Johannes Tauler was a German mystic theologian.
He was born about the year 1300 in Strasbourg, and was educated at the Dominican order 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, Paris, ultimately returning to Strasbourg. In 1324 Strasbourg with other cities was placed under a papal interdict. Legend says that Tauler nevertheless continued to perform religious services for the people, but though there may be a germ of historical truth in this story, it is probably due to the desire of the Sixteenth century Reformers to enrol the famous preachers of the Middle Ages among their forerunners.
From 1338–1339 Tauler was in Basel, then the headquarters of the "Friends of God", and was brought into intimate relations with the members of that pious mystical fellowship. Strasbourg, however, remained his headquarters. The Black Death came to that city in 1348, and it is said that, when the city was deserted by all who could leave it, Tauler remained at his post, encouraging by sermons and personal visitations his terror-stricken fellow-citizens. His correspondence with distinguished members of the Gottesfreunde, especially with Margaretha Ebner, and the fame of his preaching and other work in Strasbourg, had made him known throughout a wide circle. He died in 1361.
Tauler was an inspiring preacher, and it is his sermons that have survived to inspire later generations.
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