Volume 78, Issue 3, Summer 2004
A Soteriological Consequence of Nicholas of Cusa’s Apophatic Anthropology
Nicholas of Cusa presents a negative theology in which divine mystery penetrates the created order. As part of creation, human being is a locus for God’s presence. If God is mysterious and unknown, then so is human being. In the thought of Cusanus, traditional apophaticism becomes anthropological apophaticism, but this extension of mystery to human being does not lead to skepticism.
Instead, it opens up the possibility of deification. As the mind seeks to know itself, it is led to an understanding of all things enfolded in God. It discovers that it does not know itself and must turn to God, its Beginning. The drive to understand human nature is, for Cusanus, a divinely ordained task in which the mind finds its true being only as it finds itself in God.