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English-speaking Christians owe Paulist Press an enormous debt of gratitude for their continuing efforts to help us gain a deeper appreciation of our spiritual heritage. Spiritual Life Nicholas of Cusa: Selected Spiritual Writings translated and introduced by H. Lawrence Bond preface by Morimichi Watanabe This cloud, mist, darkness, or ignorance into which whoever seeks your face enters when one leaps beyond every knowledge and concept is such that below it your face cannot be found except veiled. But this very cloud reveals your face to be there beyond all veils...The denser, therefore, one knows the cloud to be the more one truly attains the invisible light in the cloud. I see, O Lord, that it is only in this way that the inaccessible light, the beauty, and the splendor of your face can be approached without veil. From De visione Dei, c. 6 Nicholas of Cusa (1401-1464) is often called the outstanding intellectual figure of the fifteenth century as well as the principal gatekeeper between medieval and modern philosophy. This volume gives fresh attention to the theological and mystical dimensions of his thought. The introduction casts new and exciting light on the development of Cusa's theology of spirituality. The book also provides for the first time in one volume an English translation of Cusa's basic mystical corpus: On Learned Ignorance; On the Hidden God; On Seeking God; On the Vision of God; and On the Summit of Contemplation. Another unique feature is the annotated glossary of key Cusan terms that accompanies the texts. Cusa's writings reveal a remarkable imaginative and gifted theologian who anticipated contemporary questions of ecumenicity and pluralism, empowerment and reconciliation, and tolerance and individuality. These translations particularly communicate to us his experience of a very large God that jostles us out of our parochialism. For all his intellectual power, he never closes his thought into a system. He is a significator and a conjecturer. He keeps pointing beyond his own words and beyond even his prized formulae and labels, including learned ignorance and coincidence of opposites. He persistently brings theology to the edge of incomprehensibility, beyond both positive and negative ways, beyond even paradox and the coincidence of opposites, to the realm of the Purely Absolute and Infinite, to the contemplation of Possibility Itself. +
Publication Date: 
January 1, 1997