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'In agro dominico' - March 27, 1329
The papal bull condemning Meister Eckhart 

Article 2b : The Divine Nature

ELPENOR EDITIONS IN PRINT

Ιn addition, an objection exists against the aforesaid Eckhart that he preached two other articles under these words. 

The second article. That God is neither good, nor better, nor best; hence Ι speak as incorrectly when Ι call God good as if Ι were to call white black. 

* * *

Notes by Ellopos 

 

Eckhart rightly suggests to the faithful to rise above names that denote comparison (good-better-best) and realise that God is changeless and above our understanding in concepts: "I am better than God", says Eckhart, "for whatever is good, may become better, and whatever may become better, may become best. Now God is not good, for He cannot become better. And if He cannot become better, He cannot become best, for these three things, good, better, and best, are far from God, since He is above all. If I also say, God is wise, it is not true; I am wiser than He. If I also say, God is a Being, it is not true; He is transcendent Being and superessential Nothingness" (read more).

St. Gregory of Nyssa writes that God is good precisely because He is beyond goodness: “the truly good, that is the beyond of good”,[1] “the good, that is, above the good”.[2]  

St. Maximus Confessor writes: “neither good, nor beneficial, because these are somehow passions, as are also correlations and accidents, but the One itself is perceived beyond everything ... Neither being should we suppose the One, but start of the being and sperm ... Because God is everything and beyond everything”.[3] 


 

[1] St. Gregory of Nyssa, In the Inscriptions, v. 5, p. 26

[2] St. Gregory of Nyssa, In Ecclesiasticus, v. 5, p. 406

[3] St. Maximus Confessor, Questions about Dionysius, Patrologia Graeca 4.412.

 

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