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17

The Revaluation of John Scottus Eriugena in German


Idealism*
'aunt lumina, said the Oirishman to King Carolus, 'Ol.HNIA,
all things that are are lights'
and tb.ey dug him up out of sepulture
soi diSantly looking for J.VIanichaea(lS.
(Eira Pound, Canto LXXIV)

The philosophical preoccupation with Eriugena. ln the nineteenth century may


be styled a rediscovery, since his ideas, having been obscure and silent for a long
time, came to life again by virtue of new pqilosophical impulses and were
questioned and discussed intensively.
According to the philosophical stimulus the discussion was determined
essentially-either positively or negatively-by j(lealistic theorems; the attempt
was made strictly tb relate Eriugena's philosop}\ical and theological arguments
to one's own state of consciousness or, 1Yhat is more, to justify his thought
through one's own. On one side the conviction of the affinity between
Eriugena's philosophy and idealistic thought co11ld grow to downri~~ enthusi- .
vf"
asm :1 it was assumeO. that Eriugen_!t had overco_!!le the opposition of eternal and N 4
natural world, that he had justified his belief philosophically and had united
inseparably philosophy and Christianity, faith fl.nd knowledge,. and thus had
first founded a speculative theology.. On the other hand it seemecI expedient !Q.
tefrain from a total self-identification with Efiugena's intentions, notwith--1--0of,
~tand!ng the 'str~ing points of contact' 2 with th~ new philosophy. F. Cb. Baur, "'"f
for example, a pupil of Hegel, ~riugena for not thinkingc.,_ .l_,
altogether idealistically in his concepts of God and man and for thus emb~-\ )
rather the final point of the old world (i.e. Platpnism) than the startiilg point f ~
of a new era.a
From a purely historical p~int of view4 it niay seem plain and appropriate to
discard these interpretations as not to the poillt and therefore unprofitable.
Since they either depend on confirming the affiQities between Eriugena's state
of consciousness and their own or recognize theq:iselves in Eriugena's thought }-'-'{
under altered historical conditions, they seem tQ blur what Eriugena 'actually )!of
said'. It is, however, impossible from any hermOJleutical standpoint simply to
add Eriugena's ideas to all kinds of idealism wlthout critical inspection and
mediatingreasoning. 5 But it is worth considering\vhether there is an objective
reason after all for the strong interest in Etjugena in nineteenth-,century
philosophy: whether there is a converging of i4entical questions, ~spects of
argumentation or ways of thinking ..
Translated by F. Uehlein.
ERIUGENA AND GERMAN IDEALISM 191

In the filllowing I will try to outline the pertinent reason for such a con-
vergence by means of the concepts of speculation, pantheism and salvation,
not in support, however, of the maxim that 'there is nothing new under the
sun' but, being well aware of the hermeneutical difference, to work out the
philosophical point of identity which is at all time concomitant with differing
-premises and differing consequences.
(!) Considering the aspect of form and the place within the system, idealistic
philosophy could consent without limitation to Eriugena's leading idea: 'veram
esse philosophiam veram religionem, conversimque veram religionem esse veram
philosophiam' .6 For Eriugena God is not the isolated subject of 'religio' or of a.
theology free from philosophy; God belongs essentially to the scope of philo"
sophical inquiry. True religion-even in the sphere of Christianity-is to be
,~ conceived as an apprehension of the concept of God as confirmed by reason.
Philosophy, on the other hand, receives its last and final meaning from the
question of God. This conception of philosophy, originating from the Aristotelian
tradition, is thus corroborated by Christian religion.
In idealistic philosophy this unity of religion (theology) and philosophy is
grounded in the subjectivity of the thinking and believing subject and in the
identity of God with the Absolute. Immediate awarene$s, being identical with
belief, must rise and transform itself into knowledge which has mediated itself
with belief, so that in the end of this process belief.has been annihilated and
preserved(= aufheben) hi: knowledge and is then one with it inseparably.
God the object of both knowledge and belief is nothing but the Absolute
itself. _Since p~IQ~?.P!lY a,illl!!.JLt. tJw Qgmprnb,.~qsjQ!!...Uf_th!l.AQ..f!Q!!,i~. it follows -
from the essence of the object itself that both ways of. cowptehe.usion, faith and
Jmowledge, theology and philosophy must needs be o.mi. Philosophy may be
understood therefore as the pr~entation of God's self-affirmation, as the
progressive 'evidence' of the Absolute or tlie process of the Idea, which in
conceiving itself as the True and Absolute becomes itself. 7 Only in the Absolute
does such a philos~hy exist. It is found as the shaping structure of thought in
Schelling's theogonic process and also in Hegel's logic.
It was the problem of the unity of philosophy and theology, faith and
knowledge, reason and revelation which led F. A~ Sta.udenmaier, theologian
and philosopher in one, to write his monograph on Eriugena. He wished to see
&iugena free from idealistic preconceptions and deformations,_ but nevertheless
he found in him 'the germ of all present philosophy' 8 and with regard to the
'aforesaid problem, considered him the 'fa.the~ of speculative theology'. 9 Specu-
lative theology attains its end in constituting the unity of divine and human
spirit, in establishing the real oneness of revelation and reason10 in thei!:" deepest
life and being, and in reconQilID.g the Incarnation (i.e. the second creation) with
creation: then only is salvati.on fully achieved. Since Eriugena holds the mutual
"relatfon of faith and knowledge 'in such a favotirable and lively connection in
which- they. condition and sti;engthen oe a.no.her in the human IQ~d,' 11 he is
regarded as prototype of spectilative thought: 1guar~teeing its contiil.uity: 'If
'
192 THE MIND OF, l!lll.IUGENA

