Monday, August 25, 2014

Nicolas of Cusa

Staff Writer, DL Mullan
History / Education

A lecture produced by the LaRouche Science section about this historical, scientific, and religious figure.

Nicholas of Cusa (born in 1401 in Bernkastel-Kues, Germany – died August 11, 1464 in Todi) was a German cardinal of the Catholic Church, a philosopher, jurist, mathematician, and astronomer. He is also referred to as Nicolaus Cusanus and Nicholas of Kues.   Nicholas is best known for his philosophy, encapsulated in two famous phrases: The “coincidence of opposites,” meaning that the many entities and the diversity of the finite world coincide with the oneness of the infinite realm of God; and “of learned ignorance,” the idea that the key to experiencing mystic unity with God through intellectual intuition is an awareness that a complete conceptual understanding of God is impossible and can only be acquired in a limited fashion. His thought exhibited strong elements of mysticism and Platonism within the framework of Christian faith.

Nicholas was instrumental in developing the concept of “panentheism,” the idea that God is present in all things and yet transcends all things. His fundamental precept, “coincidentia oppositorum” (the "coincidence of opposites"), was a key concept of the Reformation and replaced the medieval belief that God was a separate entity from the material world. Nicholas of Cusa is seen as one of the transitional thinkers from the Medieval to the modern world. Nicholas of Cusa also conducted the first modern biological experiment, on the growth of plants, and made important contributions to the field of mathematics by developing concepts of the infinitesimal and of relative motion.

Source: LaRouche Science , New World Encyclopedia