Circa 1300–1361


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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