we inspect the min.d more closely, which clel\rly manifests itself in the Christian
philosophy or speculative theology of our :the, and penetrate more deeply into
the essence of this mind, we find that it is qothing but Eriugena's mind which .
has appeared once more to move the world' .1ii Through him Christian speculative-..
thought has gained self-consciousness once for all; that is his epoch-making L. ~ <.J
achievement .. Since belief is already a mode of learned understanding, the ~f'h'
inherent paradox of revelation is abolisheq in both periods of thought (the
Platonic an~ the new idealistic epoch). Faith' having been the scandal of reason,
domesticates itself. This latter pertains to Staudenmaier's view as well, even
though he does n.ot associate himself insellarably with idealistic philosophy.
Nevertl:i.eless his thought is tinged with idealism even in the polemic against it.
2 .. More than once in the reception of his t~pught, Eriugena has been suspected
of pantheism. In the nineteenth centlll'y._ qowever, this suspicion meets m"th
appreciation. G. B. Jii.sche, for example, w~le asserting the idea of pantheism
as the centre of Eriugena's system, interpret~ him approvingly: this is, he says,
'pantheistic philosophy in the form of the Alexandrian enianative system' .13
Here pantheism means that God is all in all, he is the unity and totality of all
things, the one substantial of the universe. Pantheism consequently means the
identity of creator and creation. This idea.!!!~ idealism insofar as God is not~"~
regarded as substance but as subject, and accordingly the whole and Absolute is
conceived too as':a subject. J. Huber, a Soli.elliilgian philosopher in Munich,
equates his preconception of understanding with the allegedly pantheistic
structlll'e of Eriugena's thought. He believe~ that 'the idea of the unity of all
being in the form of the absolute subjectivity' allows an adequate understanding
of Erigena. 14 He ~.00...ofl' the reproach of reviving Eriugena/s mediation
between transcendence and immanence, confessing: 'I truly belong to the
branch of philosophy which explains the world as momentum of the divine life
and which conceives God as all-embr~ci.ng subjectivity, i.e. as absolute
personality'.15 "' .
F. A. Staudenmaier always opposed such p. mode of interpretation, being a
steadfast apologist of Eriugena's theism. Stadenmaier who had characterized
Hegel's system critically as logical pantheism1 considers his own way of interpre-
tation as a clearing of Eriugena from the suapicion pf heresy. He attempts this
by expounding Eriugena's propositions, which per se can be true only of the
..... creation but which are nevertheless reforrfl(l to God, as divine metaphors
b (metaphora divina), and thus ~them. 16 FJe accordingly resists the idealistic ~
unity of world and God, and insists on the in$egrity of the finite; in spite of the '"{ J.
moral unification of the finite with the infinit;ii, the finite cannot be looked on as
annihilated and preserved in God.17 ~-
Judging from. a historically reffected standpoint, it would certainly be wrong
to accept one of both extremes as the only possible interpretation and to discard
the other entirely. Here too the mediating polnt of convergence is to be looked
for, from which both interpretations derive a certain proportion of validity.
The controversy about Eriugena's pantheism pould easily .ljrlnge upon sentencbJ
ERIUGENA AND GERMAN IDEALISl\I 193

