The Sound of Barking Dogs: Meister Eckhart & Saint Thomas Aquinas



A defining moment for the Dominican Order was its defense of Thomas Aquinas. The General Chapters of Paris in 1286 and Saragossa in 1309 legislated that all friars promote and defend Thomas’ teachings. Surprisingly, however, little has been written of the contributions of Meister Eckhart to this critical debate. Eckhart was a renowned preacher, master of Paris, provincial of Saxony (1303–1311), and vicar for three master generals. This lecture will offer a brief survey of the controversy, exploring the values Dominicans found in Aquinas’ thought, and consider Eckhart's use of Aquinas. Finally I will indicate some themes in this debate that I believe are still valuable in contemporary Dominican studies.