Johannes Tauler OP (c. 1300 – 15 June 1361) was a German mystic, a Catholic preacher and a theologian. A disciple of Meister Eckhart, he belonged to the Dominican order. Tauler was known as one of the most important Rhineland Mystics. He promoted a certain neo-platonist dimension in the Dominican spirituality of his time.
He was born about the year 1300 in Strasbourg, entered the Dominican order (probably at the age of about fifteen) and was educated at the Dominican convent in that city. Meister Eckhart, who greatly influenced him, was active in Strasbourg c1313-26, though it is unclear what relationship they may have had. 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, 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 16th century reformers to enroll the famous preachers of the Middle Ages among their forerunners.
Around 1330 Tauler began his preaching career in Strasbourg. The city contained eight convents of Dominican nuns and perhaps seventy smaller beguine communities. It seems likely that (as with Meister Eckhart and Henry Suso), much of his preaching was directed to holy women. Most of Tauler's nearly eighty sermons seem to reflect a convent situation, although this may partly reflect the setting in which such sermons were most likely to be written down and preserved...
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