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Johannes Tauler, O.P. (Mystic, Pastor, Preacher) c. 1300-1361


Johannes Tauler Demographics:
  • Name -Johannes Tauler, O.P.
  • Birth - c. 1300
  • Death - 1361 (of the plague)
  • Death place - convent of St. Nikolaus in Undis.
  • Nationality - German
  • Occupation - Dominican Monk, mystic, pastor, and preacher
  • Religion - Catholoic, religious family background.
  • Family Heritage - Well-to-do burgher family which owned property in Strasbourg.
Johannes Tauler Basic Facts:
  • Tauler lived during the tumultuous 14th century, marked by many calamities including - plagues (ie bubonic plague), earthquakes, civil war, financial crises & papal interdicts.
  • Tauler had the unique gift of clearly articulating the inner experience of his contemporaries, whilst still interpreting this experience in the light of orthodox Catholic tradition.
Johannes Tauler Education & Early Years:
  • Entered the Dominican Order, Strasbourg priory in 1314, unhindered.
  • His sister also entered the Dominican convent of St. Nikolaus in Undis, in Strasbourg.
  • Tauler was sent for some time to the prestigious studium generale in Cologne (founded by St. Albert the Great) for further studies.
  • Once ordained Tauler spent his life as a spiritual director (lebmeister) to both Dominican nuns & to the laity, especially those of the Friends of God (Gottesfreunde).
Johannes Tauler Adult Life:
  • Tauler traveled mostly in the vicinity in his native Strasbourg.
  • The exception to this was the "Dominican flight" to Basel in 1339, after Pope John XXII in Avignon had excommunicated Emperor Louis IV of Bavaria.
  • With the religious fervor associated with the difficulties of the time, his relatively new Teutonia province of the Dominican Order grew rapidly.
  • This resulted in a large number of Dominican convents being established under the care of the Teutonia friars -"seventy convents, each having some fifty nuns, some with up to eighty nuns".
  • Tauler spent a significant amount of time tending to the spiritual care of these nuns, the cura monialium.
  • Tauler was also an major figure within a religious group known as the Friends of God (Gottesfreunde).
  • The Friends of God included men & women representing all social classes & states of life, clerical, religious, & lay.
  • The Gottesfreunde community sought "... to cultivate a life of interior devotion and intense prayer because they felt a need to draw together in times of social upheaval."
  • It should be noted that Tauler's preaching was not theory based, as it flowed from his own experience of suffering.
  • Tauler himself was a casualty of the second outbreak of the bubonic plague (1361), dying in the convent of his sisters', St. Nikolaus in Undis, with her at his side.
Quotes by Tauler:
"... the greater the void, the greater the divine influx.''

"If I had known what I now know, I should have lived on my inheritance and not on alms."

"If anyone comes and warns them of the dreadful peril in which they live and how anxiously they should meet death, they mock him and say he is a Beghard and call us visionaries. They jeer and sneer at us as neither Jews nor pagans ever did to Christians."
Quotes About Tauler:
"Pray for our dear father Tauler. He is generally in great distress because he teaches the truth as wholeheartedly as any teacher I know." [von Nordlingen, writing to the Dominican Margareta Ebner]

Posted by ALCHEssMIST.
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