ott has done, but to contemporary art with religious themes in a section. The reason for such a focus is not only because religious themes play a central role in contemporary art, as has been noted by a number of scholars, particularly by James Elkins (2004, 2008) and Aaron Rosen (2015).7 Elkins assumes that these themes create two types of art, existing simultaneously side by side, namely ‘serious’ religious art and that which he describes as ‘sceptical, ambiguous, antireligious, mystical, spiritual.’8 These types also differ in their materiality (including reproducible versus original). Instead, Rosen assumes one type of contemporary religious art, emphasising the works’ complexity and providing deeper interpretations to some of the most contested ones.9 The reason for this essay’s focus on contemporary artists in view of dividuality is that these works play with notions of art and spirituality in a sophisticated and complex manner. This is not to say that dividuality in art objects cannot become visible through other art works; however, I would argue that religious themes in contemporary art provide a body of works which openly aim at something beyond being simply an individual art work, candidly manipulating the viewers’ religious beliefs and aesthetic expectations. The analysis of such works in the light of dividuality will provide not only insights into conceptions of dividuality and individuality, but also a new perspective towards such art works. In fact, I will show that, different from Elkins and Rosen, the underlying issue of the conflicts created by contemporary art using religious themes lies in the notion of individuality as defined by western modernism. Drawing upon Deleuze’s conception of the dividual, I will further suggest a new way of their understanding. In the following, I will concentrate on the iconography of the crucifix as an image of Jesus on the cross. The crucifix emphasizes Jesus’ sacrifice which Christians believe brought about the redemption of the world. In Christian Doctrine, Jesus is the mediator between God and human being. He is the son, next to the Father and the Holy Spirit who form the Trinity, as one god in three divine persons. Such a theology assumes of a dividual God, divided into three. Jesus, however, can be described as an individual, although being also a dividual in the Trinity. Believed to be the incarnation of God Father, Jesus also is essential in view of another central issue of this essay, namely the interpretation of the body in art, in which the body can be interpreted as the incarnation of any image, according to Georges Didi-Huberman.10 In other words, the crucifix (with the body of Jesus) already lends itself to probing the term dividual in a number of ways and thus seems to be an appropriate iconography to study questions about individuality and dividuality. The essay is divided into three main sections. A first will introduce into the conceptions of dividuality in modern and contemporary art and their limits, a second will explore affected perception as dividual and end with a suggestion of the viewer as subject, being both individual and dividual. The final section will outline possible benefits of such a new conception on other subject areas.

Dietmar Mieth, working paper on 'the correlative concept of "person" in Meister Eckhart's homily 67 on the enduring relation to God'

'Self-determination' is often used today. In this paper, Mieth is looking into 'social imagineries', present in medieval times. Both, the concepts of past times as much as the one of today needs a critical analysis, which is going to be undertaken in this paper. It is based on a critical reading of Eckhart's vernacular homily 67. 

Here follows the introduction together with the translation of this homily, taken from the forthcoming publication by Loris Sturlese and Markus Vinzent, Meister Eckhart. The German Works I. 64 Homilies for the Liturgical Year, 1. De tempore, Eckhart Texts and Studies (Leuven, forthcoming):

