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Heer, Tauler & nazism


David writes: 

I have been reading a lot about Eckhart lately, but only a little about Tauler. (...) [Heer] writes the following. "The greater part of the members of religious orders lived in false holiness, mere "Jews", relying on cults, ceremonies and good works."

I am not Jewish, but I really found this statement, apparently a reflection of Tauler's thought, highly offensive. He must have been aware of some of the persecution against Jews in his own time, Philip IV, for example, who expelled the Jews from France (after confiscating their possessions). If this kind of prejudice was part of Tauler's persona, how can he really be taken seriously as a spiritual person?

I would very much appreciate Mr. Heer's comments on this.

Thank you very much.

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Dear David, F. Heer is a famous scholar, unfortunately not alive today. However, Christian anti-jewish writings are not meant with the Nazi way, not at all. In fact, Tauler doesn't criticize the Jews themselves, but Christians having become essentially Jews, namely, living not the truth but just a selfish and soulless pietism. Tauler seemes to accuse Christians in the same way Christ himself accused the Jews - and you can see here one of the main roots of protestantism. On the other hand, sympathy for the Jews because of the persecutions, etc, must not mean blindness to their faults, and that means (because, as I said, Tauler wanted to criticize his fellow Christians), sympathy for ourselves must not make us blind to our own faults. Besides Heer's text, we publish two of Tauler's hymns, but please use the resources link on the Eckhart page to find specialised Tauler pages.Add a note!


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Friedrich Heer on Eckhart, Tauler and Suso

F. Heer: Eckharts Erbe und die Erben

J. Tauler: My God, In the Garden of God

The Meister Eckhart Site

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