Title: Jan van Ruusbroec and the “Birth of God” Doctrine
Authors: Kikuchi, Satoshi # ×
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: Waseda Daigaku Tetsugakkai
Series Title: Philosophia (Tokyo, Japan) vol:99 pages:83-98
Abstract: The “birth of God” (in German: Gottesgeburt) is a traditional doctrine in the Christian thought which expresses the spiritual birth of Christ in the soul of believers. Hugo Rahner’s classical study covers the history of this doctrine from its origin in the Greek Fathers, especially Origin (d. ca. 254), until its full development in the German Dominican Meister Eckhart (ca. 1260-1328). As a matter of fact, however, this tradition did not end with Eckhart. In the following centuries, this doctrine remained prevalent in mystical literature (mainly in the Germanic languages), such as in John Tauler (ca. 1300-1361), Jan van Ruusbroec (1293-1381), Nicholas of Kues (1401-1464), in the 16th century’s Dutch anonymous writings, Die evangelische peerle, Den tempel onser sielen, De Arhnemse mystieke preken, and even in the 17th century in the poetry of Angelus Silesius (1624-1677). Despite Rahner’s statement that the “birth of God” doctrine continued after Eckhart, meaningful study on its “weitere Geschichte” has remained scarce. This article explores, therefore, Ruusbroec as one of the testimonies of the heirs of this tradition. By this investigation, we hope to provide some useful material for further study on the lineage and continuation of the “birth of God” doctrine.
ISSN: 0554-0690
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: DI
Appears in Collections:Research Unit of History of Church and Theology
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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