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Meister Eckhart was a medieval Christian mystic whose wisdom powerfully appeals to seekers seven centuries after his death. In the modern era, Eckhart's writings have struck a chord with thinkers as diverse as Heidegger, Merton, Sartre, John Paul II, and the current Dalai Lama. Dangerous Mystic grounds Meister Eckhart in a world that is simultaneously familiar and alien.
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"Masterfully executed... rich... Harrington... takes on the so-called 'mystic's mystic' with a historian's capacity to immerse the reader in the 14th century and in Eckhart's spiritual framework. He does so with a writerly elegance and elucidation that situates the medieval thinker squarely in this modern-day moment."--Chicago Tribune "[A] wonderfully smart, readable biography of a 14th-century Dominican priest and mystic named Meister Eckhart. . . . [Harrington] is a scholar/storyteller who can tell a true tale that feels like a novel, without cheap tricks. . . . At times, Dangerous Mystic has a Name of the Rose excitement to it, a man against the grain during a time of ferment, a mind that sought to rise above it. Dangerous Mystic is likely to make Eckhart even more of a hero to more people. Good."--Philadelphia Inquirer "Impressive. . . . This illuminating book successfully explains Meister Eckhart's philosophy and large influence on Western Christian mysticism."--Publishers Weekly "An excellent biographical work . . . [Harrington] does an admirable job of presenting Eckhart dispassionately, as a historical figure, a theological innovator, and an impetus for modern thinkers. Extremely well-researched and fluidly written, [DANGEROUS MYSTIC] will serve as a meaningful resource for students of mysticism and of late Medieval Christianity."--Kirkus, starred review "Calmly dazzling... a serene, intelligent, appropriately ambitious yet accessible work on one of history's most mysterious theologian mystics."--Joy Williams, Book Post "Joel Harrington here offers a characteristically subtle and elegant evocation of mediaeval spirituality at its most powerful. Meister Eckhart's noble quest for enlightenment resonates through the centuries, and here we see what made the man whose preaching sent such shock waves through the mediaeval church." Andrew Pettegree, author of BRAND LUTHER "A rare combination of sweeping historical narrative, penetrating biography, and profound spiritual elucidation. Joel F. Harrington elegantly shows why Meister Eckhart is reclaimed as a touchstone of humane holiness in every era - especially ours. This is a book to read, to save, and to give." James Carroll, author of THE CLOISTER "In this engrossing and compelling book, Joel Harrington offers a profound, moving, and accessible portrayal of one of the greatest yet most enigmatic figures of medieval Christianity. Meister Eckhart gave expression to humanity's yearning for union with God, and for a pure and selfless knowledge of the divine. With a masterful touch, Harrington places the Dominican mystic in the changing, febrile world of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries and guides the reader through the development and expanse of Eckhart's sublime thought and interior spirituality. We encounter the men and women to whom Eckhart preached, his teachers, his friends and enemies, and popes and inquisitors, all of whom are cast in bold profile in the author's stylish and vivid prose. Eckhart's life was filled with visions, charity, politics, and controversy, and ended with papal censure. His legacy continues to be debated. This life of one of Western Christianity's great mystics is an astonishing achievement." --Bruce Gordon, author of CALVIN, Titus Street Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Yale Divinity School "Joel F. Harrington's Dangerous Mystic: Meister Eckhart's Path to the God Within is a bold new reading of the life and thought of the great fourteenth-century German mystic who has remained both influential and controversial since his death. Harrington situates Eckhart in his historical and intellectual context in a way accessible to the general reader, as well as thought-provoking for Eckhart scholars. This is a book that will open up the great Dominican teacher and mystical preacher to a new generation. It deserves to be widely read." Berna
Joel F. Harrington is Centennial Professor of History at Vanderbilt University. He is the author or editor of six books on the social and religious history of pre-modern Germany, including The Faithful Executioner, which has been translated into twelve languages. He lives with his family in Nashville.