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FRIEDRICH HEER

The First German Movement In Its European Setting (1270-1350)

Chapter 10 of The Intellectual History of Europe, Volume I -
From the Beginnings of Western Thought to Luther, tr. Jonathan Steinberg, Anchor books 1968.
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Time and Creation in Gregory of Nyssa and Meister Eckhart
Time and Creation
In Gregory of Nyssa and
Meister Eckhart

THE HISTORICAL significance of the first German movement - i.e., that mysticism which embraced Mechthild of Magdeburg, Eckhart, [1] Tauler and Suso (1270-1350) - can be appreciated only if we see it in its setting in Europe of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. It brought about a powerful discharge of psychical and spiritual energy. After it passed, the people were exhausted and their quiescence was an important factor both in the rise of the princely states and in the maintenance of peace in Germany from the middle of the fourteenth century until the Reformation. In the same period the rest of Europe went through a series of popular revolts and it is possible to argue that Luther, the Protestant extremists and the peasant wars were later German imitations of Wyclif (1370) , Wat Tyler (1381), Hus (1400), Joan of Arc (1430) and the Bogomil Sr├ęckovic Gospel. During the late thirteenth century, Europe had been deeply shaken by the struggle for power in the cities between the bishops, the princes, the nobles and the guilds of artisans and small masters. In France, this struggle reached the point of revolt at Beauvais, Provins and Rouen in 1280-1, and at Paris in 1295 and 1307. In Germany, the guilds achieved success in Ulm, Frankfurt, Nuremberg, Mainz, Strasbourg, Basle and Cologne. Between 1297 and 1328 a thirty-years' civil war raged in Flanders between the great citizens (majores, goden) and the small artisans (minores, gewaden). An awakened self-consciousness among the lowest classes consolidated itself in these bitter conflicts. The people routed the French aristocracy at Courtrai in 1302, and Conink the Weaver defeated Philip the Fair, the most powerful prince in Christendom, to whom even the Pope was no equal. Vulgarized mysticism surged through the Low Countries. The motto was: "Down with the rich and the priests!" There were disorders at Ypres in 1323 and Bruges in 1328.

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Cf. Meister Eckhart von Friedrich Heer ||| Mail: Heer, Tauler & nazism

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