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JOHANN TAULER (c. 1300—1361)

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Originally appearing in Volume V26, Page 453 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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JOHANN TAULER (c. 1300—1361), German mystic, was born about the year 1300 in Strassburg, and was educated at the Dominican convent in that city, where Meister Eckhart, who greatly influenced him, was professor of theology (1312—1320) in the monastery school. From Strassburg he went to the Dominican college of Cologne, and perhaps to St James's College, Paris, ultimately returning to Strassburg. In 1324 Strassburg with other cities was placed under a papal interdict. Legend says that Tauler nevertheless continued to perform religious services for the people, but though there may be a germ of historical truth in this story, it is probably due to the desire of the 16th-century Reformers to enroll the famous preachers of the middle ages among their forerunners. In 1338—1339 Tauler was in Basel, then the headquarters of the " Friends of God " (see MYSTICISM), and was brought into intimate relations with the members of that pious mystical fellowship. Strassburg, however, remained his headquarters. The Black Death came to that city in 1348, and it is said that, when the city was deserted by all who could leave it, Tauler remained at his post, encouraging by sermons and personal visitations his terror-stricken fellow-citizens. His correspondence with distinguished members of the Gottesfreunde, especially with Margaretha Ebner, and the fame of his preaching and other work in Strassburg, had made him known throughout a wide circle. He died on the 16th of June 1361. The well-known story of Tauler's conversion and discipline by " the Friend of God from the Oberland " (see NICHOLAS OT BASEL) cannot be regarded as historical. Tauler's sermons are among the noblest in the German language. They are not so emotional as Suso's, nor so speculative as Eckhart's, but they are intensely practical, and touch on all sides the deeper problems of the moral and spiritual life. Tauler's sermons were printed first at Leipzig in 1498, and re-printed with additions from Eckhart and others at Basel (1522) and at Cologne (1543). There is a modern edition by Julius Hamberger (Frankfort, 1864), and R. H. Hutton published Tauler's Sermons for Festivals under the title of The Inner Way. See Denifle, Dns Buch von geistlicher Armuth (Strassburg, 1877) ; Carl Schmidt, Johann Tauler von Strassburg (Hamburg, 1841); S. Wink-worth, Tauler's Life and Sermons (London, 1857) ; R. A. Vaughan, Hours with the Mystics, 3rd ed., vol. i. pp. 214–307; Preger's Gesch. der deutschen Mysiik im Mittelalter, vol. iii.; W. R. Inge, Christian Mysticism: R. M. Jones, Studies in Mystical Religion (1909). TAUNG—GYI, the headquarters of the superintendent and political officer, southern Shan States, Burma. It is situated in 96° 58' E. and 20° 47' N., at an altitude of about 5000 ft., in a depressed plateau on the crest of the Sintaung hills. It is in the state of Yawnghwe, 105 M. from Thazi railway station on the Rangoon-Mandalay railway, with which it is connected by a cart-road. The civil station dates from,1894, when there were only a few Taungthu huts on the site. There were in 1906 upwards of a thousand houses, many of them substantially built of brick. Since 1906 the southern Shan States have been garrisoned by military police, whose headquarters are in Taunggyi. The station is to a considerable extent a commercial depot for the country behind, and there are many universal supply shops of most nationalities (except British)—Austrian, Chinese and Indian. The five-day bazaar is the trading place of the natives of the country. A special quarter contains the temporary residences of the chiefs when they visit headquarters, and there is a school for their sons. An orchard for experimental cultivation has met with considerable success. The average shade maximum temperature is 84° ; the minimum 39°.
End of Article: JOHANN TAULER (c. 1300—1361)
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