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Johannes Tauler

Johannes Tauler, 14th century mystic

John Tauler (ca. 1300-1361), German Dominican and mystic

Johannes Tauler entered the Dominican order at Strasbourg about the age of fifteen and probably studied in the Dominican studium generale at Cologne, where he may have been taught by Meister Eckhart. He was certainly influenced by the latter and by the contemplative movement known as the Gottesfreunde (Friends of God). He remained a loyal and orthodox member of the church.

Tauler is one of the four outstanding figures in the amazing flowering of mystical experience and writing that took place in late-medieval Germany. This phenomenon included the unlettered Beguine Mechthild of Magdeburg and Tauler’s fellow Dominicans Meister Eckhart and Heinrich Seuse. Tauler’s sermons, written only in German, circulated widely in the Middle Ages in Germany and the Low Countries. Since Martin Luther made marginal notes on his copy of the 1508 Augsburg edition of Tauler’s sermons and obviously valued him highly, Tauler’s works were later read by Protestants as well as by Catholics. Tauler was less erudite and more practical than Eckhart, and his teaching was built on the devotional habits of his day. As a result he was able to transmit much of Eckhart’s basic teachings when Eckhart himself was branded as heretical. Some of Eckhart’s sermons were preserved under Tauler’s name and found their way into print in the 1521 Basel edition of Tauler’s works.

The Theologia Germanica is of unknown authorship, but Meister Eckhart and Johannes Tauler are considered as possible writers.

The Inner Way (PDF 429 KB)
Theologica Germanica (PDF 259 KB)

2 to “Johannes Tauler”

  1. Richard Lythberg says:

    I am trying to verify what i read as a youth, that Tauler could only cry as he tried to preach to the nuns. He apparently went to Meister Eckhardt for help and was told, “Tauler, you must die”, i.e. death to SELF. He went away seeking this death to self, and it was some tiome before he could preach to the nuns, but now it was with much power, because he had died ti himself.

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