Eckhart von Hochheim O.P. (c. 1260 – c. 1327), commonly known as Meister Eckhart [ˈmaɪ̯stɐ ˈɛkʰaʀt], was a German theologian, philosopher and mystic, born near Gotha, in the Landgraviate of Thuringia in the Holy Roman Empire.
Eckhart came into prominence during the Avignon Papacy, at a time of increased tensions between the Franciscans and Eckhart's Dominican Order of Friars Preachers. In later life he was charged of herecy and brought up before the local Franciscan-led Inquisition, and tried as a heretic by Pope John XXII. He probably died before his verdict was received.
He was well known for his work with pious lay groups such as the Friends of God and succeeded by his more circumspect disciples of John Tauler and Henry Suso. Since the 19th century, he has received renewed attention. Within popular spirituality he has acquired a status as a great mystic, though contemporary scholarship places him properly within the mediaeval scholastic and philosophical tardition.