There are other excellent reviews of this book, so I'll keep this short.
The lion's share of the book is the translation of all his Middle High German sermons, organized and labelled in such a way that you can find them regardless of which of the seven different methods for numbering that have been used over the years, about 450 pages. Ninety pages are devoted to five short treatises. The treatises deal primarily with the Medieval style of monastic discipline. There is no New Age rainbows and Celtic knots here. This volume is a bit pricy, but the introduction by Bernard McGinn, and expert on Eckhart and the medieval in general contributes much to the value of the book. For those to whom this is important, it is also very nicely designed, with a spffy dust jacket.
For those who are new to Eckhart, you may be surprised at the briskness and brevity of the sermons. After spending a fair amount of time reading sermons by John Donne and Jonathan Edwards, I'm amazed at these little gems. But for all their brevity, they were often written for an audience of clerics and theology students. Therefore, the thought behind the text tends to be quite deep. There is remarkably little of what you might expect from a modern homily. Eckhart was primarily a university professor, so his sermons may come off sounding like lectures. But, Eckhart does currently rank among the top late medieval Christian scholars, a distinction which is relatively new. This is why out of his 10 volumes of Latin and German works, not much more than one volume is available in English.
Highly recommended, especially when compared to other collections.
on May 11, 2011
Eckhart's style, depth and inspiration are phenomenal. As a teacher of Faith, he is the true successor of Plotinus, Augustine and Saadya Gaon, and is only approached in value in the 18th century by Jacob Emden and the Testimonies of M.A.L.. His grasp and scholarship are universal and immense, his style compelling. His exposition is as inspiring and helpful to the Zen Buddhist, Sufi, Jew, or JW, as it is to the Christian. His mind and scholarship are unconfined by dogmatic bounds, and he quotes the Pagan greats as well and the Jewish adepts often, and reveals the brotherhood of Truth.
I've read the various English translations, and greatly admire Walsh's erudition and competence. Unfortunately, I have not had the chance (yet) to read the Latin and German originals, but sense that Walsh is truly adept in those languages, certainly as they were in the Meister's time. I am sure that the HS embraces both of them tightly, as will every true seeker. I recommend that you start with Volume 3, and then go on to the 70+ sermons. Imagine the dynamics when Dominic met Francis, of blessing memories. Imagine when Eckhart joined their Circle. Imagine the joy of the Word at his every pen-stroke and sermon.
on April 16, 2010
A beautiful book. Well worth the price. I had heard that different translators have numbered Meister Eckhart's sermons and other works differently. This "complete" book solves that problem and is, indeed, complete. Many small chapters that make daily reading a real spiritual pleasure. Eckhart Tolle's name sake. Adyashanti sometimes reads from Meister Eckhart around the Christmas holidays. An inspiration to people of all faiths and those seeking only pure spirituality without religion. A real shiner!
on December 22, 2014
For those wishing to practice Christianity, this is as essential as Saint Augustine's autobiography or St. Thomas Aquinas. This book which constitutes one half of the teachings and sermons given by Meister Eckhart are so deep and so forthcoming in their truthfulness as to be staggering. One should feel oneself lucky one can read one paragraph without feeling completely overwhelmed and as if one had eaten entire rich meal. For those lucky to have this book, it becomes a permanent place of pride Christian epic. I can think of no other single Christian writing that warrant such praise. This is a no-brainer and a no remorse purchase. the only problem might be trying to think you could read it all in a year, when it should take 2 decades. Astonishing.
on September 25, 2015
This book is so spiritually uplifting that it would be hard to give it less that a five star rating; however, the theology of Meister Eckhart is not easy and can be very perplexing. Meister Eckhart states that all creatures, including man, gain their being from "God" and without that spark from "God" man would be non existent and would be described as "nothing". Meister Eckhart also remarks that part of the human soul is uncreated and that, although "God" is in all things, the human soul is the natural image of "God". I would highly recommend this inspirational but challenging.