Again, the topic is ‘God is love’. The Latin quote is missing in our manuscripts, but we are provided with Eckhart’s vernacular translation in a literal version of I Ioh. 4:16. God dwells in the soul, and where the soul is, there, also God is, and vice versa (n. 2). The angel’s nobility in his nature (n. 3). In spiritual things there is mutual inbeing (n. 4). Before the next note, Eckhart points out how important the thought is to him: ‘When I think how he is one with me, as if he had forgotten all the creatures and they were no more except me alone’; such forgetting of God only means that those ‘who have been commended’ to Eckhart should not wish him to pray for them, as Eckhart believes that the only true prayer is not praying for anything or anybody (n. 5). The soul is ‘the essential intellect of God, whose pure, bare power is the intellectus, that the masters call the receptive one’, hence, finally, the soul moves to be from being the active to being the receptive power of God (no. 6). In this state, she ‘grasps the pure absolûciô of the free being’ (n. 7). Interestingly, at this instance, Eckhart does not use the term ‘detachment’, but a Latin equivalent, ‘absolutio’ which does not even appear in any of his Latin works that are known to us. The sense is clear, however, as Eckhart himself explains: There the soul ‘is the bare beingness which is deprived of any being and all beingness’. After such drastic detachment, what more can Eckhart go for? And yet, he advances further and states that even this state of the soul ‘is not the greatest perfection’ (n. 8), as if one could ramp up perfection. In an almost contrived and certainly highly specialised and difficult section (one wonders who amongst his audience was able to pick up these kind of arguments), Eckhart makes a case that we together ‘with body and with soul’, ‘having a substantiated personal being’ (‘in dem understantnisse haben<ne> von dem persônlîchen wesene’), or simply said, being an individual, have to ‘entirely renouncing my selfstanding too’, in order to be ‘one ground’, although I will remain ‘according to the outer being the same personal being’. What Eckhart is here trying to say is that from he outside perspective, nothing will change, hence I will remain the particular personality and individuality, but that my inner being is entirely gone into the divine ground, whereby the divine ground has entirely left its own ground to be in my ground and both form one single ground. Consequently, he speaks of a ‘personal being God-man’ which does not reach out to the outer being (n. 9), hence, the outer man cannot be less detached than the inner man and has ‘to be deprived of his selfsupported standing’ (n. 10). Importantly, Eckhart makes the difference between two forms of being, the divine being and the personal being, and develops from here his Christology. As Christ’s personality is ‘humanity’, not a creaturely personality, and his essential and personal substrate is the same substrate as that of the soul as one substrate, ‘we ought to be also the same Christ’ (n. 11).
This is certainly one of the theologically creative and innovative homilies, in which he develops in a dense form his precise understanding of a christologically based union of soul and God.

Editions, commentaries and notes

J. Quint, DW III 126-37; N. Largier II 651-61.

Previous English translations

M. Fox, Breakthrough (1980), 388-91; Meister Eckhart, Sermons and Treatises, trans. M. O’C. Walshe (1987; rev. B. McGinn 2009), 357-61.