which suggest an identity of creator and creation, and which at first sight
invite an idealistic interpretation, for example: 'proinde non duo a seipsis
distantia debemus intelligere Deum et crea.turam, sed uimm clicii'Psum. Nam
et.creatura in Deo ~.IJ.!i!.et'Deus in'crealau:a.Jp.irabili et inelfabili modo
creatur, seipsum mary{e~i,i' ;18 or: 'Essendo enim ipsum (verbum) fiunt omnia,
quoniam ipsum omnia est' ;19 'Se ipsum in omnibus (Deus creat), ut sit omnia in
omnibus' ;20 'De se ipsa seipsam facit (summa bonitas). Fit in omnibus omnia.
Omni~ in omnibus Deus erit'. The last sentences are an exposition of 1 Cor. 15:
28 'ut sit Deus omnia in omnibus' and must consequently be understood in
that context. This is equally true of a sentence:which later in Amalrich of
Bene receives a definitely pantheistic meaning: 'Deus omnia est et omniaDeus'.21
Understood in an idealistic se~e, the sentences say that God, the creator,
and the creation, the infinite and the finite, condition each other as momenta of
one subject which is the whole of being, God and world in one. The Infiilite and
Absolute is the enveloping and determining power of this subjectivity, fu the
beginning it is not in itself what it will be for itself in the end . .Consequently God
or the Absolu~ is essentially a process, a 'theogonic process' as Schelling ca.Ued.
it.2 2 A passage from Schelling's StuUgarter Privatvorlesungen23 could justly be
taken for an 'idealistic translation' of one of Eriugena's ten,ets: 'God brings
forth himself, and as surely as he brings forth himself thus surely is he not
perfected and present right from the beginning, otherwise he need not bring
forth himself'. Being 'Deus implicitus' he becomes 'Deus explicitus' through his
self-explication in creation, and thus by the mediation of the finite in the proces8
of history he finally becomes himself. At the end of this process and as its result
God is indeed 'all in all', because all is in him and he is in, all. 24 Schelling can
therefore conceive the .idea that the universe is God and God is the universe as
its absolute affirmationI!!-'Deus omn:ia est et omnia Deus'.
Eriugena's propositions might justly be interpreted idealistically if they could
be separated from his. basic idea and starting point which implies, withoht
doubt, a hierarchical difference between modes of being 'or n~tur~ (natitrae).
This hierarchical difference is determined d"ecisively by a Neoplatonic elemerit:
God is ab~olutely transcendent ('sup;a.oninia..', 'nihil omnium.'...:....notMngness of
all), even if he must be thought in an; being the grouncj of all. 26 The absolute
transcendence excludes as well an idealistic interpretation of the following
sentence by Eriugena which refers to God's self-cognition in man: 'It is not yon
who cognize me, but it is-I who through my spirit in you cognize myself: For
you are not self-existing light but participation in the self-subsisting light. 'r1
This does not mea.~-in conformity with idealistic thought-that God ileeW!
man in, the process of s~lf-cognitio~ as the finite mediatfon to itself; the infinite,
. but rabher that the iuminous, illuminating light of God's cognition in man
enables man to cognize God. God's self-cognition in man is the precursory
ontological ground of marl'!! cognition of GodJS
One must adniit that Eriugena's firm ~nee .on the immanence of. God in
the world and in man could easiiy:lead ..to the idealistic notion that God's
. -~- .


