Luke Clossey

Published On


Page Range

pp. 355–374


  • English

Print Length

20 pages

13. Nicholas of Cusa’s Jesus

  • Luke Clossey (author)
Ever since his own time, Nicholas of Cusa has been seen as a thinker caught between medieval and modern. Unsurprisingly, he was also caught between the deep and plain kens, and in Jesus found an escape. The chapter begins with two concrete examples: Cusa's invention of a “new and fun game” of curling based on Jesus's life, which contrasted an irregular ball thrown at concentric perfect circles, and an optical illusion of Jesus which contrasted God's perfect vision with human vision in spacetime. The chapter then follows Cusa into greater abstraction. Jesus embodies plain-ken multiplicity with deep-ken oneness, and becomes himself the limit of the human intellect. Cusa argued for that Jesus-centred oneness while working to unify Christianity internally, as well as with Islam, based on his new reading of the Qur'an, which—for all his skepticism—he believed he understood better than the Muslims.


Luke Clossey

Associate Professor of Global History at Simon Fraser University

Luke Clossey is an associate professor of global history at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada. His first book, Salvation and Globalization in the Early Jesuit Missions (Cambridge UP, 2008), won the Canadian Historical Association's Ferguson Prize for best work of non-Canadian history; a chapter from it won a paper prize from the World History Association. His writings on global religion, the history of ideas, and history methodology have appeared in the Journal of World History, the Journal of Global History, the Journal of Early Modern History, the Sixteenth Century Journal, Global History Review 全球史评 论 , History Compass, the Wiley-Blackwell Companion to World Literature, and The Cambridge World History.