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Explicatio and Complicatio: On the Understanding of the Relationship between God and the World in the Work of Nicholas Cusanus

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Abstract

Cusanus understands the relationship between God and the world through the concept of participation, which he explores through the twin concepts of explicatio (unfolding) and complicatio (enfolding). In Cusanus' view, the dialectics of explicatio and complicatio even apply concerning the relationship between God and humanity. This is explored concerning the relation between divine providence and human freedom, concerning the problem of worship and idolatry, and concerning the understanding of Christ as unfolded divinity and enfolded humanity. It is argued that this allows for an understanding of salvation through grace without reducing the importance of human involvement.

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