Schweigen und Stille in der Mystik Johannes Taulers

  • Andreas Zecherle (Autor/in)


This study analyses the different dimensions of the meaning of silence that can be found in Tauler’s sermons, how they relate to the field of acoustics and how they are reasoned theologically and philosophi­cally. Tauler strongly recommends external silence and urges strict observance of the monastic commandments of silence. In addition, he calls for inner silence, closely following Meister Eckhart. In this context, the term silence is used metaphorically for the verbally elusive quiescence of all inner-psychic activity. Lastly, Tauler also employs this term to describe unity with God as well as God himself. The preacher calls for leaving the sensual sphere of the acoustic as far behind as possible, but uses this same sphere to communicate his mystical teaching by preaching and using an acoustic liminal phenomenon, namely that of silence, as a metaphor for transcending this and all other imaginable spheres. To justify his call for comprehensive silence, Tauler draws on everyday acoustic experiences, Neoplatonic philosophy, the Holy Scriptures, monastic tradition and the mystical concept of releasement (gelâzenheit).

Keywords Silence; Monastic Commandment of Silence; Mysticism; Neo-Platonism; Dominican Order