Christian culture 基督教文化学刊

"Humanity is the Second God": on Nikolaus von Cusa's Orientation of the Human Spirit

Author: LI Hua, Lecturer, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Xi'an University of Posts- and Telecommunications



Through the inheritance of Bruno and Leibniz, Nikolaus von Cusa (Nicholas of Cusa), standing at the watershed between the Middle Ages and modern times, had an indirect impact on later German thinking on immanence and pantheism. His definition of the human spirit, which differed from both a simple pious mysticism and from the emotional humanism of the Renaissance, laid a foundation for the particular idea of the human in the Teutonic world. Through hermeneutical exploration of Nikolas von Cusa’s works, this article suggests that we cannot simply remain with Nikolaus von Cusa’s conception of spirit if we hope to clarify his idea of the human spirit, but must enter into his mode of conceiving the relationship between humanity and God, namely coniectura (conjecture). Only on this basis can we understand his view of the products of the human spirit, namely works of art, artifacts, and such. From this we can gain an insight into concepts of works of art and the worldview of the Teutonic intellectual world in early modern times.



Human Spirit; God; Coniectura; Works of Art


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