Text and translation

<54:1>(129) <Deus caritas est: et qui manet in caritate, in deo manet, et deus in eo>
<54:1><Deus caritas est: et qui manet in caritate, in deo manet, et deus in eo>
<54:2>‘Got ist diu minne, und der in der minne wonet, der wonet in gote und got in im’1. Got wonet in der sêle mit allem dem, daz er ist und alle crêatûren. Dar umbe, wâ diu sêle ist, dâ ist got, wan diu sêle ist in gote. Dar umbe ist ouch diu sêle, wâ got ist, diu geschrift enliege denne. Wâ mîn sêle ist, dâ ist got, und wâ got ist, dâ ist ouch mîn sêle; und daz ist als wâr, als got got ist.
<54:2>‘God is love, and whoever dwells in love, dwells in God and God in him’.[1] God dwells in the soul with all that He is and with what all creatures are. Therefore, where the soul is, there is God, because the soul is in God. Therefore also, the soul is where God is, unless the Scripture lies. Where my soul is, there is God, and where God is, there is also my soul; and this is as true as God is God.
<54:3>Der engel ist als edel in sîner natûre: wære ein spænlîn oder ein kleine ganeistlîn von im gevallen, ez hæte ervüllet alle dise werlt mit wunne und mit sælicheit. Nû merket, wie edel ein engel ist in sîner natûre, der och sô vil ist, daz sie kein zal hânt: ich spriche, ez ist allez edellich umbe einen engel. Sölte der mensche dar umbe dienen biz an den jüngesten tac und biz an daz ende der werlt, daz er einen engel sæhe in sîner lûterkeit, im wære wol gelônet.
<54:4>An allen geistlîchen dingen sô vindet man, daz daz eine in dem andern ist ein, | (130) ungeteilet. Dâ diu sêle ist in ir blôzen natûre, abegescheiden und abegelœset von allen crêatûren, diu hæte in ir natûre von natûre alle die volkomenheit und alle vröude und wunne, die alle engel hânt an zal und an menige von natûre: die hân ich alzemâle mit aller volkomenheit und mit aller ir vröude und aller ir sælicheit, als sie sie selber hânt in in selber; und einen ieglîchen hân ich in mir sunderlîchen, als ich mich selben hân in mir selber, ungehindert eines andern, wan kein geist besliuzet den andern. Der engel blîbet unbeslozzen in der sêle; dar umbe gibet er sich einer ieglîcher sêle alzemâle, ungehindert einer andern und gotes selber. Niht aleine von natûre, mêr: über natûre vröuwet sich mîn sêle aller vröude und aller der sælicheit, der got sich selber vröuwet in sîner götlîcher natûre, ez sî gote liep oder leit; wan dâ enist niht dan ein, und dâ ein ist, dâ ist al, und dâ al ist, dâ ist ein. Daz ist ein gewissiu wârheit. Wâ diu sêle ist, dâ ist got, und wâ got ist, dâ ist diu sêle. Und spræche ich, daz ez niht enwære, ich spræche unrehte.
<54:3>As nobel is the angel in his nature: if a chip or a small spark of him had come off, it would have filled this entire world with delight and happiness. Now note, how nobel an angel is in his nature, of which there are so many that they are without number. I say that in an angel all is noble. If a person served to the last judgment and to the end of the world, in order to see an angel in his purity, he would be well rewarded.
<54: 4> In all things spiritual one finds that the one is in the other as one and undivided. Where the soul is in her bare nature, detached and separated from all creatures, she would have in her nature, by nature, all the perfection and all the joy and delight that all the angels have without (Quint/Sturlese with) number and without multitude by nature: I have them fully with all the perfection and with all their joy and all their happiness, as they themselves have them in themselves; and everything I have in me distinctly, as I have myself in myself, irrespective of another, because no spirit excludes (Sturlese: include) the other. The angel is not included in the soul; therefore he gives himself entirely to each soul, without hindrance from another and God Himself. Not only by nature, indeed: on nature, my soul rejoices in all the joy and all happiness, which God himself rejoices in His divine nature, He may like or dislike it; because there, there is nothing but one, and where there is one, there is everything, and where there is everything, there is one. This has some truth. Where the soul is, there is God, and where God is, there is the soul. And if I told you that this were not so, I would say the wrong thing.
<54:5>| (131) Eyâ, nû merket ein wörtelîn, daz halte ich gar wirdiclich: swenne ich gedenke, wie ein er mir ist, als ob er aller crêatûren habe vergezzen und niht mê ensî dan ich aleine. Nû bitet vür die, die mir enpfolhen sint! Die dâ iht<es> bitent wan gotes oder umbe got, die bitent unrehte; swenne ich nihtes enbite, sô bite ich rehte, und daz gebet ist reht und ist kreftic. Swer ihtes iht anders bitet, der betet einen abgot ane, und man möhte sprechen, ez wære ein lûter ketzerîe. Ich enbite niemer sô wol, wan sô ich nihtes niht enbite und vür nieman enbite, noch vür Heinrich noch vür Kuonrât. ‘Die gewâren anbetære die betent | (132) got in der wârheit ane und in dem geiste’2, daz ist: in dem heiligen geiste.
<54:5>Well, now note a sentence which I consider very important: when I think how he is one with me, as if he had forgotten all the creatures and they were no more except me alone. Now, pray for those who have been commended to me! Those who pray for something that is not God or something around God, they pray in the wrong way; when I pray for nothing, I pray in the right way, and this prayer is right and it is powerful. Those who pray for something else, worships an idol, and one may say it is a pure heresy. I never pray so well as when I pray for nothing at all and when I pray for nobody, neither for Henry nor for Conrad. ‘True worshipers pray to God in truth and in spirit’,[2] i.e. in the Holy Spirit.
<54:6>Daz got in der kraft ist, daz sîn wir in dem bilde; daz der vater ist in der kraft und der sun in der wîsheit und der heilige geist in der güeticheit3, daz sîn wir in dem bilde. ‘Dâ bekennen wir, als wir bekant sîn’4, und minnen, als wir geminnet sîn. Diz enist joch sunder werk, wan si5 wirt dâ enthalten in dem bilde und würket in der kraft als diu kraft; si ist noch enthalten in den persônen und stât nâch mügenheit6 des vaters und nâch wîsheit des sunes und nâch der güeticheit des heiligen geistes. Diz ist noch allez werk in den persônen. Hie oben ist wesen únwürklich; sunder dâ7 ist aleine wesen únd werk. Dâ si | (133) ist in gote, jâ, nâch înhangunge der persônen in daz wesen8, dâ ist werk únd wesen ein, dâ ez ist, dâ si die persônen nimet in der inneblîbunge des wesens, dâ sie nie ûzkâmen, dâ ein lûter wesenlich bilde ist. Ez ist diu wesenlich vernünfticheit gotes, der diu lûter blôz kraft ist intellectus, daz die meister heizent9 ein enpfenclîchez.
<54:7>Nû merket mich! Dar obe nimet si êrste die lûter absolûciô des vrîen wesens, daz dâ ist sunder dâ, dâ ez ennimet noch engibet; ez ist diu blôze isticheit, diu dâ beroubet ist alles wesens und aller isticheit. Dâ nimet si got blôz nâch dem grunde dâ, dâ er ist über allez wesen. Wære dâ noch wesen, sô næme si wesen in wesene; dâ enist niht wan éin grunt. Diz ist diu hœhste | (134) volkomenheit des geistes, dâ man zuo komen mac in disem lebene nâch geistes art10.
<54:6>What God is in power, we are in the image; what the Father is in power and the Son in wisdom and the Holy Spirit in goodness,[3] we are in the image. There we ‘know as we are known’,[4] and love as we are loved. This is not without action, because she[5] is contained in the image and acts in power as a power; She is also containted in the persons and is in accordance with the capabilities[6] of the Father and the wisdom of the Son, and the goodness of the Holy Spirit. This is still all action in the persons. Above this is being without action; because there[7] are only being and action. There she is in God, yes, according to the persons inhering in being,[8] there action and being is one, there she is where she takes the persons in the immanence of being, from which they never left, where she is a pure, essential image. She is the essential intellect of God, whose pure, bare power is the intellectus, that the masters call[9] the receptive one.

