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Johannes Tauler

Tauler, Johannes (yōhänˈəs touˈlər) [key], c.1300–1361, German mystic. He was a Dominican. He met Meister Eckhart, either at Strasbourg or in Cologne, where he went to study, and he was one of Eckhart's disciples. He also knew Heinrich Suso. When the churches of Strasbourg were closed by the bishop of Strasbourg because of a serious quarrel between Pope John XXII and Emperor Louis IV, Tauler went to Basel (1338–39), where he became closely associated with the leaders of the Friends of God, a popular mystical movement that spread Eckhart's teachings. He was one of the greatest of medieval preachers, and his sermons were widely disseminated. They are intellectual appeals to practice detachment from the world and to abandon oneself to the Holy Spirit; they abound in striking analogies and keen observations. In spite of their orthodox and scholastic Catholicism, they have been much admired by Protestants. Collections of Tauler's work often include sermons falsely attributed to him.

See his life and sermons, ed. by S. Winkworth (1962); study by S. E. Ozment (1969); J. M. Clark, The Great German Mystics (1949, repr. 1970).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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