Johannes Tauler Sermons: A Book Review

Johannes Tauler was a pupil of Meister Eckhart. Both died in the 1300’s in Germany; both were Dominican priests. Eckhart died while being tried for heresy; Tauler escaped being so branded, and he remains a sound and practical spiritual teacher for denizens of the 21st century.

This volume of The Classics of Western Spirituality has 23 of the Rhineland mystic’s eighty preserved sermons. Some were addressed to nuns, most to members of a lay movement called “The Friends of God”. The Friends were mostly members of the emerging middle class, from which Tauler came. The concerns of our 13th century progenitors were remarkably similar to our own, so contemporary readers will find much relevant wisdom in this book.

Should anyone be distressed at an apparent lack of spiritual progress after years of effort, sermon 19 gives a realistic time frame for spiritual growth! Tauler consoles, challenges, and inspires confidence in our own quest for union with God. “Let us pray to Our Lord that we, too, may achieve this overflowing measure.”

— Reviewed by Br. Thomas Crutcher



Johannes Tauler Sermons
The Classics of Western Spirituality
Paulist Press, New York
183 pp