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Johannes Tauler (c. 1300 – 15 June 1361) was a German mystic theologian.


He was born about the year 1300 in Strasbourgmarker, and was educated at the Dominican convent in that city, where Meister Eckhart, who greatly influenced him, was professor of theology (1312-1320) in the monastery school. From Strasbourg he went to the Dominican college of Cologne, and perhaps to St James's College, Parismarker, ultimately returning to Strasbourg. In 1324 Strasbourg, along with other cities, was placed under a papal interdict, and so all Dominican friars left the city. Tauler went to Basel. The legend that he stayed in Strasbourg and continued to perform religious services for the people is probably due to the desire of the Sixteenth century Reformers to enroll the famous preachers of the Middle Ages among their forerunners.

From 1338 to 1339 Tauler was in Baselmarker, then the headquarters of the "Friends of God", and was brought into intimate relations with the members of that pious mystical fellowship. Tauler worked with the Friends of God, and it was with them that he taught his belief that the state of the soul was affected more by a personal relationship with God than by external practices. (Cairns 243) In this way, he was more of a proselytizer than his counterpart, Eckhart. Yet Strasbourg still remained his headquarters. The Black Death came there in 1348, and it is said that when the city was deserted by all who could leave it, Tauler remained at his post, encouraging his terror-stricken fellow-citizens with sermons and personal visits. His correspondence with distinguished members of the Gottesfreunde, especially with Margaretha Ebner, and the fame of his preaching and other work in Strasbourg, made him known throughout a wide circle. He died in 1361.

Tauler was one of several notable Christian universalists in the Middle Ages, along with Amalric of Bena, John of Ruysbroeck, and Julian of Norwich. He taught that "All beings exist through the same birth as the Son, and therefore shall they all come again to their original, that is, God the Father."

The well-known story of Tauler's conversion and discipline by "The Friend of God from the Oberland" cannot be regarded as historical. Tauler was famous for his sermons, which were considered among the noblest in the German language -- not as emotional as Henry Suso's, nor as speculative as Eckhart's, but rather intensely practical, and touching on all sides the deeper problems of the moral and spiritual life.


Tauler's sermons were printed first in Leipzigmarker in 1498, reprinted in 1508 at Augsburg, and then again with additions from Eckhart and others at Basel (1521 and 1522), at Halberstadt (1523), at Cologne (1543), and in Lisbonmarker (1551).

A Latin translation was printed first at Cologne in 1548 and 1553. There are modern editions by Julius Hamberger (Frankfurtmarker, 1864) and Ferdinand Vetter (Berlin, 1910, reprinted Dublin/Zürich, 1968;). R. H. Hutton published Tauler's Sermons for Festivals under the title of The Inner Way.

  • Denifle, Dis Buck von geistlicher Armuth (Strassburg, 1877);
  • Carl Schmidt, Johann Tauler von Strassburg (Hamburgmarker, 1841);
  • S. Winkworth, Tauler's Life and Sermons (Londonmarker, 1857);
  • R. A. Vaughan, Hours with the Mystics, 3rd ed., vol. i. pp. 214-307;
  • Wilhelm Preger's Gesch. der deutschen Mystik im Mittelalter, vol. iii;
  • W. R. Inge, Christian Mysticism;
  • R. M. Jones, Studies in Mystical Religion (1909).
  • Gnädinger, Louise: Johannes Tauler. Lebenswelt und mystische Lehre. München, 1993.


  1. " Apocatastasis". New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, Vol. I.
  2. " Johann Tauler". at Accessed Dec. 5, 2007.
  3. Online im Digitalen Mittelhochdeutschen Textarchiv (mhgta)
  4. Cairns, Earle. Christianity Through the Centuries. 3rd ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996.


  • Eck, Suzanne: Gott in uns. Hinführung zu Johannes Tauler. Übersetzt von Viktor Hofstetter OP und Hildegard Stoffels (Dominikanische Quellen und Zeugnisse Bd. 8). Leipzig 2006.
  • Gnädinger, Louise: Johannes Tauler. Lebenswelt und mystische Lehre. München 1993.
  • Hamburger, Jeffrey F.: D.Verschiedenartigen Bücher der Menschheit. Johannes Tauler über d. "Scivias" H.s v.B. Trier 2005 (=Mitt. u. Verz. aus d. Bibl. d. Bischöfl. Priesterseminars zu Trier; 20).
  • Leppin, Volker: Artikel „Tauler Johannes“ , in: Theologische Realenzyklopädie, Bd. 32, Berlin/ New York 2001, S. 745-748.
  • Mayer, Johannes G.: Die "Vulgata"-Fassung der Predigten Johannes Taulers. Würzburg 1999 (Texte und Wissen. 1).
  • Mösch, Caroline F.: "Daz disiu geburt geschehe". Meister Eckharts Predigtzyklus von d. ewigen Geburt u. Johannes Taulers Predigten zum Weihnachtsfestkreis. Fribourg 2006.
  • Otto, Henrik: Vor- und frühreformatorische Tauler-Rezeption. Quellen und Forschungen zur Reformationsgeschichte Bd. 75 Gütersloh 2003.
  • Sturlese, Loris: Tauler im Kontext. Die philosophischen Voraussetzungen des "Seelengrundes" in der Lehre des deutschen Neuplatonikers Berthold von Moosburg. In: PBB 109 (1987), S. 390-426.
  • Theißen, J.: Tauler und die Liturgie. In: Deutsche Mystik im abendländischen Zusammenhang. Hg. v. W. Haug und W. Schneider-Lastin, Tübingen 2000, S. 409-423.
  • Weigand, Rudolf Kilian: Predigen und Sammeln. Die Predigtanordnung in frühen Tauler-Handschriften. In: Studien zur deutschen Sprache und Literatur. FS Konrad Kunze. Hg. von Werner Williams-Krapp. Hamburg 2004, S. 114-155.

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