194 THE MIND OF'.Eil,fUOENA

absolute transcendence too was world-immal\cnt. 29 The different standpoint of


both interpretational extremes, the one panthpistic and insisting on immanence
(especially represented by Jii.sche, Huber, Kp.ulich and Christlieb), the other
theistical and insisting on transcendence: (represented by Staudenmaier), is
grounded in the apparent ambivalen.ce of Erjugena's dialectical thought. The
consequences of both extremes, however, cannot be drawn with validity.
Eriugena is neither a mere pantheist, to whom the difference has passed in
absolute identity, nor a mere theist of a scholastic stamp. Eriugena's attempt to
consider God at once both absolutely in anq above world and man remains
ambivalent. This ambivalence has become tl:i.e starting point of an idealistic
criticism by F. Ch. Baur.30 According to him the inte~1ded idea of Eriugena's \, ...... -';_ 1i
philosophy had been 'idealism', since Eriuge11a dimly held that only in the,,'
unity with the ~te could tp.e infinite be truly infinite, but he had never come
to realize this idea. The reason for this-according to Baur-is Eriugena's
subjectivism. The.process of God, expressed py Eriugena, is not an objective.
process, which c"mes to perfection in itself as process of history or history itself
(in correspondence with Hegel's idealism); God's self-mediation, and con-
~equently the idea of the Son and the Spirit p.nd the idea of the Trinity and
the four natures also, belong merely to the subjective consciousness of the
construing mind. God's being, described as process, remains abstract, un~
mediated in itself; the thinking mind fails to p.chieve for himself the mediation
of the process. Thus Eriugena's objectifying Platonism stands against a posited
objective idealism, which conforms with the consciousness of the age. Tha.t '
would mean for Eriugena that all 'reality of cop.sciousness and all consciousness
of reality' 31 was ultimately nothing but mere Ulusion.
\ 3. Eriugena's system is construed according to a Neoplatonic ground-plan.
The rhythm of the whole follows the triadip structure of oin]_,,,.p6o8os-
bna-rpo</>~.32 The elements of the triad are cQJlceived as concretions of God's
cosmological oper(l.tion arld of the sacred histOfy (= Heilsgeschichte) originated
by him. God's being, the self-comprehension pf the triadic structure, is ovi];
the inclination of the Word towards the world, which was created in it, and the
incarnatio or inkumanatio Verbi is "1Tp6o8os; brurrpo</J~, finally, comes to pass as
salvation. Salvation-as held by Eriugena-ia the fulfilment of the beginning,
the reversion (reversio, reditus) of the world intQ its original state, the restoration
of the primordial whole (in novitatem quandam restauratio). Salvation is the final
perfection of world and man, because.through lt God is 'all in all'.
The philosophical model of this theological motion, constituting ~he sacred
historv, is the return of the effected into its efi\cient cause,33 or the reversion of
the m"any into its origin, the One. .
In God's activity, i.e. the cosmology and thf' sacr~ history, the identity of
the first and the fourth nature manifests itseH; the identity of the first nature
or form of being which creates, being uncreated, and thf) fourth whi.qh neither .
creates nor has been created.M In Neoplatonic words: God: is both effi.Oient ca.use /
and final cause together. He is the principle of the circle o~ world and history,
----< ff :
=

