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Desire And The Desirable: Nicholas De Cusa's Interfaith Imagination

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Chapter Summary

This chapter is about Nicolaus of Cusa, a thinker who, while distinguishing desire and the desirable, also forged a passage-way between them. He is also called Cusanus (1401 1464), and the passage in his case is ultimately the way of love. At the heart of Cusanuss lifework is an existential transformation or pedagogy: a practical as well as philosophical journey animated by love (traditionally expressed as amor Dei intellectualis). The chapter follows him on part of his journey, focusing on two major aspects: his emphasis on experiential learning, in the ordinary lifeworld, and his concern with inter-religious harmony and peace. By placing ultimate reality beyond rational knowledge or cognitive grasp, Cusanus takes a stand against a dogmatic foundationalism that claims to have an authoritative grasp of truth. Cusanuss work speaks to his readers with particular eloquence: the domain of interfaith harmony and cross-cultural understanding.

Keywords: amor Dei intellectualis; cross-cultural understanding; desire and the desirable; interfaith harmony; Nicholas De Cusa (Cusanus)



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