Knowledge and Love (I)

William Johnston

in The Mysticism of the Cloud of Unknowing

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print January 2000 | ISBN: 9780823220748
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823236824 | DOI:
Knowledge and Love (I)

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This chapter considers the relationship between knowledge and love. In his enthusiasm for the blind stirring, the author frequently belittles knowledge, strongly emphasizing the superiority of love. The discussion argues that love is superior to knowledge because it goes straight to the essence of God, whereas discursive reasoning cannot know God as He is in Himself and faith sees God only from afar in darkness. However, faith is the ground of the contemplative life, and reasoning also has an important role. The contemplative path is divided into three stages. The first stage is that of reasoning and conceptual thinking. The second stage is of experimental love. In the third stage, love finds a higher knowledge that is the true wisdom infused by God Himself.

Keywords: love; knowledge; faith; God; contemplative path; wisdom

Chapter.  3386 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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