ERIUGENA AND GERMAN IDEALISM 195

being its beginning and end: 'Finis enim totius motus est principium sui.'35
The mediator of the return is Christ; Jtnd thus only he is 'redemptor'." The
act of salvation or the soteriological return of the world has its formal prefigura-
tion in the philosophical conception, according to which all being returns
'naturaliter', i.e. by a cosmological necessit to its principle; nevertheless it has :::_. 'r
been espi;icially distmgms y Eriugena as a 'donum' {gratia) in contrast to '
the natural 'datum' of the cosmological return.37
The triadic motion, inherent in the process of salvation, conforms typo
logically a.nd in the structure of thought with the concept of salvation, held by
the idealistic philosophy of religion. Schelling says in a general sense: 'The great
jntentioi:\ of the universe and its history is nothing .but the perfect and final
reconciliation. and reintegration, i.e. redissolution into the Absolute.' 38 Hegel's
conception of the return of the 'being for itself', as a.n act of redeeming recon-
ciliation, is specifically christological. It is essential to God's nature to restore
to it,s truth, which is God himself, w~tever has become particularized from the
universal and has alienated and separated itself from the Idea. 39 Redemption or
reconciliation. is thus the abolition '?f alienation. The reconciliation is effected
by Christ's death and resurrection. Dying, the divine reaches its utmost ecsta.cy
{'hochstes .Aussersichsein') 40 and ultimate alienation. This very point of crisis,
however, is the turning point: the divine turns and returns. In the return death
is transfigured into resurrection; the sting is ta.ken from it. 'God is dead-it is
the most terrible thought that all eternal, all true is not, that the very negation
is in God ... But the process does not come to a standstill at this point, the
reversion takes place. God preserves himself in this process which is thus only.
the death of death.''1 Expressed in terms of logic, this death of death is the
'negation of negation'. 42 The 'negative' in the suffering on: the cross, the
Golgotha (place of skull) of the spirit, is the active principle -uf the 'conversion
and transformation',43 that is to say, God has assumed what was alien to him
only to destroy it. The death of God is thus the centre of the reconciliation, but
nothing more than the point of transition in God's self-alienation, Since the
negative must needs be annihilated, the negation of the nega.~ive,'the death of
God, is necessary; out of the 'rigour' of the 'Speculative Good Friday the highest
totality can and must resurrect in its whole severity and from its deepest ground
and to both its all-embracing and most serene freedom of form' (a.us der
'Harte' des 'speculativen Charlreitags kann und muss die hochste Totalitit in
ihrem ga~exi Ernst und a.us ihrem tiefsten Gruzide, zugleich allumfassend und
in die heiterste Freiheit ihrer Gestalt auferstehen') . '
Just as each individual death-according to Eriugena-is 'mors mortis';46
being the death of the 'flesh', so Christ's dee.th is the death of mankind which is
dead through sin. Thus Christ's dee.th cannot be thought as fixed in itself, but
only as the mediating element ofresurrection: Since Christ, in his incarnation,
has a.Ssumed'
.
the whole of mallkind with his hiima.n
.
n1.tUre,
I .
he . lets all maD.kind
.
resurrect with him.46 pea.th and resurrectio~ rei;iderpossible the deification
.: (deificatio) of man. The univerila.l sigomca.nce bf the Jaiva.tioli ma.iiifests Chris~;
196 THE MIND OF ERlUOENA

as the paradigm of man. In Eriugena death and resurrection have the same
reversible function as in an idealistic philosopy of religion. Being the negation
of negation, both are. the logical continuation 1md final perfection of the process
of incarnation.
According to F. Ch. Baur's critique of Efiugena,47 neither the process of
incarnation and resurrection nor the creation takes pface objectively, since .
Eriugena does not think them idealistically throughout. And thus the proceeding
from God and the reversion into God cannot.be taken as two different momenta.
In the creation and self-incarnation God has not proceeded from himself, and the
reversion is equally without result; both motions can only be distinguished by
the thinking mind, and they are thus only distinguished subjectively. I do not
think that Baur is right. The notion of the eniirely immanent process which is
. ''
I
in God from the beginning and is thus the whole of God and world, is too
idealistic a notion to be possible in the Neopl3tonic ground-plan of Eriugena's
system. Eriugena has preserved the. ontological value of this ground-plan.
Therefore creation and salvation cannot be devalued in a Docetist manner.
Apart frol!l the problems mentioned abov!), the idealistic aspect could be
revealing for further questions: the relation pf being and thinking (of being
real and being ideal) in Eriugena's philosophy, the idea of the intelligibility of
all being, the positive value of the negation reg11-rding God (the unity of affirma-
tive and negative theology), and the possibility of intuition ('intellektuelle
Anschauung'). 48
The idealistic aspect shows not so much an evidently 'idealistic' structure in
Eriugena's philosophy, but reveals the implications which could have developed
into idealistic thought. These implications could therefore be identified with
idealistic forms of thinking, which was quite legitimate as to the position of
idealistic philosophy in the history of thought.
The idealistic.reception of Eriugena is indeed a striking proof of his philo-
sophical strength and enduring relevance.
WERNER BEIERWALTES
' W estfiilische Wilhelms- Universitiit
Munster