<54:7>Now listen to me! There, above, she first grasps the pure absolûciô of the free being, that there is without a ‘there’, where she does neither take nor give; she is the bare beingness which is deprived of any being and all beingness. There she grasps God nakedly according to the ground, where He is beyond all being. If there still were being, she would take being into being; but there is nothing but one ground. This is the supreme perfection of the spirit, to which one can get in this life in the Spirit’s way.[10]
<54:8>Aber ez enist niht diu beste volkomenheit, die wir iemer besitzen suln mit lîbe und mit sêle, daz der ûzerste mensche alzemâle enthalten werde in dem understantnisse haben<ne> von dem persônlîchen wesene11 alsô, als diu menscheit und diu gotheit an der persônlicheit Kristî éin persônlich wesen ist, daz ich in dem selben understantnisse habe des persônlîchen wesens, daz ich daz persônlich wesen selber sî, alzemâle lougenlîche mîn selbes verstantnisses alsô, als ich nâch geistes art éin bin nâch dem grunde alsô, als der grunt selbe ein grunt ist: – daz ich nâch dem ûzersten wesene daz selbe persônlich wesen sî, alzemâle beroubet eigens understantnisses.
<54:8>But this is not the greatest perfection that we shall ever possess with body and with soul, that the outer man will be fully held in having a substantiated personal being[11] just as the humanity and the godhead in the person of Christ is one personal being, so that I have in this same substantiation a personal being, so that I myself am the personal being, entirely renouncing my selfstanding too, so that I am in the Spirit’s way one according to the ground, too, as the ground itself is one ground: that I will be according to the outer being the same personal being, entirely deprived of the selfsupporting standing.

<54:9>Diz persônlich wesen mensche-got entwehset und überswebet dem ûzersten menschen alzemâle, daz er ez niemer ervolgen enkan. Stânde an im selber er enpfæhet wol der gnâde învluz von dem persônlîchen wesene in maniger hande wîse süezicheit, trôst und innicheit, daz guot ist; aber ez enist daz beste niht. Blibe er12 alsô an im selber âne understantnisse sîn selbes, aleine er wol trôst enpfienge von gnâden und mitwürkunge der gnâde, daz doch sîn bestez niht enist, sô müeste der inner mensche nâch geistes art sich herûzbiegen ûzer dem grunde, in dem er ein ist, und müeste sich halten nâch dem gnædelîchen wesene, von dem er gnædelîchen enthalten ist.
<54:9>This personal being God-man completely outgrows and glides over the outer man, so that he can never reach it. If it depended on him, he would well receive the influx of grace from the personal being in many different ways of sweetness, consolation and inner life, which is good; but it is not the best. If he[12] remained in himself without selfsupporting standing, on his own he would well receive consolation from grace and cooperation of grace, yet which would not be his best, and so the inner man according to the Spirit’s way would need to bend out of the ground in which he is one, and should behave like the graceful being, from which he has received gracefully.

