Coincidentia Oppositorum

Tafsiran Eliade atas Cusanus


  • Fransiskus Guna



mitos, ritus, yang sakral dan yang profan, maksimum dan minimum, coincidentia oppositorum


In his seminal work, de docta ignorantia, Nicholas of Cusa develops his doctrine of God as the coincidentia oppositorum, the idea that in God all oppositions coincide. Commonly, unknown things are judged by their likeness to things that are known, just like a vast distance is measured by a series of known lesser distances. But the problem is that God, which is called by the Cusan as Absolute Maximum and Minimum, is infinite and immeasurable. Maximum means all that there can be and nothing surpasses it. However, if it envelops all possibilities of being within itself, so nothing can be less than it; and therefore it also means Minimum. Both of them, Maximum and Minimum are alternate designations for the Infinite; they coincide. As an assistant professor in philosophy at the University of Bucharest, Eliade has the opportunity to lecture on the thought of Nicholas of Cusa. He acknowledges that the Cusan’s notion of coincidentia oppositorum serves as a formative influence on his own notion of the sacred and the profane even fascinates him till the end of his life. But how appropriate was it to appropriate the Cusan in the way that Eliade did? At this point it suffices, perhaps, to note that Eliade seems to see coincidentia oppositorum as the warrant to obviate history. His contribution, according to his own emphasis, lies with the prehistorical rites, myths and theories. This, of course, was not the emphasis of Nicholas of Cusa.


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