NOTES

. 1. E.g., A. Kreuzhltge, 11-Iitteilungen iiber den Einftuss Cler Philosophie auf die Entwicklung
des lnneren Lebens (Munster 1831), pp. 216 seq. G. 0. Marbach, Geschichte der Philosophie des
11-Iittelalters Abt. 2 (Leipzig 18~1), p. 230. F. A. Staudenmaier; Johannes Scotus Erigena und.
die Wissenscha.ft s'einer Zeit (Frankfurt 1834), Vorrede and pp. 293, 478. Th. Christlieb,
Leben und Lehrs des Johannes Scotus Erigena (Gothe. 1860), pp. 140 seqq .. 154 seq., 291
seqq.~. 456 seqq. M. Saint-Rene Taillandier, Scot Erigene et la philosopme scola&tique
(Strasbourg-Paris 1843), pp. 265 seqq.
2. F. Ch. Baur, Die christliche Lehre von der V ersoh~';'ng in ihrer ges~hichUichen Entwicklung
von der altesten Zeit bis auf die neueste (Tiibingen 1838), p. 1~7, not~~ .' . - / .
3. Ibid., p. 136. . .- :~ . . .. ~: ,
4. Typical for this standpoint is M. Cappuyns, JeaniScot Erigene (Louvain'Paris 193.3),
pp. 260 seqq., 267 seq.
'c.

ERIUGENA AND GERMAN IDEALISl\I 197


5. Cf. Christlieb, op. cit., pp. 460 seqq.
6. De pracd. 1. 1, PL 122, 358A. For the problem cf. M. Dal Pra, Scoto Eriugena (Milano
1951), pp. 96 seqq.
7. Schelling, System der gesammten Philosophie und der Naturphilosophie insbesondere,
\Yerke I, 6 (1860), pp. 154 seqq.; Sl!uttgarter Privatvorlesrmgen, I, 7, 424.
8. "Die Lehre vom gottlichen Ebenbilde im Menschen'. in Theologische Quartalsschrift 1830,
p. 450.
9. Erigena (note 1), Vorrcde V and p. 447.
10. Ibid., p. 347.
11. Ibid., p. 342.
12. Ibid., p. 447.
13. Der Pantheismus na-0h seinen verschiedenen Hauptformen, seinem Ursprung und Fort-
ga11ge, seinem speculativen und praktischen Wertl und Gehalt, IT. Bd. (Berlin 1828), p. 143.
14. Johannes Scotu.<J Erigwa (Munich 1861), p. xi.
15. Ibid., p. x. Confer a similar tendency in Baur, Versiihnung (above, note 2); J. A. Domer,
Entwicklungsgeschichte def'. Lehre van der Person Ohristi, II. Tei! (Berlin 1853), pp. 350 seqq.;
W. Kaulich, Entwicklitng der scholastischen PMlosopliie van Johannes Scotus Erigena bia
Abiilard (Prag 1863), p. 216. ]\fore carefully considered is Christlieb, op. cit. (note 1), pp.
129 seqq.
i.6. Die Philosophie des Ohristentums oder Metaphysik der heiligen Schrift al8 Lehre van den
giittlichen Ideen uncfihrer Entwicklung in Natur, Geist und Geschichte, I. Bd. (Giessen 1840),
pp. 536 seqq.
17. Ibid., p. 551.
18. De div. nat. III. 17, PL 122, 678C.
19. m. 21, 685C.
20. III. 20, 684B; v. 37, 987C; III. 10, 650D. These sentences .are interpreted in a non-
pantheistic way in a separate treatise on creation and Trinity. Opposed to a one-sided
pantheistic interpretation are e.g. III. 9, 643B: 'ma.net in seipso ... et ab omnibus segrega.tum
subsistit'; III. 20, 683B:''dum in omnibus fit, super omnia. esse non desinit'; IV. 5, 759A:
'et supra. omnia. et in omnibus est ... extra omnia. totus esse non desinit'.
l!l. III. 10, 650D. .
22. Philosophie der lllythologie, Werke II 2 (1857), pp. 91, ll8.
23. Werke I,7, 432. For Schelling's conc!'pt of 'der werdende Gott' see W, R. Corti in
Schelling-Studien, Festgabe fiir llf. Schriiter (!l:lunich 1965), pp. 83 seqq.
24. Admittedly l Cor. 15: 28 is rendered in a. differing pa.ntheistic interpretatiqn by Jl!.sche,
Der Pantheismu./!. a.nd G. F. Da.umer, Aneutung eines System,B ajfeculatiwr Philophie
(Nilrnberg 1831), p. 25. Schelling, Aphorismen zur Einleitung in die Naturphilosophie,
Werke I. 7 (1860), pp. 150; 186. Concerning Eriugena., De div. nat. V. 8, 876A mea.ns the
last stage and fulfilment of the reversion: 'erit enim Deus omnia in omnibus, quando nihil
erit nisi solus Deus, V. 37, 9870.
25. System der gesammten Philosophie iind der Naturphilosophie i718bfJ8ondere, Werke L II,
(1860), pp. 174 seq., 177. -
26. Cf. W. Beierwe.ltes, Das Problem des absoluten Selbstbewusstseins bei Johannes Scoti.J
Eriugena, in Platonismus in der Philosophie des Mittelaltera (Wege der Forschung, Bd. 197
[Darmsta.dt 1969]), pp. 510 seq,
<fi)In Prol. Evang. sec. Joh., PL 122, 291A: 'Non vos estis, qui intelligitisme, sed ego ipee
m vobis per Spiritum meum me ipsum intelligo; quia. vos non estis substa.ntialis lux, sed
pa.rticipa.tio per se subsistentis luminis'.
28. W. Beierwa.ltes, op. cit., p. 512.
29. This a.lluring interpretation ha.cl some a.ttraction for a. long time. A. Dempftmderstood
Eriugena.'s philosophy a.s 'reine Imma.nenziehre',: a.nd 'orgo.nol0gi8c'beil Pantheism.us'
(Metaphysik des Mittelalters [Munich 1930], pp. 40 seqq.). He a.sserted-unnecellSll.rily and
illegitimately-Eriugene 's 'nordische 1nnerlichkeit und gentiluische Vilalilat'.J- (op. cit.,
p. 36). This interpretation wa.s revived-in contra.st to Dem'pf from a ~tionalistio turn of
mind-by P. Bommersheim: Eriugena.'s philosophy stems (in accordance with the dyne.mio
na.ture of Teutonic men) from the 'ma.terna.1 depth of the irrationa.l'. (Dt. l'terteijahruschrifl
f. Ut~raturwiasenschaft ttnd Geistesge8chich!e 21 [1943], p. 415'). .
30. Versohnung (nbte 2), p . .132. '
...,
198 THE JlllND OF ERIUOENA