<54:10>Her umbe sô enmac der geist niemer volkomen werden, lîp und sêle enwerden volbrâht. Alsô als | (135) der inner mensche nâch geistes art entvellet sînes eigens wesens, dâ er in dem grunde éin grunt ist, alsô müeste ouch der ûzer mensche beroubet werden eigens understantnisses und alzemâle behalten understantnisse des êwigen persônlîchen wesens, daz daz selbe persônlich wesen ist.
<54:10>Therefore, the spirit can never become perfect, unless body and soul are made perfect​​. As much as the inner man according to the Spirit’s way is getting rid of his own being, where he is in the ground one ground, so also the outer man has to be deprived of his selfsupported standing and thus be fully supported by the eternal personal being, which is the personal being itself.
<54:11>Nû sint hie zwei wesen. Ein wesen ist nâch der gotheit daz blôz substanzlich wesen, daz ander daz persônlich <wesen>, und ist doch éin understôz. Wan der selbe understôz Kristî persônlicheit der sêle understôz ist, understandicheit der êwigen menscheit, und ist éin Kristus an understandicheit, beidiu weselich13 und persônlich; alsô müesten wir ouch der selbe Kristus sîn, wir nâchvolgende in den werken alsô, als er in dem wesene éin Kristus ist nâch menschlîcher art14; wan, dâ ich diu selbe art bin nâch menscheit, sô bin ich alsô vereiniget dem persônlîchen wesene, daz ich von gnâden in dem persônlîchen wesene bin ein und ouch daz persônlich wesene. Wan denne got in dem grunde des vaters êwiclîche inneblîbende ist und ich in im, ein grunt und der selbe Kristus, ein understandicheit mîner menscheit, sô ist si als wol mîn als sîn an einer understandicheit des êwigen wesens, daz beidiu wesen lîbes und sêle volbrâht werden in éinem Kristô, éin got, éin sun.
<54:11>Now, here are two types of being. One being is according to the Godhead the bare essential being, the other the personal <being>, and though both is one substrate. As the same substrate of the personality of Christ is the substrate of the soul, the support of eternal humanity, and if one Christ is the support of both essentially[13] and personally, we ought to be also the same Christ, imitating him incessantly in action as he is in being one Christ according to the human species;[14] because if I am the same species according to humanity, I am also united with the personal being, so to be one in the personal being and also be the personal being itself by grace. Since then God eternally remains in the ground of the Father and me in Him, one ground and the same Christ, one selfstanding of my humanity, it is as well mine as His in one selfstanding of the eternal being, so that both the body and the soul’s being are perfected in one Christ, one God, one Son.
<54:12>Daz uns daz geschehe, des helfe uns diu heilic drîvalticheit. Âmen.
<54:12>That this shall happen to us, may the Holy Trinity help us! Amen.

[1] I Ioh. 4:16: ‘Deus caritas est: et qui manet in caritate, in Deo manet, et Deus in eo’. The liturgical context: Epistolar., Arch. f. 430va (the full Latin text is given in note 1 at Hom. 49* [Q 5A]).
[2] Ioh. 4:23: ‘Veri adoratores adorabunt Patrem in spiritu et veritate’.
[3] Petrus Lombardus, Sententiae I, d. 34, c. 3 (1971), 252, 1–2: ‘potentia, sapientia, bonitas de deo dicuntur secundum substantiam’.
[4] I Cor. 13:12: ‘tunc autem cognoscam sicut et cognitus sum’.
[5] ‘si’: the soul.
[6] ‘mügenheit’: in the sense of capabilities, powers.
[7] ‘dâ’: J. Quint notes ‘according to the Trinity or the persons’.
[8] See Bernardus, De consideratione V, c. 7, n. 17, ed. Leclercq and Rochais, 481, 13: ‘Substantia una est: personae tres sunt’
[9] See Aristoteles, De anima III, c. 5, 430a14.
[10] ‘art’: here not species, but the particular way.
[11] On this difficult paragraph see the introduction to the homily.
[12] ‘er’: the exterior, outer man.
[13] ‘weselich’ is synonym with ‘substanzlich’ used a bit earlier.
[14] Here ‘art’ means the species of human nature.