Reading Cusanus: metaphor and dialectic in a conjectural universe

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Catholic University of America Press, 2003 - Biography & Autobiography - 276 pages
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This book presents careful readings of six of the most important theoretical works of Nicholas of Cusa (1401-1463). Though Nicholas' writings have long been studied as either scholastic Aristotelian or proto-Kantian, Clyde Lee Miller locates Cusanus squarely in the Christian Neoplatonic tradition. He demonstrates how Nicholas worked out his own original synthesis of that tradition by fashioning a conjectural view of main categories of Christian thought: God, the universe, Jesus Christ, and human beings. Each of the readings reveals how Nicholas' project of "learned ignorance" is played out in striking metaphors for God and the relation of God to creation.The six works read span the last quarter century of Nicholas' life (1440-1463) and include On Learned Ignorance, Conjectures, The Layman: About Mind, The Vision of God, The Not Other, and The Hunt for Wisdom. These readings are explications of the text; they interpret each work as a whole and focus in particular on the themes that order the work and how these get played out in its details. The Introduction uses a brief early dialogue, On the Hidden God, to orient the reader by locating Nicholas' work in relation to Plato's famous image of the divided line. The book's conclusion presents a reprise of the main ideas in each work and an appraisal of their import.This books makes an important contribution to Cusanus studies, for no book-length scholarly work in English reads and comments on Nicholas' individual works. Reading Cusanus provides a much-needed introduction to this great philosopher, theologian, and mystic.

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De docta ignorantia 1440
Idiota de mente 1450
De li non aliud 1461

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