31. Baur, Ver8iihnung, p. 140, note. Cf. as well Baur, Die chriatliche Lehrc von dcr Drei-
einigkeit und Memchwerdung Gottea, II. Bd. (Tiibingen 1842), pp. 317 seqq., 321, 344.
32. Concerning. the triad cf. W. Beierwaltes, Proklo8, Grundziige aeiner J1'[ctaphyaik
(Frankfm:t 1965), pp. 118 seqq. The triad of p.ov~-.,,.p&ollo;-bnarpo<frq is the origin of
Eriugena.'s triad 'principium-medium-finis'; cf. ibid., pp. 82 seqq.
33. W. Beierwaltes, Proklos, pp. 121 seq., 130 seqq. Concerning Eriugena: D div. na.t. II. 2,
626D; v. 1, 861A; v. 3, 866D.
34. De div. nat. I. l, 441B (ed. I. P. Sheldon-Williams [Dublin l968J, I. vol., p. 36),
36. Ibid., v. 3, 8660.
36. rv. 24, 861A; this is tl}e subject of the fifth book. Cappuyns, op. cit., pp. 360 seqq.;
T. Gregory, 'Mediazione e incarnazione'. in Giovanni Scoto Eriugena, Tre Stud~(Florenz
1963), pp. 44 seqq.; Beierwa.ltes, Proklos, pp. 84 seq.
37. De div. nat. v. 6, 871B.
38. Sohelling, Philosophie und Religion, Werke I. 6, p. 43; Philosophie "der Offenbarung,
Werke II. 4 (1868), pp. 81; 87; 193 seqq.; 198 seqq.
39. Hegel, Vorleaungen iiber die Phf.losophie der Religion XVI (Glockner), p. 219: Process
of reconciliation.
40. Hegel, Philosophic der Religion XVI, p. 300.
41. Ibid., p. 300.
42. Ibid., p. 301.
43. Cf. AestMtik (ed. Bassenge, Berlin 1965), I. 617 1 P1'il08oplie der Religioi XVI, p. 301.
44. Hegel, Glauben und Wiaaen (ed. Lasson, Hamburg 1962), p. 124 (italics mine).
46. De div. nat. v. 7, 876C: 'per hoo plus ut.ilitatis )lumBnae naturae contulit mors carnis
quam vindictae ... in tantum ut carnis solutio, quae mortis nomine solet appellari, rationa-
bilius mors mortis dicatur quam mors carnis'; v. 13, 884D: '(redemptor noster) qui seipsum
exinanivit, formam servi accipiens, movebitur in spiritum, et in ipsam substantiam primitus'
a deo creatam, quando a.bsorbebitur mors in victoriam, eo totus homo, exterior videlicet
et interior, sensibilis et intelligibilis, in unum adunabitur'; IV. 24, 861A: ' ... quando novissima
inimica mors per eundem Christum Dei Verbum destruetur, et universaliter humans na.tura
in pristinum statum restituetur'.
46. De div. nat. v. 20, 893D seq.; 26, 911B; 912C; 913C; v. 6, 873C: ' ... resurrectio Qommunis
omnium ascensio est ex morte in vita.m'.
47. Versiihnung, p. 134.
48. As for the way of thinking Bnd the place within the philosophical system an analogy
could be shown between Eriugena.'s concept of the 'cognitio intellectualis, visio intellectua.lis,
contemplatio intelligibilis' Bnd Schelling's concepo of intuition ('intellektuelle Anschauung').
-The problernsmentioned a.nd discussed above a.re worked out more intensively in my
..
book, Platoniamua una ldealiamus,
,
Frankfurt, 1972.

