Johann Tauler, a German mystic, born probably in Strasburg in 1290, died there, June 16, 1361. At the age of 18 he renounced a fortune to enter the Dominican cloister. After studying the scholastic theology in Paris he returned to Strasburg, and came under the influence of Master Eckhart. He became one of the so-called "friends of God," an unorganized brotherhood, including priests, nobles, and burghers in all the large cities, who represented the height of mysticism, denied the special prerogative of the clergy except in the celebration of the sacraments, and dwelt upon worship in the heart and life, lie preached in Strasburg, Cologne, and Basel, where Henry of Nordlingen had resumed his forbidden functions. Amid the ravages of the black death (1348-9), he bestowed the consolations of religion on the people, preaching in German mingled with Latin. He wrote in German a treatise on " Following the Lowly Life of Christ" (Frankfort, 1621), addressed a remonstrance to the clergy against leaving the dying unattended and unabsolved, and denounced ecclesiastical abuses. Having been summoned by the emperor Charles IV., when at Strasburg in 1348, to render an account of his faith, he disappeared from the city, but returned there shortly before his death.
The best of the early editions of his sermons are those of Leipsic (1498), Basel (1521-'2), Hal-berstadt (1523), and Cologne (1543). There is a modern German translation by Schlosser of his sermons (3 vols., Frankfort, 1826; 2d ed., 1864), and of his Nachfolguixg des armen Lehens Christi (1833). The hymns attributed to him are of doubtful authenticity. - See Schmidt, Johannes Tauler von Strasburg (Hamburg, 1841), and Miss Winkworth, "Life and Times of Tauler," with 25 of his sermons translated from the German (1857).