Johann Tauler

(1300-1361)


Johann Tauler was a German Dominican mystic and has been called one of the “reformers of the Reformation.” Tauler is significant because Luther industriously studied his sermons and were highly esteemed by him. “It is a testimony to the continuity of history” writes Karl Olsson, “that Martin Luther, who has been considered the arch enemy of the Roman Church and whose structures against her theology and polity are so vehement, should in his inwardness have been nourished by such spirits of the Old Church as St. Bernard, Tauler, and the anonymous authors of the “Theologica Germanica.”

Johann Arndt (1555-1621), whose devotional literature dominated the life of European and Swedish Protestants until well into the present century. In his “True Christianity” (1605-10) and “The Garden of Paradise” (1612), Arndt shows his dependence on Tauler.

Johann Tauler taught universalism. “All beings exist through the same birth as the Son, and therefore shall they all come again to their original, that is, God the Father.”

Tauler was very popular in Germany and very influential. Tauler’s teacher was Jean de Ruysbroek (1293) vicar of the church of St. Gudula at Brussles. He too, was universalistic: “Man, having proceeded from God is destined to return, and become one with Him again.”

(References: McClinton and Strong, Vol. 10, p 659; Richard Eddy, “History of Universalism” 1894, vol. X, p. 17 and 301; Oxford Dictionary, p. 1341)

--By David Bruce; Excerpt from his paper, "Universal Reconciliation and the Evangelical Covenant Church"

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