DISOUSSION

Subject : Paper by Werner Beierwaltes


B. 0 Ciobh~ln.asked if the view that Redtimption was 'natural' in Eriugena
was the view of the Idealists or that of W. Beierwaltes himself. W. Beierwaltes
replied that it was the view of the Idealists who found Eriugena's doctrine
congenial to their own. In their view the Incarnation was a negation of Deit., .
which negation demanded itself to be negatived in a Redemption. While Hegel
had no real knowledge of Eriugena's text an(! passed over all 'scholastics' from
Proclus to Descartes, some of .his followers, notably Baur, did read Eriugena
and also Dionysius and Maxim.us. I. P. Sheldon-Williams thought he discerned
a. 'conversion' in Eriugena .within the Periphrseon (v. 22): from a v.iew t~at,:tlle.
Resurrection was a 'grace' to the view thai it was 'natural'. This conversion
was due to Epiphanius. The three kinds of 'birth' according to Gregory
ERIUGENA AND GERMAN IDEALIS!\1 19!)

t Nazianzenus were (1) physical, (2) death and resurrection (where nature o.nd
/;.
id grace combined), and (3) Divinization (of the order of grace only). B. O Ciobhitin
i'i asked if, although what was of necessity was of necessity, nevertheless according
11~1
11
to Eriugena it had to be willed.
; I
R. Roques asked if the Idealists gave an exegesis of the Pauline keno.~is.
~! W. Beierwaltes replied that they did-not only Hegel (the problem of 'Ent-
\: fremdung' in the 'Religionsphilosophie') but especially Baur. M. Cristiani asked
if historians of the Idealist philosophy had ever thought of. establishing a
J relationship between the thought of Kant and that of Eriugena concerning the
I
1
problem of space and time. W. Beierwaltes thought not.
J. Barbet summed up the papers of N. Haring, M.-Th. d'Alverny and W.
I
[ Beierwaltes and the discussion.~. Y. Christe's paper and the discussion, both of
I which were held in the Assembly Room of the Academy, so that illustrative
l slides might be shown, were not recorded.

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