Born: Circa 1300, Straßburg, Germany (now Strasbourg, France).
Died: June 16, 1361, Straßburg, Germany.
Johannes seems to have been the son of Nikolus Tauler (or Tawler) of Finkweiler, who in 1304 was a member of the Straßburg Mitglieds des Raths (town council).
Around 1318, he entered the Dominican convent at Straßburg. He studied for eight years at Straßburg, where the well known Meister Eckhart was the Dominican Professor of Theology (1312–20).
Johannes then went to Cologne for four years further training in theory and practical work. He then returned to Straßburg, where he became known as an eloquent and practical preacher.
When much of Germany was under interdict by Pope John XXII because of the resentment of his interference with the election of the German emperor in 1324, the Dominicans in Straßburg continued to preach, celebrate mass, and minister to the people, even though Straßburg was under the papal ban.
After the 1338 Diet of Frankfurt, the strife between the Emperor and the Pope (now Benedict XII) became more pronounced. Up to 1339, the Dominicans at Straßburg continued to sing mass, but were then compelled by cease doing so by the superiors of their order.
As the Straßburg magistracy remained faithful to the Emperor, they resented this submission, and accordingly closed the Dominican convent in 1339, and it stood empty for 3½ years.
Around the start of 1339, Tauler was in Basel, Switzerland, where he stayed some years, in close connection with Heinrich of Nördlingen and others of the so-called
Friends of God in that area.
About 1346, he was again in Straßburg, and spent most of the rest of his life there and at Cologne.
The hymns attributed to Tauler were printed in his Werke (Cologne: 1543), and by Daniel Sudermann in his Schöne ausserlesene sinnreiche Figuren (Straßburg: 1620), and in his Etliche hohe geistliche Gesänge (Straßburg: 1626). Sudermann seems to have rewritten, or at least considerably altered, them.
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