Circa 1300–1361

Circa 1300, Strassburg, Germany (now Strasbourg, France).

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, Johannes 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.

  1. As the Bridegroom to His Chosen
  2. Es kommt ein Schiff geladen
    • Ship Comes Sailing Onwards, A
    • There Comes a Bark Full Laden
    • There Comes a Galley Laden
    • There Comes a Galley Sailing
  3. Ich muss die Creaturen fliehen
    • From Outward Creatures I Must Flee
  4. O Jesu Christ, ein lieblichs Güt
    • O Jesu Christ, Most Good, Most Fair